Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

The president unveiled bold initiatives in his State of the Union address.

The President gave his penultimate State of the Union address on Tuesday night. And while the Alliance for American Manufacturing would have liked to hear a bit more about manufacturing, the president did focus on what he called 'middle-class economics,' policies and programs to support and rebuild the middle class.

We provide a little context below. 

1. President Obama has oversold the manufacturing resurgence.

Yes, 786,000 jobs have been added in manufacturing since 2010. Most of those jobs were added as the result of increased demand during the recovery. Some of them were added thanks to the auto rescue. Virtually none of those jobs were added due to reshoring.

We’re only one-third of the way back to recovering all of the manufacturing jobs during the Great Recession, so we still have a long way to go. 

Just take one look at the AAMeter:

2. A formula for rebuilding manufacturing in America in the 21st century.

The president laid out several initiatives in his speech including free community college, training, innovation hubs in manufacturing, and infrastructure. We will benefit enormously down the road from these policies if they are fully enacted.

3. The auto sector has recovered — let’s not sign away progress.

One of the lasting legacies of the administration — “General Motors is alive and Osama Bin Laden is dead” — could only be half-true if the TPP doesn’t manage exchange rates the right way. By ignoring the concerns of industry, workers, and majorities of the House and Senate, he’s not only putting the TPP at risk, the president’s putting a whole lot of auto jobs in the US at risk, too.

4. His focus on middle-class economics is inspiring.

Policies like infrastructure investment, a social safety net, public education, research, equitable taxation helped build American prosperity in the post-WWII era. A 21st century version of this is long overdue.