Scott Paul Archive

OPINION: Trump Is Right on China Trade, But So Far Has Little to Show For It.

Scott Paul Director, AAM

President Donald Trump is shortly flying to Japan to represent the United States at a G20 summit. While there he’ll meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on the gathering’s sidelines to restart trade talks, dormant since the White House accused China of backsliding from already negotiated commitments.

The stakes are appropriately high. These are bilateral talks between the world’s largest economies, after all, and securing a better deal for American industry than what his predecessors could achieve was one of Trump’s most emblematic 2016 campaign promises. Whether he’s successful will surely affect his 2020 reelection.

His administration was right to push back against China’s unfair trade practices. China for years has used these tools to benefit its homegrown industries over those of other nations, but previous White Houses and the multilateral approach they endorsed did very little to curtail them.

Now at least the parties have come to the table, even if they are temporarily standing away from it. The image of a tough negotiator that Trump cultivated for years – from The Art of the Deal to the Celebrity Apprentice to McDonald's commercials – has been buoyed by some real-world heft: Thanks in part to a forceful negotiating strategy led by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and billions of dollars of tariffs raised on Chinese imports (not to mention the justified threat of billions more), the Trump administration has Beijing’s attention.

But we still don’t have a deal, and Trump doesn’t seem any closer to get us a good one. This agreement must rebalance a lopsided bilateral trade relationship, grant the U.S. industrial base the time to recover lost ground, immediately halt state-sponsored intellectual property theft, and address persistent overcapacity in export-oriented Chinese industries.

Few of us think about the impact of these Chinese policies on our nation. But it’s time to tune in.

More ...

The Opportunity for a Chinese Trade Deal Is There, If Trump Can Seize It.

Scott Paul Director, AAM

As negotiations enter the finer points of the deal next week, it’s vital that Trump leverage the momentum his administration has cultivated in the trade talks and truly address China trade cheating.   

Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul writes in the Washington Examiner:

Trump, meanwhile, has prepared the ground to make it more favorable to U.S. negotiating positions. The threat of lasting tariffs on most Chinese exports into the American market has made an impression; it has added billions in costs to Chinese businesses, and therefore has drawn the Chinese side to the bargaining table.

It’s no easy feat to persuade China’s economic managers to make structural reforms to a wildly successful mercantilist model that would result in more parity for U.S. trade interests. It remains to be seen how far a deal will go.

Most likely, it won’t go far enough. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has been working diligently through a prescribed set of issues with his Chinese counterparts. Based on some reports, they’ve been able to make more progress on some issues, such as forced technology transfers and IP theft, than on others, such as scaling back state-owned enterprises and improving enforcement mechanisms. Those unaddressed issues may be the most important results of what will eventually come out of this.

And still, the window of opportunity is open. The time to deal is now.

More ...

The Case for Tariffs

Scott Paul Director, AAM

There is growing bipartisan agreement that China cheats at trade. We’re now faced with a new question: Do we continue to ignore China’s cheating or do we finally act decisively to stop it?

The only progress the U.S. has ever made with serial trade cheats has been the result of extraordinary pressure applied by Congress and the White House, including, but not limited to, the threat of tariffs. We must therefore stick together. Now is not the time for Washington to demonstrate to the governments of China, Russia, or other mercantilist nations that our resolve is anything less than strong and unified.

The past 20 years of endless dialogue with China and other nations show that polite requests to curtail state-driven industrial overcapacity or to refrain from forced technology transfers and joint ownership partnerships in exchange for market access do not yield meaningful results.

China is not holding up its end of the bargain, at the WTO or via its bilateral relationships, and kicking the can further down the road is simply not a smart trade policy strategy.

This is true particularly in the steel sector, where the United States has for years worked at the OECD and for the last two years at the Global Forum on Steel Overcapacity to address these serious problems and achieve enforceable multilateral disciplines. But these efforts have not produced meaningful results and we cannot afford to wait any longer.

