There's more to be done for manufacturing jobs

Posted by mmcmullan on 02/13/2013

Fresh off of his State of the Union address, President Obama is on the road to promote the economic policies he proposed last night. And so, this afternoon found him at an auto parts factory near Asheville, North Carolina. Linamar, a manufacturer based in Canada, began production there in 2011, in a facility recently vacated by a Volvo Production Equipment operation.

When Volvo left the Asheville area in 2010, it took more than 220 manufacturing jobs with it. The new Linamar plant has since hired 160 workers, and is planning on at least 40 more by the year's end. While short of the number of jobs that left town, Linamar's plans are good news for workers in western North Carolina.

But Earth to Washington: This is not enough. There's a lot more that can be done.

In his speech before Congress, the president made mention of the 500,000 manufacturing jobs created stateside over the last three years, as well as various policies -- from training workers for emerging industries, to reshaping the tax code to reward companies that reshore jobs, to creating a network of manufacturing institutes to improve industrial research and development -- all designed to strengthen our manufacturing sector. 

But conspicuously absent from the president's remarks last night were mentions of tough trade enforcement when trading partners like China skirt the rules, or of his campaign pledge to create one million new manufacturing jobs during his second term. Don't forget, that puts only a dent in the more than 5.5 million manufacturing jobs that went overseas over the last decade. 

It's a shame the president's promise didn't make it into his speech, but here at the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), we'll be watching all the same. You can too: Keep an eye via our jobs tracker, the #AAMeter, that we'll update monthly.

Read more about President Obama's visit to North Carolina here.

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