President Focuses on Manufacturing Resurgence
Making the resurgence of American manufacturing a major focus of his State of the Union address, President Obama proposed spending $1 billion to create a network of 15 “manufacturing innovation institutes”—partnerships among the private sector, the federal government, and colleges.
The idea is based on a pilot program launched in Youngstown, Ohio, last summer.
The president also called for manufacturing-friendly investments in infrastructure and education, negotiations on a new trade agreement with the European Union, and a permanent extension—and 20% increase—of the research and experimentation tax credit.
He said as many as 500,000 manufacturing jobs have been created in the last three years, and manufacturers have been moving jobs into the U.S. — including Ford, he said, which is bringing jobs back from Mexico.
After the State of the Union address, the president hit the road to promote his agenda, speaking to workers and guests at the Linamar Corporation auto parts plant in Arden, N.C.
“I believe in manufacturing,” Obama said at the plant. “I believe it makes our economy stronger.”
Manufacturers were encouraged by the attention but looking for more help from Washington, D.C.
National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons said he was encouraged by the “promise of infrastructure investment that will serve as a foundation of future manufacturing.”
He also said negotiations with the European Union represents “a significant step forward in leveling the playing field in foreign markets.”
On the other hand, Timmons said manufacturers need “a regulatory policy that lessens the burden on job creators and an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy policy and approval of the Keystone XL pipeline that will power manufacturers for years to come.”
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