Pritzker announces 12 manufacturing communities
Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker tapped the first 12 localities that will be part of the Obama administration’s Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) initiative. ICMP's goal is to help accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing and create jobs in the U.S., and the 12 communities (out of 70 that applied) were selected based on their economic development plans, their plans' potential impact, and the depth of their public and private sector partnerships.
The 12 Manufacturing Communities announced today represent a diverse group of communities with the most comprehensive economic development plans to attract business investment that will increase their competitiveness…Innovative programs like IMCP encourage American communities to work together to craft strong, clear, strategic plans to attract manufacturing investment and jobs to transform themselves into globally competitive commercial hubs.
Pretty cool, right? The administration has been actively promoting the U.S. manufacturing sector, creating manufacturing institutes and attempting to pry open America for increased foreign investment. And like those efforts, IMCP is a step in the right direction for our economy.
But it’s not enough. While the administration has focused on these piecemeal initiatives, manufacturing job growth has remained slow (as the last jobs report shows) and the goods trade deficit has soared. And a true middle-class resurgence will have to include a legitimate manufacturing employment rebound.
Luckily, the Commerce Department has a chance to help manufacturing right now by enforcing our trade laws. A surge of oil country tubular goods (OCTG) imports, primarily from South Korea, is flooding the U.S. market. These foreign steel pipes are "dumped," priced below fair value and in deceptive ways are designed to circumvent international trade laws.
In July 2013, domestic steel producers filed a trade case that is now pending at the Commerce Department. A final decision will be made in early- July 2014 and it is critical that our government fully investigates this cheating. If it doesn't, the thousands of American workers who make OCTG risk losing their jobs to illegal imports.
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