Lipinski's National Manufacturing Strategy Passes House
Today, the House of Representatives passed Congressman Dan Lipinski’s bipartisan National Manufacturing Strategy Act, H.R. 4692, which will help revitalize domestic manufacturing, create jobs, and ensure America is able to provide for its own defense without relying on foreign countries. The vote was 379 to 38.
"Today’s vote shows that Washington is finally starting to listen to what I have always promoted and America's middle class has long known: we must take action to support domestic manufacturing and end the outsourcing of American jobs," Congressman Lipinski (IL-03) said. "A strong manufacturing sector is critical to leading America out of recession. Over the last decade, we have lost one-third of all domestic manufacturing jobs. 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. Now that the Strategy Act has passed the House, I’m looking forward to turning my attention to the Senate, and I am optimistic that we can pass the measure this year. There is a tremendous amount of bipartisan support for the bill in Congress and wide support among Americans who want to see more of the ‘Made in USA’ label."
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) will introduce H.R. 4692 in the Senate.
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. 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.
H.R. 4692 has received the support of numerous organizations, including the Alliance for American Manufacturing, National Defense Industrial Association, US Business Industry Council, National Council for Advanced Manufacturing, AFL-CIO, American Iron and Steel Institute, Association of Manufacturing Technology, National Tooling and Machining Association, Precision Metalforming Association, American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, and Aerospace Industry Association. A poll released last month by the Alliance for American Manufacturing found that Americans overwhelmingly favor passage of a National Manufacturing Strategy and believe more must be done to stem the loss of manufacturing jobs. At a hearing two weeks ago before the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection, 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," 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. The case for a permanent capacity for strategic planning on our manufacturing base, evolving and innovating to make use of our workers’ skills and the latest technology as well as to respond to global trends, could not be stronger."
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. In addition, the Government Accountability Office will analyze the implementation of the Strategy, its recommendations, and the process for developing the Strategy. 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 will 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."
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