"Keep it Made in America" Reaches Lorain, Ohio
The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) has brought its "Keep it Made in America" tour to Lorain, Ohio. The meeting is being held at the Lorain County Community College.
AAM Director Scott Paul opened the event by introducing Ohio Congresswoman Betty Sutton.
Rep. Sutton offers remarks on saving U.S. manufacturing: "Manufacturing is key to our economy, the backbone...It supports the American middle class...Manufacturing is changing, but it's critical that we make things in this country...Ohio workers are incredibly committed and talented...Our workers can compete with anyone on a level playing field. But when our trading partners cheat, when we have bad trade deals, we can't continue these policies...The U.S. has lost roughly 6 million manufacturing jobs over the past decade...China's undervalued currency and illegal subsidies are hurting U.S. manufacturers...The House has passed legislation on China's currency, and the Administration has taken some action, so there is good news. But we need to fix our trade laws."
Rep. Sutton talks about "Cash for clunkers"-- the need to stimulate demand. 90% of car parts in cars made in Ohio are themselves manufactured in Ohio. Those parts plants support more jobs. She also cites infrastructure investment: "When we rebuild our infrastructure with U.S. tax dollars, we should be using American-made parts."
Sutton: "We need to build jobs in our community so we can make it here in America."
Sutton: "If foreign manufacturers can cut corners on safety, they get an unfair advantage over American producers who would be held accountable for any flawed product."
Sutton: "We don't want any more unfair trade agreements...We play by the rules, we want our trading partners to do so as well."
AAM's Scott Paul then gives a short presentation on the importance of manufacturing. Some points:
1. Ohio has lost hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs in the past decade. Those manufacturing jobs supported many other jobs throughout the state.
2. China will soon surpass the U.S. in manufacturing.
3. A large majority of U.S. voters support a national manufacturing strategy and favor policies that would penalize countries like China for cheating at world trade.
So what's needed? Several key points: expand U.S. production...invest in infrastructure...enhance our workforce...fix our trade policies...boost our innovation.
Paul introduces a panel discussion: David McCall, District 1 Director, United Steelworkers; Larry Taylor, Lorain Plant Manager, U.S. Steel; and, Kelly Zelesnik, Dean of Engineering Technologies, Lorain County Community College.
McCall: We have to level the playing field...People with short-term thinking about the economy are starting to realize that we have to do something different. We can't keep losing plants and workers...We need long-term thinking, training for workers, new investment.
Zelesnik: Education and economic development are a key focus...Need to grow new jobs...We are preparing a workforce that can meet the needs of manufacturers.
Taylor: We have to have strong trade policies that are strictly enforced. If they're not enforced, it won't do any good. A level playing field and enforcing trade laws can create jobs here.
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