As time has passed, our bilateral trade deficit with China has surged to unthinkable levels. The theft of our intellectual property has inflicted serious injury and dampened our future economic outlook. China’s industrial overcapacity has spread like a virus through global markets, putting at risk our ability to produce essential materials like steel and aluminum for our national security and domestic preparedness requirements.

Regrettably, our trading partners have refused to act.

More ...

Trump’s Trade Team Must Stay Tough During High-Level Talks in China

Scott Paul Director, AAM

For almost a year, Donald Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs were less of a reality than a question of whether he would implement them at all. And his broader China trade strategy could have been described as “speaking loudly but carrying a small stick,” the Teddy Roosevelt philosophy stood on its head.

He then began the process of keeping some of these promises, roiling Republican party leaders and free-trade ideologues elsewhere who were surprised that a president who campaigned on a blatantly aggressive trade policy would do such a thing.

Now comes another question: Will he stick by these tariffs?

It’s hard to say with a president as mercurial as Trump. But we’re about to see his commitment to them tested, as a “Magnificent Seven” of Trump administration trade officials head to China to discuss with their counterparts the tensions of which these tariffs are a part. If his commitment to them crumbles, it will say a lot about what this administration can accomplish in its stated goal of resetting our trade relationship with the world’s second largest economy.

More ...

Jobs Are Coming Back to Steel Towns

Scott Paul Director, AAM

For years now, America’s steel and aluminum workers have faced an onslaught of foreign imports that caused tens of thousands of layoffs. Factories across America closed – 10 steel furnaces were even shut down. Blue collar communities were devastated.

But because of people like you, places like Granite City, Ill., now have hope. And there will be more steel jobs on the way.

After a nearly year-long investigation, President Trump took action on Thursday to curb steel and aluminum imports. America’s steel and aluminum workers and companies will stabilize after years of unfair competition, regain market share and even hire more workers.

More ...

Trump Administration Begins to End Nation's Surrender on Trade

Scott Paul Director, AAM

President Trump is right to call for tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Tariffs are often used as a last resort, but the domestic steel industry has reached that point. Rather than attacking the president for his proposal, all Americans should applaud him for beginning to end our nation’s wholesale surrender on trade.

The president’s action is already producing results, as U.S. Steel announced Wednesday that it will restart one of its idled blast furnaces in Granite City, Illinois and create approximately 500 jobs.

I have visited communities deeply affected by steel imports.

Coatesville, Pennsylvania is home to the oldest continuously operating steel mill in the country, and is among the last places in America capable of supplying the military with steel armor plate that meets exacting defense specifications.

In 2007, when the Pentagon escalated the war effort in Iraq, Coatesville’s sister mill in nearby Conshohocken turned its production on a dime to fulfill military orders for the steel needed in mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles.

Today, both mills teeter on the brink of collapse. So workers there listened intently when candidate Trump promised to rearrange trade agreements and bring factory jobs back to this country.

The president’s announcement last week of a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum is precisely what he promised. Enacting these tariffs will restore some needed sanity to the global trade in the metals markets, which is in imbalance because of the actions of China’s government.

More ...

Metals See Job Losses as National Security Investigations Lag

Scott Paul Director, AAM

The manufacturing sector grew by 15,000 jobs in January, according to the latest employment data from the Labor Department. Primary metals, furniture, and motor vehicle parts all saw losses.

Said Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) President Scott Paul: 

"Factory jobs overall saw growth, but losses in primary metals are particularly striking.

"Soaring steel and aluminum imports have flooded the United States since President Trump announced the Section 232 national security investigations into those sectors, and at least three steel mills in Pennsylvania and Kentucky have announced layoffs.

"Unless the president takes quick action on these investigations, job losses are likely to continue."


Reposted from AAM

New Record Set for U.S.-China Trade Deficit Under Trump’s Watch

Scott Paul Director, AAM

The goods trade deficit with China reached its highest annual level ever according to the latest data from the Commerce Department. The goods deficit with China hit $375.2 billion last year, surpassing the previous record set in 2015. 

News of the expanding deficit comes as American metal workers face more layoffs. In the past year, steel imports from all nations into the U.S. rose by more than 15 percent, and at least three American steel mills announced closures.

