November 25, 2013: Uncontrollable turkey tension

Posted by mmcmullan on 11/25/2013

Good morning,

And happy Monday. Thanksgiving is bearing down upon us like an angry flock of Staten Island turkeys, but we’re not there yet. There is manufacturing news afoot.

Where to begin? How about with President Obama, who used his most recent weekly radio address to make the case for his administration's economic stewardship:

The American auto industry has come roaring back with more than 350,000 new jobs – jobs churning out and selling the high-tech, fuel-efficient cars the world wants to buy. And they’re leading the charge in a manufacturing sector that has added jobs for the first time since the 1990s – a big reason why our businesses sell more goods and services 'Made in America' than ever before.

The president, right there at the end, is talking about U.S. exports, which indeed have been booming recently. And that’s certainly good news for our economy. But we’ve got to consider the other half of the equation. We’re importing a whole lot more these days too.

President Obama seems to have a pretty good handle on manufacturing’s important role in the American economy. But we’re still waiting for him to get serious about an agenda that will help the sector and boost employment.

Elsewhere around the web:

The nations party to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement made significant progress during negotiations in Salt Lake City last week, reports Tim Devaney for the Washington Times:

Negotiators were able to reach agreements on a broad range of issues, including intellectual property, services, temporary entry, environment, market access, state-owned enterprises, investment financial services,, sanitary and phytosanitary issues, government procurement, labor, e-commerce, legal issues, technical barriers to trade and rules of origin, according to USTR.

Currency manipulation, however, went conspicuously unmentioned.

Fun Fact: New Census data reported manufacturing as the country’s fourth largest employer in the U.S., notes Automation World's Dave Greenfield. The sector employs 11 million people with an average salary of $52,300 (that’s 27 percent higher than the average U.S. worker’s salary).

What's the foot in the door of the American market for Chinese automakers? Electric buses. The Chinese company BYD will expand its manufacturing to California, reports Daniel Hajek for NPR, where electric buses will be manufactured for public transit:

The company received $2 million in tax subsidies to build its North American headquarters in LA. But the California Labor Commissioner's office has now hit BYD with a $99,000 fine. The plant in Lancaster, which has yet to open, is under investigation for paying workers below minimum wage.

Meanwhile, unemployment remains well above 7 percent.

Don’t forget:

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 Monday, America.


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