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Manufacturing advocates decry lack of government support at Cleveland summit


Reposted from Crains Cleveland Business


Manufacturing advocates decry lack of government support at Cleveland summit

Ginger Christ | September 24, 2012 | Crains Cleveland Business

American manufacturing needs a fair shot if it’s going to succeed, industry representatives said this morning during a gathering called the Northeast Ohio Summit on the Revitalization of Manufacturing.

Elected officials and executives of manufacturing companies decried the way the U.S. government is handicapping industry by not reforming tax and trade policy and, above all, by not developing a national manufacturing strategy.

Michael Stumo, CEO of Coalition for a Prosperous America, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that organized the event at Cuyahoga Community College’s Unified Technology Center, said the difficulty finding American-made products in stores illustrates a central problem for the United States: The country is running a trade deficit because it’s not aggressive in its manufacturing policy.

Other countries, including big rivals such as China and Germany, have national manufacturing strategies, which give manufacturers there an edge over their U.S. competitors, according to Bob Baugh, executive director of the AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council.

“They actually want manufacturing. It’s a policy in their countries. They want it. They want the jobs and the income that come of that,” Mr. Baugh said of China, Germany and other countries. “As far as I can tell, we do not. This country does not have a strategy. Or, to put it another way, it has a very perverse strategy of letting it go, of not paying attention, of not doing things to ensure that we have a strong industrial base in this country.”

At the federal level, the government at the very least should be addressing Chinese currency manipulation and enforcing trade laws, according to state Rep. Mike Dovilla, a Republican from Berea.

In allowing other countries to manipulate currency, the United States is letting others weaken its public policies on trade, said Pat Choate, an economist and author. As a result, the country will not be able to effectively compete globally, he said.

Charles Blum, president of IAS Group, a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm, called for complete tax reform in the United States. He said this country should follow the lead of countries such as Australia and Canada by placing a consumption tax — a tax on money spent on goods and services — on imports.

Apart from political action, Jack Schron, president of Cleveland-based tooling components maker Jergens Inc., said there’s a need beyond supporting existing manufacturing: developing a new work force.

“We’ve gotten to the boiling point in U.S. manufacturing,” Mr. Schron said.

As baby boomers leave companies, so too does their knowledge, he said. Without a pipeline of new, skilled workers, manufacturing will be unable to grow, Mr. Schron said.


3 Responses to “Manufacturing advocates decry lack of government support at Cleveland summit”

  1. Mo says:

    No support from government? Not a surprise. All Washington is interested in doing is printing money out of thin air to fund un-needed wars, overseas military bases, offhsoring, consumption and finanical speculation. Washington is only interested in foreign policy and not economic policy. The gov’t wants offshoring to continue because it can export inflation. Thats why so many countries in the world today have hundreds of billions if not trillions in dollar reserve assets. Other countries knowing this like China adjust their monetary policies to encourage the US to offshore and transfer technology. But remember it takes two to tango, countries may implement policies to encourage offshoring but in some cases only after US multinationals have made it in their interest to do so like promises of tech transfers.

  2. Mo says:

    A first step to get manufacturing on track in USA is to for every state to create their own state bank where tax revenues get deposited into. Money collected in taxes within a state should be mostly recycled within that state to fund industrial activity. North Dakota has been doing this since 1919.

    Currently there is a movement for states to create their own banks based off the North Dakota mode. North Dakota was one of the only states to have regular budget surpluses for the last few years, a growing GDP, low unemployment, low foreclosure rates and low bankruptcy rates.

    For more info about the public banking movement see link below:

  3. Joe Brooks says:

    Mr Baugh is correct; the Feds do not want manufacturing. It is not rocket science, if they wanted it, we would have it.

    Recently, a friend asked me what I would like to correct in the current version of American History:

    The ridiculous notion that the US was founded on International “free trade”.

    Just the opposite is true. The Founders promoted free trade and free markets, alright. They did this within our own borders, to promote US prosperity and nationalism.

    They protected business, employee interests, US goals, independence and US patriotism that way. We had large and strategic import tariffs, grants and subsidies from 1789 to 1970.

    Now we throw our American industrialists to the wolves, in favor of no nation Multi National corporate entities that go where the most economic protections and bribes are policy.

    150 nations have the Value Added Tax, large import tariffs, border duties, monetary tricks and quotas on imports, we have nothing. A 2.5% average import tariff is worthless, compared to up to 300%.

    At the end of the fiscal year in Red China, Germany, India, etc., the corporations are paid [bribed] whatever the VAT revenue was. In China this is 17%.

    This bribe to relocate to Communist China works this way; if you have revenue generating manufacturing in China you get a bribe of that amount kick backed to you EVERY year of 17% to keep your manufacturing there. This besides free electricity, free land, no pollution controls, 33 cent/hour employees.

    Bribery is a way of life in China, India, Viet Nam, Mexico, Brazil and many of our “competitors”. A zoning problem? Pay off the government and off you go. Protesters? We will imprison/hospitalize them for you.

    Where would you go to invest under current US trade law?


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