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On National Manufacturing Day, Kuster Pushes Legislation to Boost Small Manufacturers Seeking to Expand

   The Manufacturing Reinvestment Account Act will help manufacturers save to purchase new equipment, build facilities, and expand workforce training programs

Kuster supported the bill in response to request by a small business in Milford

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) cosponsored a bill designed to support manufacturers by helping them to purchase new equipment, expand facilities, and improve workforce development programs. The Manufacturing Reinvestment Account Act will allow small manufacturers to establish tax-free reinvestment accounts that would help them cover the cost of these expenses. Congresswoman Kuster supported the bill in response to a request from Williams & Hussey Machine Co., Inc., a woodworking tools manufacturer in Milford.

“I have made it my number one priority in Congress to help support the creation of jobs and opportunity for New Hampshire families,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster. “Manufacturers like Williams & Hussey contribute to the Granite State economy by expanding the manufacturing base and creating good jobs for New Hampshire workers, and this bill will help small manufacturers throughout New Hampshire continue to grow.”

The Manufacturing Reinvestment Account Act would create establish tax-exempt manufacturing reinvestment accounts (MRAs) for manufacturing businesses. It would allow these manufacturers to make tax deductible cash payments into an MRA, and then use MRA funds for equipment and property, as well as job training and workforce development.

“The option to invest in such MRAs for small manufacturing firms like Williams & Hussey Machine Co., Inc. and others small companies in NH and across the country will help them get a bigger return on their dollar and free up capital to invest in machinery, infrastructure, and job training, ensuring that they can succeed in both the short and long-term,” said Steven Carter, President and CEO of Williams & Hussey Machine Co., Inc.

As a member of the House Small Business Committee, Kuster has focused on efforts to foster job creation and support New Hampshire’s manufacturing industry. She has supported a series of “Make It In America” proposals focused on restoring jobs and reviving the U.S. manufacturing economy, and she has also fought to establish a Manufacturing Innovation Institute in New Hampshire.

Governor Hassan Kicks Off Annual Advanced Manufacturing and High Technology Summit

Highlights Importance of NH Manufacturing Industry to the Economy, Discusses Efforts to Strengthen Workforce, Support Job-Creating Businesses

MANCHESTER – Highlighting the importance of the advanced manufacturing and high-tech industry to New Hampshire’s economy, Governor Maggie Hassan today kicked off the 12th Annual Governor’s Advanced Manufacturing and High Technology Summit.

“As the state’s largest industry, manufacturing is critical to strengthening the foundation for the innovation economy that will expand middle class opportunity and keep New Hampshire moving in the right direction,” Governor Hassan said. “But we know that there is more we need to do to keep our economy moving forward, to keep manufacturing jobs in New Hampshire and to attract new advanced manufacturing and high-tech companies to the Granite State.”

Presented by the Business and Industry Association, the New Hampshire High Technology Council, the New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, the Advanced Manufacturing and High Technology Summit brings together businesses, educational institutions, local economic development officials and other manufacturing experts for workshops and networking opportunities aimed at sharing best practices in order to help the industry continue to grow and create jobs.

“Today’s summit is a great example of the New Hampshire Way, citizens coming together – Republicans, Democrats and Independents – to solve long-standing challenges and get things done for New Hampshire’s people, businesses and economy,” Governor Hassan said. “But I want to continue to hear from you about what you need to continue thriving and creating jobs here in New Hampshire for years to come, because ensuring state government is responsive to the needs of the advanced manufacturing and high-tech community is critical as we work together to strengthen the foundation for the 21st century economy.”

Since entering office, Governor Hassan has focused on supporting innovative, job-creating businesses in order to expand middle class opportunity and keep New Hampshire’s economy moving in the right direction. The Governor restored funding for higher education in her bipartisan budget in exchange for the first in-state tuition freeze at the University System of New Hampshire in 25 years and a five-percent reduction of in-state tuition at New Hampshire’s community colleges that began this fall.

The bipartisan budget also revitalized the state’s economic development activities, fully funded the Director of Economic Development for the first time in years, increased travel and tourism promotion and improved international trade assistance.