Said Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) President Scott Paul: 

"I share President Donald Trump’s disdain for trade deficits. I can’t imagine the record goods deficit with China in 2017 is anything he’ll be crowing about. But he can and certainly should do something about it.

More ...

Trump’ State of the Union Address: Trade Rhetoric Heavy, but Not Many Accomplishments to Speak Of

Scott Paul Director, AAM

President Trump, in his first State of the Union address, mentioned both trade and manufacturing policy, but did not delve into specifics despite outstanding trade cases like the Section 232 investigation into steel imports. 

Said Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) President Scott Paul: 

"While I’m pleased the president touched on trade and manufacturing in his State of the Union address, rhetoric alone doesn’t translate into policy. For instance, we’ve been waiting since April for relief from steel imports. President Trump could act on the Section 232 investigation tomorrow.

"Meanwhile, China has yet to make a meaningful concession on its state-led mercantilism, despite two meetings between presidents Trump and Xi. This speech won’t change China’s behavior and defend American jobs. Only action will. It’s time for the president’s policies and actions to match his talk."


From the AAM

Trump’s American-made Pipeline Memo May be Gone, but It’s Not Forgotten

Scott Paul Director, AAM

Today marks the one-year anniversary of President Trump’s Made In America pipeline memorandum.

You’re forgiven if you missed the date; the news cycle spins on overdrive these days. But it made a lot of noise in 2017 when the memo was released — and was well-received by the domestic manufacturing sector Trump had championed on the campaign trail.

The memo to the president’s Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, instructed him to:

“develop a plan under which all new pipelines, as well as retrofitted, repaired, or expanded pipelines, inside the borders of the United States … use materials and equipment produced in the United States, to the maximum extent possible and to the extent permitted by law.”

It was a bold, encouraging first step for the brand-new president. But that plan’s due date came and went months ago, without the public seeing its details.

Presumably the president saw it. But what came of it? Would procurement policies be tightened? Would new ones be proposed? The pipeline memo’s disappearance was akin to the third child added (and quickly subtracted) to Married…With Children, or the replacement doctor on the U.S.S. Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation. With little explanation, it has vanished.

Still, we shouldn’t declare it legally dead just yet. A lot of the president’s trade policy decisions, seeded in his first year, are ripe for harvest in 2018 — and the goals outlined in that pipeline memo could be among them.

More ...

Solar Panel and Washing Machine Tariffs Signal Hope for American Workers

Scott Paul Director, AAM

The White House announced new tariffs on a flood of imported solar panels and washing machines on Monday. After determining that cheap imports took advantage of America's market, the president imposed tariffs of up to 20 percent for solar panels and up to 50 percent for washing machines.

Said Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) President Scott Paul: 

"We are pleased that the Trump administration acted forcefully to defend American workers in both the solar panel and washing machine trade cases. 

"These workers and manufacturers make some of the best products in the world and have been innovation leaders. But they cannot compete against surging unfair imports from countries like China, which are dumping product into the United States in an attempt to put American companies out of business and control the global marketplace.

More ...

Stalled Administration Action on Steel Imports Upsets USW, Congresswoman

Scott Paul Director, AAM

Continued Trump administration stalling on whether huge amounts of steel imports are a national security threat – stalling symbolized by a secret report the Commerce Department sent to the president – upset both Steelworkers President Leo Gerard and steel-area Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio.

After all the time spent studying the issue and all the evidence the union, Kaptur and other witnesses presented about worldwide steel production overcapacity, particularly from

China, the conclusion should be obvious, the two said.

In short, they stated, the dumping of steel, at below-cost prices, on the U.S. drives U.S. steel plants out of business – including plants producing steel for vital defense goods from water pipes on bases to armor plating on tanks – and workers out of jobs. That threatens national security, Gerard added.

And if the threat is proven, Trump has unilateral power, unfettered by international trade rules, to limit, stop or put high tariffs on the imports.

