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Make It In America

Whip Hoyer discusses the Make It In America agenda with employees at Antenna Research Associates, Inc., a manufacturer in Maryland's fifth district.

Guest post by Rep. Steny Hoyer, Minority Whip of the U.S. House of Representatives

American manufacturing helped make this the most prosperous country on earth—and it helped build a strong middle class. As we continue to focus on job creation and economic growth, I believe a key part of that effort must be rebuilding our manufacturing strength. That’s why House Democrats have created the Make It In America agenda: it’s about creating the conditions for American businesses to innovate here, create jobs here, make products here, and sell them to the world—and about making sure we have a workforce qualified for well-paying jobs. I believe strongly that when we make more products in America, more families will be able to Make It In America, as well.

Even as much of our economy has struggled, the manufacturing sector has consistently added jobs—it’s been a bright spot for our recovery. But the news isn’t all good. Manufacturing employment is still near its lowest point since World War II. And more worryingly, the index of manufacturing activity—a measure of the sector’s productivity and growth—fell sharply last month, to its lowest point since fall of 2009.

Whether or not you work in manufacturing, that ought to concern you for a number of reasons. Manufacturing stimulates more activity across our whole economy than any other sector—so a fall in manufacturing activity is felt across the economy, which is bad for all of us. It’s also bad for the middle class because manufacturing jobs pay better-than-average wages, and it’s bad for America’s competitiveness because China has overtaken us as the world leader in the dollar value of manufacturing output. Last but not least, a decline in manufacturing is bad for American innovation.  As assembly lines move overseas, innovation often follows to be closer to production.  That’s resulted in America losing the innovative lead in a number of technological fields, from precision optics to photovoltaic cells to computer chips—we can’t afford to lose ground elsewhere.

So this spring, Democrats introduced a wide-ranging set of new Make It In America bills for the 112th Congress. One new bill would expand and make permanent the research and development tax credit to help spur the innovation that creates new industries and new jobs. Another bill, which I am proud to sponsor, builds job-training partnerships between advanced manufacturers and community colleges, helping students find good jobs, and helping employers fill their most pressing needs. Also on the agenda is a more efficient corporate tax code: one with lower rates and fewer loopholes, which will increase productivity by encouraging businesses to make decisions based on economic common sense, not on tax write-offs.

This agenda builds on the six Make It In America bills signed into law last year, which promote innovation, strengthen our workforce, and help companies produce more at home. These bills invest in science, technology, engineering, and math education to prepare a highly-skilled workforce; streamline the patent process to help get products to market faster; support small businesses through tax cuts and loans; and more. It’s important to note that many of these bills received bipartisan support—and that this agenda as a whole has won the backing of both business and labor leaders.

With millions of Americans still out of work, it is more vital than ever for Congress to put forward a strong, positive agenda to get our economy back on track. It’s essential that manufacturing be a central part of that effort.  I believe that we can work together to ensure that we Make It In America.

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Before you can fix the problem, you have to identify the problem

Do me a favor and humor me.
Utilize your resources to draw up a spreadsheet of the fortune 500 companies.

Show the number of employees broken down by country in the year 2000

I picked 2000 because the first major offshore push was in 2002 and the biggest was in 2007, before the subprime mortgage crisis.

Now do the same for the year 2010 and publish the results.

And then read the first couple of chapters in this short document.

Bottom line, we can turn this around and put Americans back to work in America, but we need to understand exactly what has put us in this predicament.

For those that read the first couple of chapters, you will see reference to a book cover.

Here is that book cover.


"I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain."*
'Letter to Abigail Adams [May 12, 1780]

What do you mean, "continue"?

"As we continue to focus on job creation and economic growth"? Continue? The jobs crisis has been going on for some time now, and Congress has been largely silent.

Make it in America

We are competing with the Chinese and other nations with one hand tied behind our back--by our own choice. China started to build its economic muscle by requiring that companies that wanted to sell products in China had to make them there. This is still true for a large proportion of the products sold in China. In addition, a Chinese partner (51-41% or 50 -50%)was required in order to have a business there. We have no such policy. This is a major reason why manufacturing moved there (aside from cheap labor). No matter how much we try to find things we can make here, we will not be able to export them on a large scale because of the similar requirement that many countries have adopted. WE need a policy that requires certain high-margin goods--cars, computers, other electronics--and other items, to be made here if they are going to be sold here. Not everything, but strategic things. If we do not do this, we will continue to lose out to those countries that are not giving away access to their consumer markets, as we are. -- Dee Woodhull

How to Keep it Made in America

There is only one way to assure that the profits made by US corporations are not spent hiring people in China - and that is to refuse to buy stuff made in China and to vote with our pocketbooks by buying products made in US - even if they cost a bit more. Not everything should be made domestically and companies should expand their markets internationally but until American customers show a little bit of loyalty to American workers (themselves) corporations will actively look to manufacture in the cheapest place on earth.

Made In The USA

All that is needed is to put back The Glass-Stegall Act! and Tarrifs on all imports! The Factories would be back overnite!

How One Small American Manufacturer Is Beating The Imports.

Simplicity Sofas opened its furniture factory in November, 2007 less than a month before the official start of the recession.

In the recession the furniture industry was one of the hardest hit sectors of the American economy. Small businesses were particularly vulnerable.

Simplicity Sofas opened with $0 sales and limited resources. Less than 3 recessionary years later, selling primarily against large importers, the company recorded its first $100,000 month. This year sales are projected to hit $1 million with a comfortable profit.

If you would like more details about how Simplicity Sofas has prospered during the recession despite foreign competition, just contact me.

Jeff Frank, Owner
Simplicity Sofas