U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL-3) introduced today H.R. 2447, the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2013, a bill that would bring together the private and public sectors to develop recommendations to revitalize American manufacturing and create good-paying, middle-class jobs here at home. U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) is the lead Republican cosponsor, with U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (IL) planning to introduce a companion bill in the Senate.
"American companies and their workers are operating at a severe disadvantage as they face foreign competitors who benefit from coordinated, strategic government policies that benefit manufacturing," Rep. Lipinski said. "We need to recognize this reality and bring the public and private sectors together to develop a national manufacturing strategy that specifies recommendations for the optimal tax, trade, research, regulatory, and innovation policies that will enable American manufacturing to thrive. Manufacturing is critical for national security, an essential source of good-paying jobs for the middle class, and drives high-tech innovation."
"Manufacturing is vital to our economic and national security, and it is critical that we do all we can to promote American competitiveness in the global economy," Rep. Kinzinger said. "I'm proud to work with Congressman Lipinski to put forward bipartisan legislation that focuses our attention on the challenges facing American manufacturers."
America has a long and proud manufacturing history, however, since the 1970s the number of manufacturing jobs has been shrinking, from 20 million in 1979 to fewer than 12 million today. The recent recession hit workers in manufacturing especially hard. The hemorrhaging of manufacturing jobs has contributed to the stagnation of middle-class wages -- since 2000, the median household income, after it's been adjusted for inflation, has fallen by $4,787.
A pillar of the "Make It In America" jobs plan in the House, the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act will require the National Science and Technology Council's Committee on Technology to lead other agencies and stakeholders in developing a national manufacturing competitiveness strategy every four years. The strategy would aim to advance policies that streamline government regulations and assist with the transfer of research and development into new products and jobs to grow the country's manufacturing base. Previous version of the bill have overwhelmingly passed the House with strong bipartisan support.
"We commend Congressmen Lipinski and Kinzinger for their authorship of the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2013," said Scott Paul, President of the Alliance for American Manufacturing. "Our nation's manufacturers and their workers stand poised for a manufacturing resurgence, but Washington must do its part by implementing a strategy that actively responds to the challenges of the 21st Century."