Just since the Commerce Department probe has started, three more U.S. steel plants have announced layoffs, throwing hundreds of employees out of work, due to competition from subsidized imports, added Robert Paul of the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross presented the report to GOP President Donald Trump on Jan. 16, six months after he promised Kaptur he would send it to the White House. He didn’t say what was in it or what it recommended, and an e-mail to the department seeking the report’s text produced only a link to its 1-paragraph press release. The website had zip.

Trump now has 90 days to decide what to do. That upset Gerard and Kaptur. Both testified at the agency’s public hearing last June on steel import dumping and its threat to national security.


More ...

Steelworkers for the Future: We’ll need more, but are they part of Trump’s plan?

Scott Paul Director, AAM

William Hill spent 25 years in the U.S. Navy. After leaving the service and a stint at a defense contractor he found himself back home again in Indiana and, aided by the G.I. bill, enrolled in Purdue University — known as “the cradle of astronauts” for its record of putting graduates into the space program.

Hill was there to study engineering, a Purdue specialty. He was decidedly not looking for a career in the steel mills that line Lake Michigan in northern Indiana.

“I thought it was the last thing I’m ever gonna do,” he recently told a panel forecasting American manufacturing’s future.

Then a professor introduced Hill to an apprenticeship program, offered through Purdue by ArcelorMittal, called Steelworker for the Future.

Through it, students partake in a 2 ½ year associate’s degree program — four semesters of classroom training, and 16 weeks of on-site training at an ArcelorMittal steel mill — that, if completed successfully, can end in a job offer from the company. ArcelorMittal even covers the cost of tuition.

More ...

Factory Jobs Grow in November, But Will It Last?

Scott Paul Director, AAM

The manufacturing sector grew by 31,000 jobs in November, according to the latest employment data from the Labor Department. With 171,000 total factory jobs created so far this year, the economy is now on pace to add the most manufacturing jobs in a year since 2014, when 208,000 jobs were created.  

The job gains come after a disappointing month for the U.S. trade deficit, which hit $48.7 billion, its highest rate since January. Meanwhile, steel imports are up during the same time period.

Said Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) President Scott Paul: 

A healthy boost in manufacturing jobs is something to cheer about.

Now imagine the possibilities if we had better public policies to support manufacturing: Reciprocal trade, investments in infrastructure, workforce development, and strong R&D.

I've made the case that automation and robots won't destroy all that many factory jobs, but bad policies will. I hope the million-plus manufacturing jobs added since 2010 make that case even more persuasive.


Reposted from AAM

Give American This Holiday Season

Scott Paul Director, AAM

First comes Black Friday.

Then comes Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday.

Today begins Made in America December. That’s right; It deserves a whole month.

We all know the deal by now. For the next few weeks people will be flooding big box stores, perusing outlet malls, and surfing Amazon, in search of deals ahead of the holidays. And every year, we get the rush to the register started a little earlier than the last time. It’s no longer uncommon for people to push back from the Thanksgiving table in order to start shopping.

That’s a lot of our time and energy spent on consumption.

Just imagine if we redirected just a little of it toward conscious consumption.

This holiday season, shop American.

There’s no secret to this: Americans like American-made stuff. And the proliferation of “Made In USA” ad campaigns shows that companies are paying attention.

There are plenty of options. Manufacturing has truly gone global in the past few decades, and some product categories have gone completely offshore in the process. But with just a modicum of effort, you can still find a lot of stuff made in the United States.

More ...

Charting The Future of American Manufacturing

Scott Paul Director, AAM

America has a very manufacturing-friendly president in the White House – at least rhetorically. But while we can’t tweet our way out of this, there are people looking at the future of manufacturing very closely.

A couple of them gathered at the City Club of Cleveland on Friday afternoon to talk about it. A panel, including Alliance for American Manufacturing Scott Paul, discussed workforce training, the rise of automation, and the culpability of trade policy in the manufacturing sector’s tumultuous recent history.

