President Obama Touts Manufacturing as the Foundation for Rebuilding America
White House recommends tripling manufacturing innovation institutes.
Posted Jul 31, 2013 | Atlanta, GA
Creating jobs and renewing the middle class were the focal points of President Barack Obama’s speech in Chattanooga, Tenn., on July 30. Speaking from the Chattanooga Amazon distribution center, the President outlined his plan for rebuilding America by providing good jobs in a “durable, growing industry.” The No. 1 focus for job growth in the United States, he reported, should be in American manufacturing. To achieve this, he suggested creating a more inviting business climate for manufacturers and encouraging innovation.
Over the past four years, the number of manufacturing jobs has increased rather than decreased. To build on this progress, the President recommended that the United States offer new tax incentives to bring jobs back to the this country and create new tax credits for communities hardest hit by plant closures. “In my State of the Union Address, I also asked Congress to build on a successful pilot program and create 15 manufacturing innovation institutes that connect businesses, universities, and federal agencies to turn communities left behind by global competition into global centers of high-tech jobs,” he said. “Today, I’m asking Congress to build on the bipartisan support for this idea and triple that number to 45 – creating a network of these hubs and guaranteeing that the next revolution in manufacturing is Made in America.”
Obama’s plan for reviving the middle class also calls for new jobs to be created by:
- Rebuilding infrastructure;
- Creating jobs in wind, solar and natural gas that reduce energy costs, carbon pollution and U.S. dependence on foreign oil;
- Exporting American goods around the world; and
- Helping the more than 4 million long-term unemployed Americans.
Business climate changes outlined in the President’s plan include simplifying the tax code, which is “so riddled with wasteful loopholes that many companies doing the right thing and investing in America pay 35 percent, while the corporations with the best accountants stash their money abroad and pay little or nothing at all,” he explained. “I’m willing to simplify our tax code in a way that closes those loopholes, ends incentives to ship jobs overseas, and lowers rates for businesses that create jobs right here in America. While we’re at it, let’s provide tax incentives for manufacturers that bring jobs home. And let’s simplify taxes for small business owners and give them incentives to invest, so that they can spend less time filling out complex forms, and more time expanding and hiring.”
The tax reform offer to his Republican counterparts, however, comes with a caveat. The money that results from tax reform must be used to invest in infrastructure improvement, high-tech manufacturing hubs, and workforce development. “All of these things would benefit the middle class right now in the years to come,” he said. “I’m willing to work with the Republicans on reforming our corporate tax code, as long as we use the money from transitioning to a simpler tax system for a significant investment in creating middle-class jobs.”
Following the speech, the White House released a fact sheet on the jobs package and tax reform proposals outlined by President Obama. Click here for details.