Some news analysis of the president's manufacturing proposals in the 'State of the Union'

Posted by scapozzola on 01/25/2012

The headlines are in, and it seems that a major takeaway of the president's 'State of the Union' address last night was his strong focus on rebuilding U.S. manufacturing.

In a BloombergBusinessWeek article headlined "Obama Vow to Get Tough on Unfair Trade Called ‘Long Overdue,’" correspondent Bill McQuillen said that the president's proposal to get tough on unfair trade practices was "welcomed by manufacturers frustrated with losing market to countries such as China."  McQuillen cited some of the president's key initiatives:

creating a new trade enforcement group that would use investigators and other federal resources to combat unfair trade practices in nations including China. He also called on Congress to create a program to provide credit to companies competing against foreign counterparts that benefit from preferential credit from their governments.

McQuillen also quoted Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) Executive Director Scott Paul, who said that such efforts are “long overdue":

“We have seen 10 years of China gaming the system and I think the president has a very good record with China.”

Reuters reporter Doug Palmer also focused on the proposed efforts to create an "enforcement unit to crack down on unfair trade practices in China and other countries and would beef up border inspections to block imports of counterfeit goods."  Palmer found support from AAM on efforts to tackle China's currency manipulation:

Another group that represents both labor and domestic manufacturers that compete with China also welcomed the initiative, but urged lawmakers to go further.

Congress should pass "a bipartisan bill to stop China's currency manipulation," said Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

The Hill's Vicki Needham recognized that the speech offered first steps, and quoted AAM's Scott Paul on the need for follow-through:

"A speech alone won't change policy, but it can lay the groundwork," said Scott Paul, executive director, the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

"We look forward to working with the White House as it cracks down on China's cheating, which is stealing jobs and jeopardizing our economic future."

Paul suggested that Congress pass a bipartisan bill to stop China's currency manipulation along with a package of manufacturing tax incentives for innovation, insourcing, training and domestic capital investments.

Read AAM's full analysis of last night's State of the Union.

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