Want to catch an interesting discussion on what’s facing American manufacturing as the work week winds down? Watch the whole thing right here:


Reposted from AAM

Trump Must Deliver on Tough Trade Talk

Scott Paul Director, AAM

President Trump rode into office promising big things for America’s factory workers. But I’m sad to report that he hasn’t delivered — and in fact, many of our trade issues are getting worse.

Now the president is heading to Asia for a big diplomatic trip, where he needs to finally get tough on China and keep his promises to American workers.

Join me in demanding that Trump deliver on his tough trade talk and stand up for American jobs.

One-sided trade relationships with many Asian countries have led to factory closures and job losses. Since China’s entry into the WTO in 2001, 54,000 U.S. factories have closed and 3.4 million manufacturing workers have lost their jobs.

Trump pledged to take this problem on, but the trade deficit with China is up in 2017, rising to nearly $240 billion compared to $225 billion in 2016. It’s the same story with our trade deficit with Japan, which has caused 900,000 lost American jobs.

More ...

How Lowercase is Helping to Bring American-Made Eyewear Back to Life

Scott Paul Director, AAM

In 2015, former investment analyst Gerard Masci and architect Brian Vallario launched Lowercase to make high-quality American-made eyewear. But after decades of offshoring, many of the secrets behind American eyewear manufacturing had been lost, and the pair had to start from scratch. In this episode, Masci and Vallario tell The Manufacturing Report how they did it -- earning accolades from The Wall Street Journal and elsewhere -- and where they hope to take the company next.

Section 232: The Last, Best Chance to Restore Sanity to the Global Steel Market

Scott Paul Director, AAM

When President Trump campaigned last year, promising to “bring back steel jobs,” there was a lot of eye-rolling. I’m a big booster of American steel and even I know the industry won’t ever look like it did in the 1960’s.

But that doesn’t mean American steel needs to fade away in the 21st century. Even in this era of smartphones and drones, we’ll still need steel-made bridges, battleships, automobiles (even self-driving ones), dishwashers, and products still unimagined.

The only question is: Where will this steel be made?

Over the past 15 years that answer has increasingly been China. China, which now makes half the world’s steel. China, which has at least four times as many zombie steel mills — those making steel that no one wants or needs — than the United States has in overall steel capacity.

China, where the steel mills are mostly owned by their government, and don’t operate under any conditions that resemble a free and private market, like responding to supply and demand, or maintaining environmental controls, or paying for all of their energy inputs. Ever see pictures of the heavy smog in China?

That overproduction has had consequences here. American steel mills are operating at only around 75 percent of their capacity. More than 15,000 steelworkers were laid off over the past three years, even though virtually no one makes steel more efficiently or more responsibly than American steel mills.

More ...

Save America’s Steel Jobs, President Trump

Scott Paul Director, AAM

The Trump administration is concerned the domestic steel industry, shocked by massive global overcapacity and layoffs, may not be able to supply U.S. defense needs in a time of crisis or conflict.

Say what you will about this president, but when it comes to this he has a point: Steel is a significant input in many military applications, and is essential to our critical infrastructure here at home. The American steel industry has been notably unstable, a result of massive distortions in the global market, caused mainly by China. This crisis has resulted in more than 14,000 steelworker layoffs in the past 18 months at a time it should be churning out more jobs, given our relatively healthy domestic economy.

President Trump had those layoffs in mind when he ordered an investigation into the national security implications of steel imports. He could use its results to take stabilizing actions such as tariffs, quotas, or a combination of both, to rebalance the steel market.

With rumors circulating that the investigation’s findings are imminent, the investigation’s critics have grown increasingly shrill.

More ...

Candidate Trump Pledged to Defend American Steelworkers. Will President Trump Follow Through?

Scott Paul Director, AAM

One year ago in Monessen, Pennsylvania , a town defined by the ups and downs of the steel industry, Donald Trump made a promise to stand with America’s steelworkers and industry.

Trump quoted George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and Abraham Lincoln in laying out his trade policy vision. Then he laid out seven very specific actions he would take as president to “bring back our jobs.”

First was to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which he did the first week of his presidency.

