Obama begins his "year of action" in Raleigh tomorrow
President Obama will head to Raleigh, North Carolina tomorrow for a speech on the economy. The remarks, a warm up to the upcoming State of the Union address, will focus on the president's plan to create new jobs in the manufacturing sector. And your friends here at the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) will be watching closely.
President Obama will announce a new public-private effort to boost advanced manufacturing. The administration hopes this will attract well-paying jobs, the kind that sustain a growing middle class, according to a White House blast email from Dan Pfeiffer. This will be the second component, after last week’s rollout of the first five Promise Zones, of the White House dubbed “Year of Action."
What an interesting choice of words! Action is what we would like to see, Mr. President.
During his 2013 State of the Union address, President Obama talked extensively about the need to create jobs here at home, train a new generation of skilled workers, invest in infrastructure, and level the (trade) playing field with growing competitors in Asia. But as 2013 progressed, we didn't see any action on these issues.
Don't forget: During his re-election campaign President Obama set a goal to create 1 million new manufacturing jobs by the end of his second term. The manufacturing sector added just 77,000 new jobs last year. We still have a long way to go — 923,000 more manufacturing jobs, to be exact.
So, what’s one way the president can help create new manufacturing jobs? He could work to curb America's trade deficit with China. The 2012 U.S. trade deficit with China reached an all-time high of $315 billion, and 2013 is expected to be even larger. Said AAM President Scott Paul:
A strong manufacturing base in America depends on balanced trade, which is why we need the administration and Congress to more aggressively push back against unfair trade practices overseas.
So, Mr. President, when you tout our growing exports — please be sure to address our growing imports, too.
At AAM, we’re ready for a year of action. We'll be watching the President’s speech at North Carolina State University tomorrow, and live tweeting.
P.S. Congress has the opportunity to make 2014 a “year of action” too! America needs a manufacturing plan along the lines of what Senate Democrats have proposed.
Image: President Obama speaks to steelworkers at the ArcelorMittal Cleveland plant on November 14, 2013. (AAM File Photo)
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