For generations, manufacturing has been the backbone of our economy. And, for generations, Arkansans have looked upon their role in the manufacturing sector with a sense of pride. Arkansas manufacturers employ over 200,000 people, and as your Congressman for Arkansas Fourth Congressional District, I am committed to supporting smart policies that will strengthen the industry for those workers today and provide resources to create more of these jobs in the future.
Manufacturing has taken a hit in these tough economic times. In fact, it's been struggling for quite some time: over the past decade, America lost one-third of its manufacturing jobs. If we want to turn that trend around and create stable and secure jobs to put Arkansans back to work, we need to encourage a strong manufacturing industry.
I am committed to American manufacturing and helping to keep and create more jobs here at home. That's why I'm proud to be a part of a legislative effort in Congress called "Make it in America" where we focus on making more products in America, stop the shipping of our jobs overseas and start creating more private-sector jobs here are home.
When we invest in manufacturing, we invest in our future. Make it in America aims to invest in industry and innovation, improve America's manufacturing infrastructure, strengthen our workforce and create a level playing field for American companies to compete worldwide.
As consumers, we can encourage manufacturers to make more products in America by making sure we purchase American-made products. As our economy continues to recover, I urge you to look more closely at the items you buy. When you consider price, quality and brand, I also encourage you to consider where the product is made. Buying local or American-made goods is a choice you can make to help small businesses in your community and manufacturers and companies throughout the country.
Additionally, by buying products made in the United States by American workers, we can help reinvigorate American commerce and give all those companies that sustain many of our communities with jobs a much-needed boost.
Buying American isn't always easy. Sometimes it requires us to spend a little more time shopping and searching to find American products and sometimes it may mean paying a little more. However, when we make the extra effort to put cash back into the American economy, we are investing in a national financial situation that will benefit all of us here at home.
American innovation and work ethic are the reason why the label "Made in America" is admired throughout the world. For Arkansas, "Make it in America" means making sure that success isn't simply a proud part of our history, but the foundation of our future.
As your voice in our nation's capital, I will continue pushing for common sense economic policies that help hardworking Arkansans get back on their feet, help small businesses and manufacturers to grow and help our local economies become stronger than ever before.