Manufacturing was a main topic at the begining of President Obama’s State of the Union address. His blueprint for changing the American economy began with manufacturing. He struck a number of key topics that impact the manufacturing industry.
1. Auto Industry – He recapped the restructuring and retooling of the automakers industry. He said that the industry has added over 160,000 jobs and that General Motors is once again the worlds number automaker. He wants to do the same in other industries.
2. Fair Trade – The President said it’s getting more costly to manufacture in China, so less jobs will be outsourced there. This is something I’ve been hearing a lot lately; hope it’s true. Evidently, the company Masterlock has found it cheaper to bring it’s manufacturing facilities back to the United States. The President wanted us to ask ourselves, as small business owners, what we can do to bring jobs back to this country. He continued by boasting about his 2 year old promise to double exports within 5 years. He said that they are ahead of the deadline. He plans on attacking unfair trade practices with a brand new commission that he announced he will be creating. Their mission will be too equal the playing field for American manufacturers so that they can compete internationally.
3. Taxes – The President laid out three tax policies designed to help small businesses.
- No tax breaks for companies that outsource jobs.
- A minimum tax for multinational corporations.
- More tax cuts and incentives for U.S. manufacturers.
In general he wants to financially incentive U.S. manufacturers and put regulations on manufacturers that outsource or do business internationally. There does seem to be some momentum in bringing jobs back to the United States. These policies might be a good start in keeping that momentum going.
4. Technology Workers – The next thing the President talked about was our need for more workers in the technology industries. His goal is to train 2 million new workers. 1 of his more catchy lines of the night was when you said he wanted to, “change the unemployment system to a re-employment system. However, it seemed his main plan for doing this was giving more money to community colleges, with no real direction on how that money would be spent. To improve education he also wanted states to mandate high school and to stop school loan rates from doubling this summer. The manufacturing industry could definitely get a boost by having more competent workers in the field. The right programs in education, more focused programs like trade schools, could help the manufacturing industry greatly.
5. Energy Industry – The president said he would not give up on his (our) pursuit of clean energy. He wants to give incentives to manufacturing companies to upgrade their buildings. He touted the amount of oil production by the U.S. as the most in years, and said our dependence on foreign oil was it’s lowest in 16 years. The President tried to convey just how strongly he believes in investing in the energy. He said that some technologies and companies would fail (Solyndra reference?) but that he (we) could not stop investing in clean energy.
6. Infrastructure – The President’s last point was that he wants to start working on the infrastructure. He wanted to take half of the money we’ve been using on the wars and spend it towards nation building at home. He spoke of our run down electrical system and our incomplete broadband internet network. No mention of building high speed trains as in previous speeches.
Photos from www.whitehouse.gov.