U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, vice chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, released a new report detailing the revitalization in U.S. manufacturing, showing it has added over 500,000 jobs since February 2010 and exceeded its pre-recession peak for exports, up 38% since 2009. Klobuchar outlined a four-pronged strategy for ensuring the recent gains in manufacturing continue, calling for policies that strengthen the workforce and expand Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education, open markets abroad to boost exports, expand access to capital and create the conditions for growth including cutting red tape and streamlining the tax code. The strategy is part of a Senate-wide manufacturing initiative led by Senator Chris Coons (D-DE).
“America is a country that innovates, makes things, and exports to the world, and manufacturing has long been an engine of economic growth and a key source of good jobs,” Senator Klobuchar said. “This report highlights immediate, bipartisan actions Congress can take to strengthen American manufacturing, from cutting red tape to increase U.S. exports to boosting STEM education, and I will continue to work to move these initiatives forward so we can move our economy forward.”
“America’s manufacturing sector is already coming back and is an important part of our nation’s economic recovery,” Senator Coons said. “This report makes clear why it is so important that Washington focuses on manufacturing jobs instead of manufactured crises. Manufacturing jobs are high-quality jobs — they pay more in wages and benefits, create local service jobs, and contribute significantly to the local economy. This report thoroughly and thoughtfully lays out how Congress can make a difference in helping American manufacturers grow and create these good jobs, and I appreciate the excellent work by Senator Klobuchar and the Joint Economic Committee in putting it together.”
In a recent study, 83% of manufacturers said they were experiencing moderate to severe shortages of high-skill workers. Nationwide, roughly 600,000 high-skill manufacturing jobs are currently unfilled. Klobuchar recently introduced the bipartisan Innovate America Act with Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), which would help address the challenges of skills training by creating 100 new STEM high schools in America and supporting scientific research.
Klobuchar has also introduced the bipartisan SCORE Act, a bill that would cut back on unnecessary regulations for manufacturers. The bill, introduced with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), would establish a new independent body within the Congressional Budget Office to perform an economic cost benefit analysis of the impact and effectiveness of proposed rules and regulations. It would also perform an impartial review to determine the effectiveness of rules that are already in effect.
Klobuchar’s report also analyzes the impact of 12 other Senate bills designed to strengthen manufacturing. The bills, more than half of which are bipartisan, were introduced as part of the larger manufacturing initiative led by Senator Coons.