Manufacturing is a tremendous part of our heritage as Americans and my heritage as a Pennsylvanian. Raised in Butler, the heart of both steel country and manufacturing, I witnessed the decline of the manufacturing industry and the accompanying impact on struggling communities. One of the contributing factors was the way that government headwinds made us uncompetitive against foreign competitors. Thirty years later, the manufacturing sector across America has experienced substantial job loss and decline in output over the past decade, while our competitors like China are growing rapidly. We still have one of the highest corporate tax rates in the developed world and overly burden industries with job killing regulations. Over the past decade, the trade deficit with China eliminated 2.8 million jobs — 1.9 million of which were manufacturing jobs. While some American manufacturers are prospering, the overall policies continue to undermine our international competitiveness
Under the Obama administration, American manufacturing has fallen further as Big Government policies, ObamaCare’s freedom offending mandates, and oppressive regulations make the job harder. President Obama refuses to implement policies that will create a level playing field for American manufacturers to compete with China and bring American jobs back home. He refuses to embrace free enterprise and manufacturing with anything other than rhetoric. Instead, he has placed an additional burden on manufacturers that makes America a difficult place to competitively do business internationally.
The path to restoring America and opportunity for a wide swath of our citizens to its true greatness includes unleashing our domestic manufacturing potential, just as Pennsylvania is unleashing our domestic energy potential. By reinvigorating this crucial sector of our economy, the multiplier effect on our entire economy will spur on economic and job growth not seen in three decades. Rebuilding America’s manufacturing base will unleash new opportunities and expand opportunities and potential for hard working families.
In Pennsylvania alone more than 560,000 jobs are manufacturing related. In addition, manufacturing compensation is just over 44 percent higher than other nonfarm employers in the state. Nearly 15,000 businesses in Pennsylvania are manufacturing related. Approximately 90 percent of these are small businesses, many of which are the backbone of their communities.
How can we build on this foundation and unleash the full potential of manufacturing in Pennsylvania and around the country? We can achieve this with a simple concept that I’ve heard time and time again across America called “Made in America.” The American people want and need “Made in America” not just for the pride of making things, but because Americans at the bottom of the income scale need the necessary skills, opportunities, and mobility that the manufacturing sector offers so they can support themselves and their families. Across the country the average manufacturing job earns about $20,000 more than non-manufacturing jobs. That means folks at the bottom end and the middle can move up that income scale, if we create a competitive playing field for American businesses.
Unlike President Obama, I have not raised taxes or pushed for taxpayer funded Big Government health care mandates like ObamaCare. Instead, I have a concrete plan to reinvigorate manufacturing and make us competitive again.
My plan is to compete with China and others to win rather than to run in place or get further behind. First, l will cut and simplify corporate tax rates by cutting them in half to 17.5% and eliminating them entirely for manufacturing activity. America is 20% more costly than our top nine trading partners, and that’s excluding labor costs. This policy will enable manufacturers to create jobs here in America, rather than outsourcing jobs to other parts of the world. Second, I will eliminate the tax on profits repatriated back to the US when they are invested in US plants and equipment. There is an estimated $1.2 trillion dollars sitting overseas which cannot be taxed. We can use this money to put Americans to work. Third, I will repeal every job-killing regulation the Obama administration has put in place that’s over $100 million. The explosion of such regulations under President Obama has unnecessarily stifled America; we’ve gone from 21% of this country in manufacturing down to 9% and left the dreams of working men and women on the sideline. President Obama has made it harder on manufacturing entrepreneurs like he has on all businesses through job killing regulations and higher energy prices. Fourth, my “Made in America” plan is tied closely to a bold energy policy that unleashes America’s domestic energy production which will ensure lower energy costs, making it more cost effective for businesses to manufacture in America.
Revitalizing the manufacturing sector in America requires strong leadership and a strong record of support that President Obama lacks. Unlike the President, I will not be soft on China, because I want America to compete with China and win. While Senator of Pennsylvania, I voted to protect domestic manufacturers against illegal dumping from China. As president, I will stand up to China on currency manipulation and confront the Chinese government when necessary when they are stealing American jobs unfairly. I have a plan that will create manufacturing jobs right here in the United States and help us win the job creation race. This is why the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association has endorsed me and my plan.
Having grown up in Pennsylvania and represented its citizens, I know that a stronger manufacturing sector will spur the innovation and economic growth that America desperately needs. Manufacturing once served as the backbone of America, and with a strong and robust plan, it will once again become one of our greatest strengths and an engine of economic growth and opportunity for all.