In order to make it easier for high-tech businesses to start up and flourish in New Hampshire, Governor Hassan and the Business Finance Authority launched Live Free and Start, an initiative that brings together accomplished business leaders and entrepreneurs to make recommendations on how to modernize business regulations and how to improve technology used to do business with the state.

Governor Hassan and the Department of Resources and Economic Development have also launched a manufacturing video contest that partners advanced manufacturing companies with local schools in order to engage New Hampshire’s students and help them understand that there are exciting and interesting career opportunities at manufacturing companies across the state.

The 12th Annual Governor’s Advanced Manufacturing and High Technology Summit marked the culmination of Manufacturing Week in New Hampshire, which Governor Hassan proclaimed as September 29 through October 3 in order to recognize manufacturing’s vital role in New Hampshire’s economy. For the full text of the Governor’s proclamation, click here.

Millennials Play A Key Part In Our Elections. Why Is Fosters Trying To Scare Them?

Money ('PT Money' ptmoney-com)

Image via ‘PT Money’ at ptmoney.com

Republicans and Democrats are actively trying to court “millennials” to vote for them. Of course the Republicans are at a big disadvantage in this fight because they are stigmatized by the fact that many feel the GOP is nothing but a party of old rich white guys.

It does not help when you see editorials like this one (Another day older and deeper in debt) from the ultra-conservative editors at Fosters Daily Democrat. They are trying to push millennials into voting against Senator Shaheen because she wants to help reduce their student loan debt, and they say that could raise taxes on, “your parents”. Say what?

“Democrats such as U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen would like to offer you lower interest rates, at the expense of raising taxes on, perhaps, your parents.”

This is complete garbage. Senator Shaheen is pushing for a bill authored by Senator Elizabeth Warren, which would allow students to refinance their student loans from interest rates of 6-8% to less than 1%.

Fosters does get a few things right:

  • The average college graduate in New Hampshire leaves school with $33,000 in student loan debt.
  • The federal government is making money off of your student loans.

These are absolute true, and I think it is appalling. The federal government made upwards of $66 billion dollars in profit off of student loans between 2007 and 2012. Senator Elizabeth Warren essentially said that if banks can borrow from the government at .75% then our students should be given the same deal as the big banks.

So what would happen to the federal budget if they cut out the $66 billion dollars in profits from student loans? Fosters wants you to believe that this will result in a tax increase on your parents. This is completely untrue. None of these changes would increase taxes on the middle class families of New Hampshire.

The tax increase that Senator Warren suggested has been dubbed “the Buffet rule” after billionaire Warren Buffet. The tax increase would only effect the ultra-wealthy 1% of America. Warren Buffet has said in many different ways that it is absolutely wrong that he pays a lower effective tax rate than his own secretary. He suggested that the ultra-wealthy 1% could, and should, be paying a higher tax rate.

I agree with Fosters that the national debt is a problem. We must find a way to reduce our national debt that helps to build a stronger economy and a better community. The editors at Fosters and I disagree on the ways we need to address this problem. They want to follow the GOP rhetoric that we must reduce the size of government and force draconian cuts to all federal programs (except for anything surrounding the DOD). I disagree with this. If you look back at history, it was government investment through work programs (building roads and bridges), increasing the minimum wage, a strong manufacturing base and strong unions that pulled us out of the Great Depression. At the same time we created “Social Security” to help our seniors retire with dignity.

Next we need to raise our gross domestic product. We need to increase manufacturing here at home and start reducing our debt by changing our trade deficit to a trade surplus. The more we make right here at home, the more people have jobs. The more jobs we have, the more money is spent in our local communities. It starts by looking for the “made in the USA” label!

Next to reduce government spending and reduce our national debt, we must start by increasing the minimum wage. Too many Americans are working one, two or even three jobs and can barely afford to pay their rent and feed their children. By increasing the minimum wage, to a real living wage, full time workers would be making enough to take care of their family without any assistance from the government.

