Committee to Support U.S. Trade Laws Calls on Administration and Campaigns to Focus on Rebuilding American Manufacturing to Protect National Security and Restore Jobs

Dépèche transmise le 27 mars 2012 par Business Wire

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A coalition of executives, labor leaders and trade policy experts is calling on the Obama administration and the Presidential candidates to step up support for the revitalization of manufacturing in America to protect U.S. economic and national security interests and restore jobs.

“America has lost a third of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000, and we have no consistent policy to keep entire industries from continuing to leave our shores”

Saying that the decline in American manufacturing has resulted from government policy failures that must be remedied, the Committee to Support U.S. Trade Laws issued its call to action at a summit of more than 300 top executives, legislators, Administration officials, union leaders and trade and economic policy experts. Speakers at the Second Annual Conference on the Renaissance of American Manufacturing at the National Press Club included Gene B. Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Import Administration, and Neal Orringer, Director of Manufacturing in the Pentagon’s Office of Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy.

“America has lost a third of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000, and we have no consistent policy to keep entire industries from continuing to leave our shores,” said Gilbert B. Kaplan, president of the committee, known as CSUSTL, and an international trade lawyer at King & Spalding in Washington. “Last year, the United States had the largest trade deficit in the history of the world – $295 billion – with our largest manufacturing competitor, China. The issues that voters today are most worried about – job creation, national security and ensuring America’s long-term prosperity – are all inextricably tied to keeping manufacturing in America alive.”

The only way to improve the jobs picture in a meaningful and sustained way, members of the coalition say, will be to change U.S. trade policies to address the continued decline in manufacturing.

Some progress is already being made, Kaplan acknowledged. President Obama recently established a special trade enforcement task force, a measure that CSUSTL called for in a Statement of Principles released at its first summit in 2010. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has said that if he is elected, he will declare China a currency manipulator on his first day in office, while Rick Santorum has proposed broad-scale tax benefits for U.S. manufacturing. And in early-March, the President and both parties in the House and Senate joined forces to pass legislation supporting the continued application of anti-subsidy laws to China to fight back against the massive subsidies the Chinese government gives manufacturers targeting the U.S. market.

“As a nation, we also need to look very hard at the potential benefits of a cross-agency government manufacturing policy, at investment, at tax policy and at reshoring,” said Clyde V. Prestowitz Jr., president of the Economic Strategy Institute, one of the sponsors of the summit.

The group is also concerned about the potential impact of a shrinking manufacturing base on America’s national security. In addition to helping fuel China’s ongoing military expansion, the mounting trade shortfall and diminished manufacturing capacity means that critical military, telecommunications and aerospace components and technology once produced in the U.S. must now be purchased from foreign suppliers.

The Committee to Support U.S. Trade Laws is an organization of companies, trade associations, labor unions, workers, and individuals committed to preserving and enhancing U.S. trade laws. CSUSTL’s members span all sectors, including manufacturing, technology, agriculture, mining and energy, and services. CSUSTL is dedicated to ensuring that the unfair trade laws are not weakened through legislation or policy decisions in Washington, D.C., in international negotiations, or through dispute settlements at the World Trade Organization and elsewhere.

In addition to the Committee to Support U.S. Trade Laws and the Economic Strategy Institute, sponsors of the Second Annual Conference on the Renaissance of American Manufacturing include: the U.S. Economy/Smart Globalization Initiative at the New America Foundation, Alliance for American Manufacturing, United States Business and Industry Council, The Kearny Alliance, King & Spalding, Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, Wiley Rein LLP, Law Offices of Stewart and Stewart and Coalition for a Prosperous America.

Business Wire

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