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Public Statements

National Manufacturing Strategy Act of 2010

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT.

Mr. WHITFIELD. First of all, I do want to thank Congressman Lipinski of Illinois for introducing this legislation on the National Manufacturing Strategy Act.

Mr. Speaker, I think we all recognize in America today that our manufacturing sector, while still one of the strongest in the world, has lost a lot of manufacturing jobs. In fact, we have lost way too many. This legislation, while providing additional studies to look at the problems for our manufacturing sector, I firmly believe does not go far enough and does not address the real problems with manufacturing in America today.

One issue that we certainly need to look at, in my view, is the American tax policy. It is my understanding that the United States has the second-highest corporate tax rate in the developed world and will soon move into the No. 1 slot because Japan, evidently, is getting ready to drop its corporate income tax rate.

We also know that, already in the Federal Government, there are many task forces that are looking at this manufacturing issue. For example, there is an Interagency Working Group on Manufacturing Competitiveness. The Commerce Department has a manufacturing council. The Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program is in existence, and the Interagency Working Group on Manufacturing Research and Development is operating today. Additionally, both the Department of Commerce under the Bush administration and the White House under President Obama has issued reports and recommendations on the state of domestic manufacturing.

Then just recently, in June of this year, the National Manufacturers Association issued an extensive report on what was needed in America to make manufacturing in America more competitive. One of the things that I pointed out was tax policy and a more aggressive trade policy to have tariffs lowered in other countries. Then the ability to compete in the global marketplace is vitally important.

One of the reasons I have been very much concerned about some of the energy policies of this administration, particularly as they relate to cap-and-trade, is that, if that kind of legislation is adopted, it is going to increase electricity costs and make manufacturing in America less competitive in the global marketplace.

The CEO of CSX Railroads was in my office 2 weeks ago. He said the railroads are moving more coal to the ports for export to China today than they ever have in the past. He also said the same thing is happening in Australia. The reason for that is that the Chinese are depending more and more upon coal to produce electricity. A delegation of them came to Washington, and said one of the reasons they were doing it was that they wanted the lowest electricity costs in order to be more competitive in the global marketplace and to encourage more manufacturing plants to move to China.

So I think we need to take concrete action. We know the problems. I will say that this legislation will provide an additional study, and that may be important.

I would like to commend Chairman Rush and Mr. Lipinski, because I think they improved this bill a great deal when they eliminated the task force and created one strategy board so that there would be less repetitiveness on the studies that this legislation calls for.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. WHITFIELD. Mr. Speaker, I would just like to make some concluding remarks.

All of us on this side of the aisle support Mr. Lipinski's effort. We believe that this legislation is good and we commend Mr. Rush and Mr. Lipinski.

But we reiterate that this administration is not doing enough to improve manufacturing in America. The majority leader said we want more products produced in America. But in order to do that, we need a tax policy that encourages investment, not making it more expensive to do business in America. We need a policy to provide incentives for more research and development to be more competitive in the global marketplace. We need a strong program to defend and protect intellectual property developed by our manufacturers. We need a strong international trade policy that encourages more American products to be sold abroad.

And as the gentleman from Illinois said, we need an energy policy that does not raise energy costs. And every objective analysis of the Obama administration's cap-and-trade system indicates that that bill would dramatically increase electricity costs making American manufacturers less competitive, not more competitive. I have already talked about China and the steps that they're taking to decrease their electricity costs.

So we support this bill, but we need to do more. And we call upon the administration to do more than just talk about these issues.

With that, I yield back the balance of my time.

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