No More Excuses About the Economy. It's Time for Action.

Posted by elizabethbb on 06/12/2014

The New York Times paints a pretty bleak picture of the painfully slow economic recovery today, noting that while the nation’s “total annual output has moved substantially above the prerecession peak… economic growth has averaged only about 2 percent a year, well below its historical average.” Reporter Binyamin Appelbaum continues:

Household incomes continue to stagnate, and millions of Americans still can’t find jobs. And a growing number of experts see evidence that the economy will never rebound completely.

Appelbaum interviewed a number of experts for the piece, and they offered up a variety of reasons for the stubbornly sluggish economy.  Government spending cuts. Economic issues in Europe. Less innovation. A declining birth rate. Even the cold winter shared some of the blame.

But what’s missing from the conversation is any talk about our lopsided trade deficit, and how our inability to do anything about it is preventing the job market from creating solid middle class manufacturing jobs — the kind that will ultimately drive the economy.

Every single dollar’s worth of trade deficit is a drag on economic growth, and there are a lot of dollars in the deficit. The monthly U.S. international goods and services trade deficit rose to $47.2 billion in April, up from $44.2 billion in March.

Meanwhile, the economy actually has gained back the number of jobs it lost during the 2007-2009 recession. The problem? Most of them are low paying service industry jobs, not the manufacturing jobs the economy so desperately needs to thrive.

President Obama set a goal of creating 1 million manufacturing jobs by the end of his second term.  According to our #AAMeter, the U.S. has only gained 134,000 thus far. In May, just 10,000 manufacturing jobs were created, far below the pace needed to make the president's goal a reality.

The reasons for this are clear, as Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) President Scott Paul explained recently:

A look at our trade picture’s weak exports and surging imports gives us one clue as to why manufacturing is lagging. The administration and Congress should help level the playing field for our manufacturers and workers by stopping currency manipulation, enforcing our trade laws, and making smart investments in infrastructure.

If President Obama wants to meet his goal — and if we ever want to give our economy the kickstart it needs to truly grow — we have to stop blaming the weather and get to work. It is time to implement a Comprehensive National Manufacturing Strategy that will support middle class manufacturing jobs, lower our trade deficit, and finally get our economy going again.

Related recent Blogs

@KeepitMadeinUSA on Twitter

  • ICYMI: Senate passed its version of Highway Trust Fund bill; shortened length of extension to Dec. instead of May 2015. Heads back to House. 2 hours 56 min ago
  • The Senate is now debating legislation to reauthorize the Highway Trust Fund (well, until May 2015). Watch on @cspan: http://t.co/7h65biQlFz 6 hours 48 min ago
  • RT @SteveRattner: Amazing shift in US jobs -- gone from making things to taking care of sick people http://t.co/44ZBilZiCg 7 hours 45 min ago
  • We must be close to election season. Candidates are talking a big game about unfair trade on the campaign trail: http://t.co/vsahfLZSb4 10 hours 9 min ago
  • Looks like @amazon is getting into the 3D printing business. http://t.co/dHa0askSK9 11 hours 32 min ago
  • RT @WisconsinOven: MT @KeepitMadeinUSA @ScottPaulAAM shares ideas in @HuffingtonPost on how to restore American manufacturing leadership:ht… 12 hours 17 min ago
  • BTW, ALL the machines at that Indianapolis Adidas plant helped produce LeBron jerseys. http://t.co/InVSaeooRv Plus more in Iowa & Cleveland. 12 hours 17 min ago
  • !!! RT @darrenrovell The LeBron jersey assembly line at Adidas facility in Indianapolis http://t.co/FCcJz76kpa 12 hours 20 min ago
  • Wisconsin companies are going on a national tour to promote American manufacturing: http://t.co/r08lzCvW83 13 hours 8 min ago
  • This --> http://t.co/JEuzlRwYjr @USAToday examines the myth of the STEM workers shortage. 1 day 8 hours ago