WASHINGTON D.C. - U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, today released a report entitled “Manufacturing in America: Challenges and Policy Solutions.” The report lays out policies that the U.S. can pursue to ensure global competitiveness in an industry that accounts for 11.5 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and supports jobs across broad sectors of the economy.
“The manufacturing industry is a direct source of good American jobs and drives innovation that expands opportunities for workers in a variety of sectors,” said Senator Casey. “As Chairman of the JEC I have focused on manufacturing and keeping America competitive, and this report outlines several important steps Congress can take to protect our industries and create jobs.”
The report highlights several areas key to protecting and strengthening American manufacturing.
Education and Training: Employers are seeking workers with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills, but our education system is failing to produce enough adequately equipped workers. Improving STEM education, protecting Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and a focus on training for jobs in regionally strong
industries would help more Americans become qualified for manufacturing jobs.
Transportation Infrastructure: The manufacturing sector relies on transportation infrastructure to move raw materials and transport products to market, but U.S. investment in infrastructure has fallen behind many competitors. Possible solutions include encouraging the development of public-private infrastructure partnerships and
the establishment of a national infrastructure bank.
Tax Policy: Changes to the tax code could improve the desirability of the U.S. as a location for manufacturers, such as making the research and development tax credit permanent and making it more equitable for manufacturers to move jobs back to the
Intellectual Property (IP) Theft: More can be done to protect IP, such as the establishment of an IP enforcement network and mandating that future free trade agreements include certain IP rights standards.
Currency: An undervalued Chinese currency places U.S. manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage, but federal policies to direct the Secretary of the Treasury to take action against countries with currencies found to be fundamentally misaligned could give U.S. manufacturers a chance to more fairly compete.
The full report is available here.