LIPINSKI'S NATIONAL MANUFACTURING STRATEGY ACT PASSES ENERGY AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE, MOVES TOWARD HOUSE VOTE
(July 21, 2010) Today, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to approve Congressman Dan Lipinski’s bipartisan National Manufacturing Strategy Act, H.R. 4692, moving it a step closer to an expected vote in the full House next week. The legislation requires the President to consult with the private sector to produce a strategy containing a set of specific policy recommendations for strengthening American manufacturing in order to create jobs and ensure America can provide for its own defense. A poll released last month by the Alliance for American Manufacturing shows that Americans overwhelmingly favor passage of a National Manufacturing Strategy and believe more must be done to stem the loss of manufacturing jobs.
“Over the last decade, America has lost one-third of all its manufacturing jobs,” Congressman Lipinski (IL-03) said. “Contrary to what some seem to believe, these job losses were not inevitable, and I do not accept the notion that there is nothing we can do. Clearly, another decade like the last one would dramatically undermine the American middle class and, most importantly, leave us unable to produce many of the goods we require for our national security. The National Manufacturing Strategy Act will bring government and the private sector together to produce a detailed strategy for revitalizing American manufacturing that includes specific goals and recommendations on how to meet them.”
Congressman Lipinski worked with committee Democrats and Republicans to strengthen the bill after last week's hearing before the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection. The first Strategy will be due one year after H.R. 4692 becomes law and subsequent Strategies are due every four years, in the second year of each Presidential term.
As revised in Committee, Congressman Lipinski’s bill requires the President to establish a Manufacturing Strategy Board within the Commerce Department that includes federal officials, two state Governors from different parties, and nine private-sector leaders and stakeholders from the manufacturing industry. The Board will conduct a comprehensive analysis of the manufacturing sector covering everything from trade issues to financing to the defense industrial base. Based on this analysis, the President’s Board will then develop a National Manufacturing Strategy that includes short- and long-term goals for the manufacturing industry and specific recommendations on how to achieve those goals. The recommendations may include actions that can be taken by the President, Congress, state and local governments, the private sector, universities, and industry associations. They may also include ways to improve government policies and coordination among federal agencies that impact manufacturing.
At last week’s hearing, industry representatives and experts testified that the National Manufacturing Strategy Act will help revitalize America’s hard-hit industrial sector.
“After 35 years in the industry, I can tell you America’s manufacturing strategy, insofar as we have one, isn’t getting the job done,” said William M. Hickey Jr., president of Chicago-based Lapham-Hickey Steel Corp., which is located in the Third District. “Our economy has become totally imbalanced due to outsourcing and an overemphasis on financial services. Congressman Lipinski’s National Manufacturing Strategy Act will ensure America has a real debate about how to help Main Street provide jobs to our citizens and get away from taxpayer-funded bailouts for Wall Street.”
“We commend Congressman Lipinski for his authorship of H.R. 4692 and respectfully urge you to pass it into law,” said Scott N. Paul, executive director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing. “There is no question that America needs a manufacturing strategy to revitalize the sector that drives the rest of the economy.”
Under the bill, every year, the President’s Board will provide an updated review of the state of manufacturing, assess the implementation of the Strategy’s recommendations, and recommend ways to further the Strategy’s implementation. Every four years, the Government Accountability Office will analyze the implementation of the Strategy, its recommendations, and the process for developing the Strategy. The National Academy of Sciences will also be required to produce a study of the manufacturing industry to aid policymakers. Public hearings will be held prior to the Strategy’s development and a draft of the report will be made available for 30 days for public comments that may be incorporated into the final version.
“We can disagree over such issues as the impact of America’s trade agreements and our failure to address China’s mercantilist policies, but I believe that there is broad support for developing and implementing a manufacturing strategy,” Congressman Lipinski said. “Passage of this bill would finally put American manufacturing on Washington’s agenda and make it impossible to continue to ignore the industry’s importance or gloss over its difficulties. Numerous other countries already have similar manufacturing strategies, including not only China and India, but also the U.K., Brazil, Canada, and Germany. Public support for such a measure is extraordinarily strong, and I believe that Washington is finally listening.”
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