Second was to appoint the “toughest and smartest trade negotiators,” which one could safely argue he has done with Robert Lighthizer as the U.S. Trade Representative, as well as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Third was to identify violations of trade agreements, a process that kicked off with an executive order but hasn’t yet reached a conclusion.

Fourth was to renegotiate NAFTA, a process now in the public comment phase that should soon be shifting to talks with Canada and Mexico by the end of the summer.

More ...

An American-made Auto Industry Deserves Our Support

Scott Paul Director, AAM

Memorial Day has come and gone. It’s officially summer: The most American of seasons.

That means baseball games, barbecues, and cruising your local drag in an American-made automobile.

Okay, okay, it’s been a long time since the days of American Graffiti, when nearly every car model you saw on your drive around town was made by Ford, Chrysler, or General Motors. The auto industry of 2017? It’s a global one with an international supply chain, which means every car on the road has a significant amount of material in it that wasn’t made in the USA.

Still, even if it’s a matter of degree, I’m proud to drive American. At home I’ve got a Chevrolet Volt (made in Michigan), the most recent model of which came in at №. 30 on the Made in America Auto Index. Produced by the Kogod School of Business at American University, this annual index looks at where the main components of an auto are assembled or manufactured; where the R&D that went into each model takes place; and where its parent company’s headquarters are located to determine which model is truly the most American-made.

The top of the 2017 list is dominated by the Big Three domestic auto companies — Ford, General Motors, and Fiat/Chrysler — who took 19 of the first 25 spots.

More ...

Five Things That Could Derail Infrastructure, and One Thing That Will Make It Great

Scott Paul Director, AAM

It’s Infrastructure Week. Washington is doing its best, against incredible odds, to focus on the public foundations that make American commerce function: its nearly 47,000 miles of Interstate highways, its dozens of commercial ports, its more than 600,000 bridges.

There have been calls for a major federal infrastructure investment for years. President Barack Obama managed to sign a temporary boost into law as part of the recovery effort in 2009. Congress managed to pass another spending plan in 2015, worth $305 billion over five years. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton proposed a $500 billion investment during her 2016 campaign. Never one to be outdone, President Donald Trump doubled her up, suggesting a $1 trillion spending plan over a decade.

He’s since mentioned his desire to pursue an infrastructure plan on the night of his election victory, on inauguration day, and during his address to a joint session of Congress.

Estimates suggest infrastructure spending, if done right, could create millions of American jobs. And polling persistently shows an infrastructure plan would be extremely popular with the public.

More ...

Just Over 100 Days In, How is Trump Doing on Trade?

Scott Paul Director, AAM

President Trump rode into office 100 days ago promising to shake things up for America’s working class.

In his inaugural address, Trump echoed the promises of his campaign, pledging that job creation would be a pillar of his presidency. He said he’d put America first and reshape our trade policy. He repeated his “Buy American, Hire American” pledge. He vowed to rebuild our roads, bridges, airports, tunnels and railways.

Trump certainly has done a lot of talking (and tweeting) over the past few months. But what’s actually changed in the past 100 days? Has Trump managed to reshape the landscape — or has he been all talk?

Let’s look at the evidence.

One of Trump’s oft-repeated campaign promises was to stop the outsourcing of jobs. He regularly called out big companies when they sent jobs overseas, and just before he took office, he famously helped negotiate a deal to prevent hundreds of jobs from being outsourced at the Carrier facility in Indianapolis (although hundreds of other Carrier jobs are still headed to Mexico, as are jobs at nearby Rexnord).

More ...

Fix the Economy: Address the China Trade Gap

Scott Paul Director, AAM

Since President Trump assumed office in January, the stock market is up and the unemployment rate is low. Still, something doesn’t feel quite right with the economy.

You won’t hear that from the president’s Twitter account, or the millions of people who voted for him. Polling shows that economic optimism has soared among Trump supporters since the election. But behind this sugar rush, I guarantee anxiety remains.

It’s not anxiety unfounded. The raise America got was a pittance — only 2.2 percent in the last year, which barely keeps up with inflation. And the jobs we’ve created in the last decade don’t typically pay as well as those we’ve lost.

