September 24, 2012
Contact: Sara Haimowitz, 202.688.5145, firstname.lastname@example.org
Leaders in Cleveland to Push Tax and Trade Reform
Tax reform and trade reform were the top policy changes agreed to by nearly 100 local leaders who gathered in Cleveland today for six hours to deliberate upon how best to create jobs and economic growth in the region. The manufacturing, civic, agriculture and labor leaders attended the Northeast Ohio Economic Summit on the Revitalization of Manufacturing at the Cuyahoga Community College Unifed Technology Center.
Ohio House Rep. Mike Dovilla (R-Berea) spoke about his sponsorship of an Ohio House Resolution, which was unanimously passed in a bipartisan vote, telling the President and Congress that China should be cited as a currency manipulator. His focus was to level the playing field to enable Ohio manufacturers to better compete in the domestic and global markets.
Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH-09) emphasized the importance of manufacturing as essential in building a strong economy. She stressed the need to reevaluate trade agreements and to promote a tax code and trade policies that balance trade and make our economy stronger.
“Summit attendees realized that they will have to lead since Washington is not focused on the core solutions to our economic problems,” said Michael Stumo, CEO of the Coalition for a Prosperous America. “The best and brightest local leaders and concerned citizens spent the day learning about ways to help American regain its economic strength. All agreed that we need a strategy to substantially increase our domestic manufacturing production and to balance trade. The trade deficit cannot be allowed to continue undermining our economy.”
Marcia Pledger, Business Columnist for The Plain Dealer moderated the proceedings. Panelists included:
* Charlie Blum (President, IAS Group) who spoke about tax reform and the Value Added Tax which replaces tariffs and subsidies.
* Bob Baugh (Executive Director of the AFL – CIO Industrial Union Council) who spoke about options for a national manufacturing strategy.
* Jack Schron (President, Jergens, Inc.) who spoke about workforce development and ways to equip manufacturers and workers with the skills and innovative processes to compete in the future.
* Pat Choate (Economist; Author, “Saving Capitalism: Keeping America Strong”) who spoke about our trade policy and how it has led to the great recession.
Brian O’Shaughnessy, Chairman of Revere Copper Products, delivered the luncheon keynote address. Mr. O’Shaughnessy described successful trade strategies used by other countries and used by America in its past growth years, outlined the persistent problem of currency manipulation in trade, and proposed a way to conduct trade in America’s national interest for the future.
Local leaders spent the afternoon in breakout groups debating the best strategies to rebuild manufacturing, jobs and the economy. While all agreed that each topic was important, the need to recapture the U.S. market and to achieve net exports in the face of tactics by foreign trade rivals were deemed most important.
By virtually unanimous consensus, tax reform was the number one topic in that the U.S. should explore adding a border adjustable consumption tax while decreasing reliance on income taxes in order to incentivize domestic production and neutralize the unfair trade impacts of foreign consumption taxes. The second place topic was trade reform, specifically that the U.S. needs to make balanced trade a national priority while neutralizing unfair trade practices engaged in by other nations to the detriment of our companies and workers.
Stumo continued, saying “Attendees agreed that the most fundamental changes must be addressed at the level of tax and trade reform. These leaders formed a Task Force to deliver the message to elected officials that these solutions provide massive benefits to increasing jobs and wealth creation far above the issues they are currently debating in Washington. We need to stop focusing upon merely increasing two way trade, but instead to achieve net exports.”
“The Task Force will meet and consider how to convey the will of the Summit to the Ohio federal delegation,” continued Stumo. “Leadership must start locally. Task Force members are ready to provide that leadership.”
The Coalition for a Prosperous America is a nonprofit organization representing the interests of 2.7 million households through our agricultural, manufacturing and labor members.