News / USA

Obama Pushes Tax Plan to Boost Manufacturing

President Barack Obama speaks at Master Lock in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, February 15, 2012.
President Barack Obama speaks at Master Lock in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, February 15, 2012.
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Kent Klein

President Barack Obama is highlighting companies that have brought jobs back to America from overseas. The president wants to reward companies that create jobs in the United States and discourage those that move them elsewhere.

Obama visited a padlock factory Wednesday in the North Central city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to praise the company for bringing back about 100 jobs it had moved to China.

“I am actually here today because this company has been making the most of a huge opportunity that exists right now to bring jobs and manufacturing back to the United States of America,” said Obama.

Over the past decade, the U.S. lost several million manufacturing jobs through “outsourcing,” in which companies moved jobs overseas to take advantage of lower costs.

But now, the president says the trend is starting to reverse. “More and more companies like Master Lock are now insourcing, deciding that if the cost of doing business here is not too much different than the cost of doing business in places like China, then why wouldn’t you rather do it right here in the United States of America?" asked Obama.

The president again called on Congress to reduce taxes for companies that create manufacturing jobs in the U.S. and end tax breaks for businesses that move jobs overseas.  

It was one of several proposals in Obama’s January State of the Union address that he repeated in Milwaukee.

Another was a call to establish a government Trade Enforcement Unit, which would investigate allegations of unfair trade practices by other countries.

One day after meeting with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, Obama again singled out China as a violator of trade rules.  

“And it has only got one job: investigating unfair trade practices in countries like China, making sure we have got an even playing field, because when we have got an even playing field, I promise you, nobody is going to out-compete America,” said Obama.

The president’s visit to Milwaukee followed news that U.S. factories increased their output last month and that December was their biggest month of growth in five years.

Obama said the signs are encouraging.

“Manufacturing is coming back. Companies are starting to bring jobs back. The economy is getting stronger. The recovery is speeding up,” he said.

American factory output has risen almost 17 percent from its low point in 2009, but is still seven percent below its peak in 2007.

The president is on a three-day trip to the Western U.S. to raise money for his re-election campaign.

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