There are approximately 5 million fewer American manufacturing jobs today than there were 17 years ago, and that can’t be explained away by increased productivity or automation. This slide was borne of a specific policy decision: normalizing trade relations and open our markets to China, which a bipartisan Washington did in 2000.

More ...

How President Trump's Pick for U.S. Trade Representative Could Change the Trade Game

Scott Paul Director, AAM

President Trump won the presidency, at least in part, because of his messaging on trade. Robert Lighthizer, Trump's pick for U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), is likely to be among the officials charged with helping Trump implement his trade agenda. On this episode of The Manufacturing Report, host Scott Paul and Scott Boos, senior VP of Government Affairs and Policy at the Alliance for American Manufacturing, discuss what we can expect from Lighthizer and the Trump trade team.

Make Manufacturing Jobs an Issue in this Presidential Election

Scott Paul Director, AAM

Election season is upon us – and now is the time to make sure the presidential candidates know about the importance of manufacturing job growth.

Ask the 2016 candidates what they would do as president to grow manufacturing jobs.

I know I don’t have to tell you how important manufacturing is. More than 12 million Americans are directly employed in manufacturing, and many more are employed indirectly.

These good-paying manufacturing jobs are key to a healthy middle class. It’s no coincidence that the middle class is shrinking at the same time manufacturing is struggling.

Manufacturing certainly faced a tough 2015. There were only 30,000 new jobs created nationwide. We still only have gained back 40 percent of the jobs lost during the Great Recession.

It’s a far cry from where we hoped we would be by now. During the 2012 campaign, President Obama pledged to create 1 million new national manufacturing jobs in his second term – but only 370,000 jobs have been created.

Whoever is elected next will need to pick up the job-growing torch.

Please ask all the candidates to share their plan to create more manufacturing jobs.


To submit a blog to Union Matters, e-mail it to Keep it to 250 words or fewer. You MUST include your full name, hometown, and state. You may attach a photograph of yourself. Please include a phone number. This WILL NOT be published. Posting any given blog is within the discretion of the USW. No blog using foul language (this is a family site), false information (we don’t want to get sued), or unnecessary personal attacks (again, we don’t want to get sued) will be used. Wait a reasonable period of time, then blog again!

Six Essential Facts in Focus : Prep for Chinese President Xi’s State Visit

Scott Paul Director, AAM

Six Essential Facts in Focus : Prep for Chinese President Xi’s  State Visit

All eyes will be on the White House this week when China’s President arrives for an official state visit. According to  Pew Research, Americans are increasingly concerned about issues stemming from the rise of China — including holdings of U.S. debt, our surging bilateral trade deficit, government-sponsored cyberattacks, persistent human rights violations, rampant environmental corruption, and a startling military buildup. With anxieties over China’s state-driven economic policies at an all-time high, the Alliance for American Manufacturing outlines the economic issues you need to know about as the two Presidents meet.

China remains a state-controlled, non-market economy. This summer Americans experienced first-hand how the Chinese government’s economic interventions distort the global economy and threaten our financial well-being. Many Americans saw their retirement plans take a rollercoaster ride as the Chinese central bank awkwardly and  repeatedly intervened in an attempt to stabilize the Shanghai Stock Exchange. China’s state-dominated financial system carries out the policies of Beijing and serves as the instrument for targeted investments in strategic industrial sectors.  According to the Center for American Progress, “State-owned banks control 57 percent of China’s banking-sector assets, and state-owned enterprises account for more than 90 percent of the capital raised in China’s corporate bond market.” Let there be no doubt: China is not a market economy and has a long way to go before it can be granted any new preferential treatment to the U.S. market — including a pending 2016 decision by the Commerce Department as to whether China has successfully transitioned to “market economy” status. If President Xi simply rehashes China’s stated commitment to shed its state-owned enterprises and permit more private market influence, American workers and industry will continue to be shortchanged. America’s patience with China’s export-led mercantilism is running short, and China must face economic consequences for its longstanding failure to comply with its international commitments.

More ...