November 20, 2013: Debunking boilerplate nonsense from Obama regarding #mfg

Posted by mmcmullan on 11/20/2013

Good morning,

It’s hump day! The weekend is almost within sight. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves yet. What happened yesterday?

Well, President Obama addressed a room full of suits at a Wall Street Journal conference in Washington, and he spoke at length about the state of the economy under his stewardship. And, unsurprisingly, he leaned heavy on the manufacturing sector to suggest there's been an economic rebound. Here’s what he had to say:

I do want to say, though, that, beyond the headlines, we have made real progress in the economy. And sometimes that hasn’t gotten enough attention. … We refocused on manufacturing and exports, and today our businesses sell more goods and services made in America than ever before around the world. After a decade of shedding jobs, our manufacturing sector’s now added about half a million new jobs, and it’s led by an American auto industry that has come roaring back after decades of decline.

Emphasis added. If President Obama's public statements are any indication, he knows how important a strong manufacturing sector is to the American economy. That’s good. We’re glad the president gets it, because he certainly gets the lingo. But with all due respect, we had a few nits to pick with his remarks on manufacturing:

  • Exports may be up, but that point is mostly nullified because imports are skyrocketing (and we just set a new monthly trade deficit record with China, btw).
  • Sure, the economy has created 500,000 manufacturing jobs since 2010, but that’s after the economy lost millions of them in the preceding decade ... and not very many have been created in 2013.
  • And the American auto industry that has “roared back” is gonna be pretty cranky if the administration signs a trade deal that gives currency manipulators even more access to the U.S. market.

Watch (or read) the president’s speech in its entirety right here.

Elsewhere around the web:

North America’s largest conference on metal manufacturing is well underway in Chicago this week. FABTech brings together scores of people from all around the metal manufacturing world -- from suppliers to welders, and generally interested parties. As you might expect, the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) is making its presence felt. We held a book talk yesterday, and we’ll be manning our booth in the exhibitor space for the next couple days. (At FABTech? Stop by booth N-249.

ICYMI: Earlier this month, Gary Locke, the U.S. Ambassador to China, told President Obama he will be leaving his post next year. Locke’s tenure was marked by a number of high-octane diplomatic situations, his handling of which was received positively by human rights activists.

"I don't realistically see TPA moving." That was House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer yesterday, talking about the Trade Promotion Authority rule the White House will need to get an up-or-down vote in Congress on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. Without it, Congress could take issue with anything in the long list of specifics contained in the TPP deal ... like its glaring lack of a rule punishing currency manipulation. Elvina Nawaguna reports for Reuters.

And in case you got caught sleeping, or forgot:

There’s more to the monthly jobs report than just numbers. There are people behind the data, and their stories deserve to be heard. Do you have one to tell? Have you – or your friends, family, or neighbors – started looking for work recently? Have you stopped? Send in your jobs report to info [at] aamfg [dot] org, tweet it to us at @keepitmadeinUSA, or contact us via Facebook. And read the ever-updating report right here.

Happy Wednesday, America.

-AAM

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