Friday, September 23, 2011

Finally, An American Jobs Plan Worth Fighting For

Sisters and Brothers,

The proposed American Jobs Act has the potential to create 4.3 million new jobs over the next couple of years – many of them in the manufacturing and other fields that employ our members.

We’ve created an online toolkit at where you can find fact sheets, talking points, video and other resources to help you find the facts about this proposal.

Obviously, no plan is perfect, and we do not and will not support new free trade agreements with Columbia, South Korea and Panama. We also will examine closely any proposed changes to Medicare and Medicaid before taking a stand on those issues.

But we can’t ignore all the good that in this plan.

The Economic Policy Institute is estimating the president’s plan could create 4.3 million new jobs. And the Alliance for American Manufacturing in a study with the University of Massachusetts-Amherst says that for every $1 billion in infrastructure spending, 18,000 new jobs would be created, including jobs in metals, concrete, cement, glass, rubber, plastics, wood and steel.

Among other things, President Obama’s plan, which adds no new government spending, calls for modernizing schools and investing $50 billion in rebuilding roads, bridges, transit, port, rail, communications and energy systems. That supports a potential 900,000 jobs in many of our core manufacturing industries.
And since we know every manufacturing job pays on average 10-50 percent more than service sector jobs and supports five more jobs in a community, the ripple effect could be huge.

The jobs plan is also a good reason to push other parts of our agenda, including the creation and implementation of a coordinated manufacturing policy that would:
  • Establish a national infrastructure bank to leverage capital for large-scale transportation and energy projects.

  • Reshape the tax code in a revenue neutral way to provide incentives for job creation and investment. Research and Development tax credits should help firms that not only innovate in America but also make their products here.

  • Lower tax rates for manufacturing activity in America and eliminate tax shelters for hedge funds or financial transactions that have no real value.

  • Consistent with our international obligations, apply "Buy America" domestic content provisions to all federal spending to ensure that American workers and businesses get the first shot at procurement contracts. 

  • Shift some education investment to rebuilding our vocational and technical skills program, which would address looming shortages in the manufacturing sector.

  • Refocus the trade agenda by giving American businesses new tools to counter China's currency manipulation, industrial subsidies, intellectual property theft and barriers to market access.

  • Condition new federal loan guarantees for energy projects on the utilization of domestic supply chains for construction.

Focusing on manufacturing not only helps solve the need for jobs, but also will lower our trade deficit, which will make it easier for America to pay its bills.
We simply cannot continue to allow Congress to do nothing to address our jobs crisis! 
We’ll do our best to help keep you informed, including by keeping the newly created online “USW American Jobs Act Tool Kit” updated regularly. You can find it at

In Solidarity,

Leo W. Gerard
USW International President

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