WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration must take further steps to promote U.S. manufacturing and create manufacturing jobs, the Alliance of American Manufacturing (AAM) told President Barack Obama in a Feb. 5 letter.
The letter, signed by AAM Executive Director Scott Paul, praised the president for initiatives such as the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation and the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center.
"Taken together, these initiatives could represent forward progress, but we urge you to adopt a more comprehensive vision as American manufacturing continues to face enormous challenges," Paul wrote.
"While America is no longer shedding 40,000 manufacturing jobs each month, as we did for most of the last decade, we are not growing nearly enough in terms of domestic production, employment, and our global share of exports," he said.
Paul recommended a number of actions the Obama administration could take, including:
• Giving American businesses new tools to fight currency manipulation, industrial subsidies, intellectual property theft and barriers to market access in other countries;
• Convening a multilateral meeting to address global trade imbalances, and designating China as a currency manipulator if it refuses to participate;
• Applying "Buy America" provisions to all federal procurement and federal-aid infrastructure projects, and directing the Defense Department to leverage existing procurement to contractors that pledge to increase domestic content;
• Working with congressional leaders to pass long-term infrastructure of at least $500 billion over six years; and
• Rebuilding U.S. vocational and technical training programs to address potential shortages of qualified workers in the manufacturing sector.
According to its website, the AAM is a non-profit, non-partisan partnership formed in 2007 "by some of America's leading manufacturers and the United Steelworkers to explore common solutions to challenging public policy topics such as job creation, infrastructure investment, international trade and global competitiveness."