Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) President Dennis Slater issued the following statement today about reports that Congress will leave town at the end of the week without taking significant steps to spur job growth through better manufacturing policies:
“Millions of unemployed workers face an urgent need for jobs in the U.S., yet Congress plans to leave town at the end of the week without showing the vigorous leadership necessary to spur job growth.
“America needs a new manufacturing policy that creates jobs in the U.S. Over the past 10 years, American manufacturing has shed 5.5 million jobs, and unemployment in the manufacturing sector remains notably higher than the national average.
“Congress has failed to listen to deep concerns of America’s workforce who believe national policies to keep manufacturing jobs in this country are not working well.
“Before Congressional members return home to ask the American people for their votes and continued support, they should first show progress in what the American people have hired them to do – spur job growth through better manufacturing policies.”
There are two fundamental things Congress can do to create jobs around the country:
- Generate economic activity by rebuilding and modernizing America’s infrastructure – roads, bridges, sewer, clean water and flood control systems.
- Help our farmers and manufacturers create more jobs in the U.S. by exporting their products to new markets around the world. One very direct way to do this is by passing the pending free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia.
According to a recent nationwide poll conducted by the nonpartisan Clarus Research Group for AEM, most Americans are surprised to learn that only 3 percent of the stimulus funding passed by Congress in the 2009 Recovery Act was dedicated to transportation infrastructure such as roads, highways and bridges. Yet, a strong majority – 66 percent – believes “Given current economic conditions, it’s a good time to build and repair America’s roads and bridges.”