The White House's Gene Sperling Touts Trade Enforcement and Commitment to Manufacturing.
This morning, National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling gave a press briefing to follow-up on some of the economic proposals from last night's State of the Union. In particular, Sperling highlighted President Obama's focus on U.S. manufacturing.
It's heartening to see that Sperling's point of view seems to align closely with key points in the Alliance for American Manufacturing's (AAM) "Blueprint for Manufacturing."
On the press call, Sperling explained some of the Obama administration's views on why manufacturing matters:
- Proximity is important. Reshoring means bringing the benefits of research and production under "one roof." More companies are realizing this.
- Manufacturing matters for future innovation.
- The U.S. is becoming more competitive, thanks in part to lower domestic energy costs as well as rising wages in China.
- In contrast, outsourcing has led to certain risks, including the logistical problems of a spread-out supply chain. This can pose potential problems for military supplies.
- When a manufacturing plant closes, the surrounding community fails.
In their planned efforts, the Administration is asking for $1 billion to launch 15 new manufacturing institutes. This would involve several companies working alongside select universities. The benefit: a much larger scale of operation for research and development (R&D).
The administration is also pressing for tax reform, including an R&D tax credit. Sperling urged a minimum tax on foreign earnings, as well as lowering the corporate tax rate to 25 percent.
As for President Obama's trade enforcement efforts, Sperling cited both the Administration's safeguard action on surging tire imports from China and a World Trade Organization (WTO) investigation of China's subsidies for its auto parts manufacturers.
Sperling believes that this administration is doing far more than the previous one when it comes to tackling China's violations of trade agreements: “We’re not going to sit by while we play by the rules and other countries don't.”
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