Of course there are other solutions that none of the “Tea Party” conservatives want to talk about. One is placing a .5% tax on Wall Street. The tax would take a fraction of a penny on every transaction. This “Robin Hood Tax” would generate upwards of $350 billion dollars a year. $350 billion would cover the loss in revenue from the student loan interest, restore some of the cuts made to social programs, and still have plenty more to begin to repay our national debt. This would also have the added benefit of slowing down Wall Street and encouraging corporations to invest more of their profits in workers and the longevity of their company, not inflating their stock prices.

Ultimately it is about ensuring that corporations and the millionaires and billionaires are paying their fair share in taxes.


One last thing, Fosters tossed in this line about Social Security which is another attempt to scare millennials into believing that Social Security will be extinct by the time they reach retirement.

“According to Pew Research, 90 percent believe Social Security benefits will be reduced (39%) by the time you become eligible or won’t exist at all (51%).” (Emphasis added)

This statement is nothing more than proof that the majority of Americans do not understand what is really happening to Social Security. These numbers are the results of a poll where people believe that Social Security will completely fall apart.

As the AFL-CIO laid it out, “Social Security is not going broke. It will always be able to collect payroll tax revenue to fund benefits. According to the Trustees, Social Security can pay 100% of promised benefits until 2033. Without any changes at all, Social Security can pay three-fourths of promised benefits indefinitely after that.

The Social Security Trust Fund collects money from payroll taxes. By increasing the minimum wage, it would automatically increase the revenues collected through the payroll tax therefor strengthening Social Security, and adding to its fully funded longevity.

Many elected leaders like Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders think that minor adjustment to the Payroll Tax would strengthen Social Security and would allow for higher benefits for retirees. They just want to remove the Social Security cap forcing the ultra-wealthy to pay into Social Security Trust Fund like all the rest of us. Problem completely solved!


Governor Hassan, DRED Launch What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? Video Contest

Contest Partners Middle School Students with Local Manufacturers to Produce Video Exploring Career Opportunities in Advanced Manufacturing

CONCORD – In order to engage New Hampshire’s students as the new school year begins and help them understand that there are exciting and interesting career opportunities at manufacturing companies across the state, Governor Maggie Hassan and Department of Resources and Economic Development Commissioner Jeffrey Rose launched today the What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? Video Contest.

Aimed at introducing middle school students to advanced manufacturing, the What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? Video Contest partners participating schools with a local manufacturer to produce a video that explores career opportunities in manufacturing, how the industry has changed and its importance to New Hampshire’s economy as the state’s largest industry.

“As our state’s largest industry, manufacturing is critical to keeping our economy moving in the right direction and expanding middle class opportunity,” Governor Hassan said. “By creating partnerships between job-creating manufacturing companies and local schools, the What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? Video Contest will help our students understand that they can stay in New Hampshire and find jobs here that are interesting and exciting. This contest will also help build relationships that can lead to a stronger workforce pipeline to fill the jobs that growing businesses are creating here in New Hampshire, helping this critical industry continue to thrive.”

Students and their advisers can begin working with a local manufacturer on the video at the start of the 2014-2015 school year and must submit their projects by December 1, 2014. A winner will be selected in early 2015.

“This video contest is a great introduction for students  to meet their local manufacturers – manufacturers they may pass on their way to school every day,” said Commissioner Rose. “The contest brings both of them together so that these companies can showcase exciting opportunities to the students, some of whom may well become employees in a few years. Advanced manufacturing and our middle school students are the future in New Hampshire and this is a way for them to connect.”

The What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? Video Contest is part of an effort that the Governor announced in February’s State of the State. Working with an advisory committee from the Divison of Economic Development coordinating the contest, students at Nashua High School South partnered last spring with manufacturer Johnson Precision in Hudson to produce the pilot project.

The pilot video is available at the contest website, http://www.nheconomy.com/manufacturing-in-nh/videocontest.aspx

Teachers interested in taking part can get more information on partnering with a local manufacturer, as well as video contest rules, at www.nheconomy.com/manufacturing-in-nh/videocontest.aspx or by contacting Christopher Way, deputy director, Division of Economic Development at 271-2341.

