President Obama visits a Wisconsin manufacturer today to celebrate jobs coming back. A CNBC op-ed asks if it's premature...

Posted by scapozzola on 02/15/2012

President Barack Obama is visiting Milwaukee padlock manufacturer Master Lock today to spotlight a company that is bringing jobs back to the United States, according to the Green Bay Press Gazette.

In an editorial published at CNBC.com, Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) Executive Director Scott Paul says that it might be a bit premature, however, to assume that factory work is easily coming back after a decade of "sustained and steep decline."

Paul offers a few reasons to be cautious, including the ongoing problem of U.S. jobs being outsourced to China:

First, he says the U.S. needs to get tougher with China and set "consequences in the form of trade sanctions, tariffs, and a loss of market access if China doesn't honor its commitments."

Second, many of the companies praised for bringing back jobs have actually set a strong track record for shifting jobs overseas.  GE is a clear example, having "recently closed more than 20 factories, shifted avionics and radiology businesses to China, and pushed for public policies that will allow them to continue that course."

Third, the U.S. has a long way to go.  The 370,000 manufacturing jobs gained since 2010 are a "drop in the bucket compared to the 5.5 million we lost last decade."

Paul is hopeful, though, and suggests nine areas where the U.S. can act to rebuild U.S. manufacturing, including a focus on  high-tech manufacturing and infrastructure investment along with revisions to tax and trade policy.

To read the full set of policy prescriptions that Paul suggested to CNBC.com, click here.

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