U.S. House Panel Mulls Bill on National Manufacturing Strategy
Wall Street Journal
July 14, 2010
By Shayndi Raice
A House panel is considering legislation that would require the president to create a four-year national manufacturing strategy to advance the country's interests in the global economy.
"Today, we are still fighting our way through a global financial crisis, and we are facing manufacturing competition from other industrialized nations as well as emerging countries," said Rep. Bobby Rush (D., Ill.), chairman of the subcommittee on commerce, trade and consumer protection.
In 2009, the manufacturing sector employed 11.5 million people, down from 17.3 million people 10 years earlier, he said.
Republicans said the legislation was needlessly complex, and that the manufacturing sector would be better served by fair free-trade agreements and regulatory relief.
The manufacturing act would require the president to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the country's manufacturing sector to be conducted by a task force that would submit its recommendations to him. The results would yield a four-year strategy that would include long- and short-term goals for the country's manufacturing businesses. The national strategy would be reported to Congress and made available to the public.
Aneesh Chopra, chief technology officer and associate director of the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy, said he wouldn't comment on the administration's view on the legislation. He did say, however, that "The administration envisions an economy in which jobs are more plentiful, American firms are more competitive, American manufacturing is robust and exports of high-tech products and services far exceed imports."
Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D., Ill.), the bill's sponsor, said the goal of the bill was to create a unified policy for manufacturing businesses.
"It is a way to coordinate policies in order to better support entrepreneurship and job creation," he said.
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