Think US Manufacturing Is In Trouble Now? Wait Till WALMART Jumps In

photo of 2007 Northcross Mall Wal-Mart protest by Kristin Hillery, via flikr

Photo by Kristin Hillery, via flikr

Hey, Richard Trumka! You didn’t need to be so darn diplomatic yesterday. My take: Wal-Mart getting into in US manufacturing is pretty much the LAST thing America’s economy needs right now.

Unless, of course, somebody’s had an attack of conscience and they’ve completely changed their business model.

Really quick, let’s look at Walmart’s business model:

The retailer has a clear policy for suppliers: On basic products that don’t change, the price Wal-Mart will pay, and will charge shoppers, must drop year after year.

Yep, it’s that old ratcheting-down thing. Works the same way as chained-CPI for Social Security benefits. Or, what’s been happening to the middle-class for the last 40 years. Death by a thousand cuts (also known as “creeping normality”). They take a little bit this year, and a little bit more next year, and a little bit more the year after that.  Wal-Mart’s business model:

Wal-Mart also clearly does not hesitate to use its power, magnifying the Darwinian forces already at work in modern global capitalism. …The Wal-Mart squeeze means vendors have to be as relentless and as microscopic as Wal-Mart is at managing their own costs. …Wal-Mart has also lulled shoppers into ignoring the difference between the price of something and the cost. Its unending focus on price underscores something that Americans are only starting to realize: Ever-cheaper prices have consequences.

Why would anybody in their right mind want to apply this business model to US manufacturing? (Other than, of course, the Walton family. But maybe having a bigger fortune than the bottom 42% of Americans, combined, isn’t enough for some people…?)

Isn’t it time to start ratcheting things UP again?

Mr. Trumka, please… save the diplomacy for elsewhere. We gotta stop this Race to the Bottom.


made in prison labelAnd, oh yeah… something else about “Made in the USA.”

If you haven’t noticed, we’ve got a lot of prisons here in the US. And inmates work for really cheap wages.

That USA-grown organic produce sold at Walmart? Yep.

Stuff that gets returned to Walmart? Yep.

And that may just be the tip of the iceberg. Thanks to ALEC pushing “prison industries enhancement” laws for the past 20 years, there’s now lots and lots of stuff “Made in the USA” behind prison bars. And no way to tell how much of it ends up for sale on retail store shelves. Apparently, in some states, it’s legal to sell prison-made stuff in local stores… as long as it’s not transported across state lines.

Myself, I’m thinking it’s about time for another nationwide product-labeling campaign. So consumers will know exactly where in the USA these products are made.

H/T to the Teamsters for the really great graphic above… and to Dennis Trainor, Jr. and Acronym TV for the video below.

Senator Shaheen Says ‘Manufacturing Is Critical To New Hampshire Economy, and Jobs

Senator Shaheen At Globe Manufacturing

Senator Shaheen At Globe Manufacturing

At Globe Manufacturing Shaheen discusses New Hampshire’s manufacturing sector

(Pittsfield, NH) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) visited Globe Manufacturing this morning to tour its Pittsfield facility and discuss the importance of manufacturing to New Hampshire’s economy. Globe Manufacturing has been producing equipment for firefighters since 1901 and employs 300 people in New Hampshire.

“It’s great to visit Globe Manufacturing and see the state-of-the-art equipment they produce to keep our first responders and firefighters safe on the job,” Shaheen said. “New Hampshire’s manufacturing sector employs more than 10 percent of our workforce and keeping our manufacturing sector strong is so important for the economy and jobs here and around the country. Companies like Globe Manufacturing create and sustain good-paying jobs that drive economic growth and I will continue my work to promote the nation’s manufacturing industry so we can continue to create jobs here at home.”

Shaheen has been vocal about the need to encourage growth in manufacturing throughout the country. Last year, she joined a campaign to refocus Washington on job creation and economic growth with a focus on manufacturing. Shaheen has introduced several bipartisan pieces of legislation including the On-the-Job Training Act and Small Business Export Growth Act, which would help create jobs and grow the economy. Shaheen was also a leader in the creation of the new Manchester Job Corps, which will train young people in New Hampshire for careers in the advanced manufacturing, construction, health care, homeland security, hospitality and information technology industries.

Can Made In America Smartphones Become A Trend?

