Will the U.S. Finally Get a National Manufacturing Strategy?

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Will the U.S. Finally Get a National Manufacturing Strategy?

IndustryWeek – Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) announced on April 6 that they have each introduced bills to require the development of a national manufacturing strategy in order to boost traditional and high-tech manufacturing, spur American job growth and strengthen the middle class. America has lost 5.5 million manufacturing jobs, or one-third of the total, over the last decade.

Rep. Lipinski’s bipartisan National Manufacturing Strategy Act passed the House last year 379-38. The current version, H.R. 1366, has 11 Democratic and 10 Republican cosponsors. To ensure widespread buy-in from both business and government, it requires the president to establish a Manufacturing Strategy Board of federal officials, two state governors from different parties, and private-sector manufacturing leaders. Every four years, the board will conduct a comprehensive analysis of the manufacturing sector covering matters ranging from financing to trade to the defense industrial base. Based on this analysis and ample public input, the board will develop a strategy that includes specific recommendations to the President, Congress, and industry for bolstering American manufacturing. To make sure we stay the course, the board will assess the implementation of its recommendations annually, and the GAO will conduct a separate review.

“The fact that U.S. manufacturers recently posted their first yearly jobs gain since 1997 demonstrates how much American manufacturing and those who rely on manufacturing for their livelihood have suffered over the past decade,” Rep. Lipinski said. “Just last month came the news that China has seized the title of the world’s leading goods producer, ending America’s 110-year reign. Yet no plan with broad support and real momentum currently exists for growing American manufacturing and reversing the offshoring that has been killing the middle class. That’s why we need to develop a manufacturing strategy and follow through on its recommendations. Our bills may differ on the details, but Senator Brown and I share the same goals for manufacturing and job creation in the heartland and across America.”

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