May 30, 2014: Steel jobs, deep in the heart of Texas

Posted by mmcmullan on 05/30/2014

Good morning,

And welcome to the Early Shift. We’re gearing up for game six of the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals tonight, hoping to get a little more of this on primetime television:

But before the game begins, we’ve got plenty to do. So let’s get to it.

Earlier this week, U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker announced the first 12 communities to be named Manufacturing Communities –- which means the industrial development plans they submitted to Commerce have been tapped for federal grant money.

Let’s be clear: The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) thinks this program, the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership, is a good idea. We’re glad to see Washington encouraging communities to get proactive about manufacturing job creation.

But: It’s not enough. The Obama administration is taking a piecemeal approach to industrial policy, but what the economy needs is a comprehensive national manufacturing strategy –- one in which America follows its on-the-books trade rules to the letter. Which reminds us …

There are a lot of jobs at stake across the country if Commerce doesn’t get an upcoming trade ruling right. That was the focus of a segment on MSNBC's The Ed Show on Wednesday, where AAM President Scott Paul put it thusly:

It really burns me up when we allow other countries to either subsidize their steel or dump it into our market and our workers lose their jobs.

With that in mind, AAM is joining U.S. Steel and the United Steelworkers in Lone Star, Texas on Monday to rally for an industry that’s being threatened by severely underpriced competition from overseas. Learn more about this issue, and then let your legislators know that you expect them to stand up for our steel industry (and keep an eye out for AAM updates from the ground on Monday!).

And lastly, let’s take a step back and look at the entire manufacturing sector for a second, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal:

U.S. factory-job gains—driven by a range of factors from cheaper domestic energy to the auto-industry recovery—have concentrated in pockets since the recession, particularly in the Southeast and Midwest, a Wall Street Journal analysis of Labor Department data shows.

AAM’s Scott Paul did notice one oversight, though:

And that’s it. That’s it and that’s all for this Friday’s Early Shift, America. Watch for us in Texas on Monday morning!


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