Made in the usaAAM says lets have that debate at SXSW, a premier tech event. But we need your help getting there.

Here’s the deal: Within the past year, Google/Motorola, Apple, and Lenovo have all announced that they will make some products in America.

That’s great news. But is this a trend or simply a series of PR stunts? Lets find out.

Each March, thousands of creative, technologically minded individuals converge on Austin, Texas for the South by Southwest Interactive Conference (SXSW). Over its course, participants attend workshops and panels on a wide array of topics – and we want Made in the U.S.A. to be one of those. We want to bring a new perspective to Austin, one that understand the intersection of progressive policy and technological innovation.

Here’s where you come in!

The AAM submitted an event for consideration as part of the 2014 SXSW conference. The session, “Making it in America: Start Up and Stay” would discuss the nascent trend of stateside technology manufacturing, and make the case for technology-focused entrepreneurs to manufacture their products here in the United States.

And we need you to vote for our session.

SXSW organizers select sessions carefully, and public voting influences their decision-making. We need other people who care about Made in America as much as we do to help us send the message: This panel is important!

Can you help?

Voting for our panel is easy. If you haven’t done so already, sign up to vote here.

Once you are signed up and have confirmed your registration through your email, visit our session page and click on the thumbs up icon on the left side of the page.

And that’s it. You’re done, your vote is counted, and we are one step closer to bringing Made in America to one of the largest technology conferences in the world.

Remember, the work AAM does wouldn’t be possible without your support. So we need your vote! Thanks for your help in getting AAM to Austin for SXSW!

New Book “ReMaking America” Is A Guide To Rebuilding American Manufacturing

Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!

During the last Presidential election, the biggest theme of the campaign was jobs.  Both President Obama and Governor Romney pushed the idea of supporting manufacturing jobs by promoting “Made In America”.  By the time election day finally arrived, more than one million ads had been created about “adding jobs to our struggling economy.”

What happened to that laser-like focus on “Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!”?  (Congress still hasn’t passed a jobs bill.)

For decades now, US “free-trade” policies and offshoring of jobs has reduced our manufacturing base.  According to Scott Paul, President of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, U.S. manufacturing has “fallen to 12% of our national economy.” Scott notes that this has turned the United States from a “creditor nation” to a “debtor nation”.

All you have to do is look at the city of Detroit.  Up until the 1980s, Detroit was a shining example of American manufacturing. Dave Johnson from the Campaign for America’s Future describes what has happened: Detroit, which ‘used to exemplify American prosperity, now is a wasteland of crumbling buildings, homes, and people.”

There are many reasons corporations ship their jobs overseas; most revolve around the public policies created in Washington.  Policies like NAFTA and the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership are removing the advantages to manufacturing here at home.

Remaking America BookRebuilding our manufacturing base is the key to rebuilding our economy and putting millions of people back to work in good middle class jobs.  In an effort to bring awareness to the need for American manufacturing, the Alliance for American Manufacturing has published a new book called “ReMaking America”.  The book features an all-star cast of experts discussing America’s manufacturing potential and potential pitfalls.

“This new volume illustrates that American manufacturing is rising from the ashes,”  Paul said. “But it will take political insight and courage among our nation’s leaders to seize on this moment of great opportunity – before our global competitors out-innovate, out-invest, and out-build us. The cost of not acting will be great.” (AAM)

In a recent phone interview, Paul and Carl Pope (Former Director of the Sierra Club) explained some of the opportunities that we must seize if we have any chance of “Remaking America”.

Paul highlighted the promise made to America by President Obama to add one million new manufacturing jobs in the United States by 2017.   Paul said that so far we have added “24,000 new jobs.”  He said, “This is well below the number of monthly new jobs needed to meet this goal.”  (You can follow the one million jobs progress at AAMeter.) This does not mean we should abandon all hope, it means we need to change our policies and invest in new technologies like renewable energy.

Paul described the book as a “hopeful message for American manufacturing”. He contributed a chapter to the book, focusing on simple public policy changes that could revive our manufacturing base.  “There is a role for public policy in manufacturing and it is a key part of this discussion,” he said.

