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Leo Hindery Calls for Focus on U.S. Manufacturing

Thu. February 17, 2011

In an op-ed published on The Huffington Post, Leo Hindery, Chairman of the Smart Globalization Initiative at the New America Foundation, addresses what he calls the “myth of offshoring.”

“For fully two decades, the American people have been fed the canard that the offshoring of literally millions of American manufacturing jobs is an acceptable price to pay for lower cost imported consumer goods,” writes Hindery. “Yet indisputably, we now know from work done by the non-partisan Center for Economic and Policy Research and others, that for the vast majority of Americans, the gains in lower prices from trade are being outweighed by wage losses – meaning net losses for most American workers.

“Shifting production overseas has inflicted far worse damage on the U.S. economy than the numbers show.” Hindery says it’s imperative the Obama administration focuses more on manufacturing and less on becoming “BFFs” with Big Business.

“No economy as large and complex as ours can prosper with less than 20-25 percent of its workers being in manufacturing and without the sector contributing a like percentage of GDP,” he writes. “Yet there has been no commitment to driving the sector back to these higher levels of employment and economic contribution.”

Hindery warns that the President’s new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, if it is to be successful, must first recognize that there will be no job creation without trade reform, a successful trade reform agenda must be fair, and the council must take a strong stance against offshoring American jobs.

 
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