Pope, a well-known environmentalist, is another contributing author.  People have asked him, why is he involved with manufacturing as an environmentalist?  In the phone interview, he explained that “the energy sector is a prime example of how we could rebuild our manufacturing base.  By 2050, we are going to need to rebuild, renovate, and reconstruct pretty much everything we have built in the U.S. over the last 200 years.  This is something we cannot offshore to Shanghai.”

Pope goes into great detail in the book about how right now we have a significant economic advantage over the rest of the world in liquid natural gas prices.  He said, “The United States can buy LNG for around $4 per cubic foot, while Europe buys their LNG for around $10 from Russia.  China and Japan have to pay upwards of $18 per cubic foot for LNG.”  This is an enormous opportunity for America manufacturing.  Some states are already taking advantage of this by converting antiquated coal power plants to more efficient and economic LNG plants.  To reconstruct or convert these power plants is going to take large amounts of construction materials like manufactured steel.

Pope believes that the connection between manufacturing and renewable energy could revive our economy.  He believes in this so much that he teamed up with Leo Gerard, President of the United Steel Workers, to create the Blue-Green Alliance.  The Blue-Green Alliance is focused on rebuilding our infrastructure while creating new jobs and cleaning up our environment.

ReMaking America is a guide for simple common sense solutions to rebuilding our economy, making our environment cleaner, and putting millions of people back to work in good paying manufacturing jobs.  In their interview, Pope and Paul only scratched the surface of the issues covered in the book.  Other contributing authors include:

  • Richard McCormack, Editor of Manufacturing & Technology News.
  • Leo Hindery, Chair of the U.S. Economy / Smart Globalization Initiative at the New America Foundation and former CEO of AT&T Broadband.
  • Eric Garfinkel, Member of the Adjunct Faculty at the University of Colorado Law School and former Chief Council for China Trade in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
  • Harry Moser, Founder of the Reshoring Initiative and Chairman Emeritus of Charmilles Technologies Corp.
  • Harold Meyerson, Executive Editor of the American Prospect and columnist for the Washington Post.
  • Irene Petrick, Director of the Enterprise Informatics and Integration Center at Pennsylvania State University.
  • Sridhar Kota, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan and former Assistant Director for Advanced Manufacturing at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
  • Stacey Jarrett Wagner, Manager of Workforce Systems Development at the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

If you need a few more reasons why you must read this book, here are a couple of excerpts.

Richard McCormack: “We can’t have a strong robust economy without making things, creating wealth.” “Look at the talk about resourcing, there is not much evidence other than anecdotal stories. The economy is stagnant, the trade deficit is going up not down.”

Harold Meyerson: “A large growing number of American workers in well-paid manufacturing jobs are now hired on to low-paying jobs, partly due to lower-wage and anti-union states.” A study by Boston Consulting Group noted wage stagnation in the US and wage increases in China. “A leading example of higher pay and benefits is Germany. Their companies have preserved the highest level of manufacturing in home markets, have offshored less-skilled jobs. There is an increasing tendency for German companies to locate jobs here in the South for cheap labor. This is not realizing the promise of manufacturing.”


Click the links for more information on ReMaking America, Campaign for America’s Future, the Alliance for American Manufacturing, and the Blue-Green Alliance.

Kuster Expands “Make It In America” jobs plan with Workforce Development Bill

Kuster SpeaksWASHINGTON, D.C. – Further demonstrating her commitment to workforce development in New Hampshire and around the country, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) joined other House Democrats today at a press conference to announce that eight new bills, including her Workforce Development Investment Act, have been added to the “Make It In America” jobs plan.

Earlier this year, Kuster became a founding member of “Make It In America,” which focuses on creating the best conditions for American businesses to manufacture their products, innovate and create jobs in the United States. The “Make It In America” plan emphasizes four key priority areas: adopting and pursuing a national manufacturing strategy, promoting the export of American goods, encouraging businesses to bring jobs and innovation back to the United States, and training and securing a 21st century workforce.

Kuster’s Workforce Development Investment Act would meet these objectives by providing tax incentives to businesses that partner with community colleges and other educational institutions to strengthen workforce development for students. The bill, H.R. 1747, would provide tax credits to employers who collaborate with educational institutions to equip students with the skills they need to compete for well-paying jobs.

“That’s just common sense. When we invest in our workforce, more employers will invest in America,” Kuster said during the press conference. “More employers will invest in America. Our students will be more competitive in the job market, and our businesses will be more successful in the global economy.”

Kuster has made workforce development one of her top priorities in Congress. Over the last few months, she has toured and met with staff and students at Keene State College’s Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing (RCAM), Nashua Community College (NCC), and New Hampshire Technical Institute (NHTI), as well as advanced manufacturers all across the Granite State.

The Dilemma Surrounding Chinese Steel

Over the last few decades workers in the steel industry have taken a significant hit.  This has left a huge loophole for Chinese steel manufactures to undercut US steel mills and gain a stronghold on the market.

Chinese Steel AAM

From ShouldBeMadeInAmerica.COM

More recently there have been many examples of large construction projects that have relied on Chinese produced steel.  One of the most famous was the reconstruction of the Bay Bridge in San Francisco California.  The NH Labor News talked about the $500 billion dollar project that was slotted to be funded under President Obama’s reinvestment program. The problem was that the reinvestment program required American made products and a project labor agreement for worker protections.  These restrictions are some of the reasons that the California Legislature decided not to use federal funds to fund the project.

In fact the project was completed with Chinese steel and Chinese workers, a double slap in the face for American workers.  The chinese government continues to use currency manipulation to make trade more favorable for their exports.  Currency manipulation is one of the biggest problems in trading with China. “Due to currency manipulation the raw materials costs in the United States are the same as final price of Chinese steel” said Congressman Tim Ryan. This unfair advantage has bigger effects on our national economy than just the cost of steel.

This was not the only problems with the Bay Bridge project.  The project was plagued with huge delays mostly due to shipping and steel construction.  Scott Paul, Alliance for American Manufacturing’s Executive Director explains::

“The problems with the Bay Bridge project could have been avoided if California officials had made it in America. Instead, the project is costing American jobs, undermining California’s environmental goals, and facing numerous delays.”

In a recent Wall Street Journal article Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers union, said Chinese steel’s “supposed cost savings do not take into account the environmental price of shipping steel from hundreds of thousands of miles versus 100 miles, nor the cost to our fragile economic recovery and the loss of American jobs.”

This Wall Street Journal article is creating a stir with some of the leaders in our nations building trades.  General President Walter Wise of the Iron Workers released this rebuttal:

While “U.S. Icons Now Made Of Chinese Steel” accurately depicts the ramifications of subsidized Chinese competition to our strategic steel fabrication industry, the author fails to address methods by which we can commit to re-build its capacity. Rather than abandon the U.S. steel and fabrication market for cheap labor, untested Chinese products, and the insecurity of that supply chain; the commitment to the use of U.S.-produced steel and fabrication to rebuild our 20,000 failed bridges and aging infrastructure will expand and modernize our native capacity with private capital.  In the process, they will create jobs, providing a shot in the arm to the U.S. economy that far outweighs any perceived savings from Chinese purchases. Perhaps most importantly, while the author references “price” six times, not once does he mention value. A $600 million bridge project fabricated by U.S.-based firms and U.S. workers will yield a huge local economic impact.  The same project secured by the Chinese bidder at $500 million, while cheaper, produces an economic boost in China, not here at home where our economy is still struggling to produce jobs.  The “price” of Chinese steel may be low, but the value to American families is nonexistent.

We need to ask ourselves what is better for our economy, buying cheaper and inferior products from China or boosting our national economy by getting more Americans back to work?

The United States as a whole is struggling to find ways to get our economy back on track. The biggest and best thing we can do is get Americans back to work in good paying jobs.  This means we need to revive our American manufacturing, including our steel producers.  Every state is talking about spending hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.  These are the investments we need in our country and our community.

When workers are paid a good wage they spend their money at local stores and shop.  This benefits everyone from the big box store to the small businesses on main street.

We need our politicians at every level to understand that an investment in American manufacturing is an investment in America.

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