Make It In America

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       Democrats are advancing a Make It In America agenda, to strengthen American manufacturing and create jobs to make America the world's leader in innovative technologies again, after a decade of damage to our economy.  When we Make It In America, we create jobs to lead the world economy. America’s national manufacturing strategy creates the high-skill, high-wage jobs of the future—promoting American competitiveness, innovation, and exports.

Republicans want to take off the job people who are working to rebuild our infrastructure, withhold unspent Recovery Act funds, and repeal legislation to close tax loopholes that let corporations ship good-paying jobs overseas.

Rural Star – The Rural Energy Savings Program Act, HR 4785, passed the house on September 16, 2010 by a vote of 240-172.  The bill introduced by Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, Rep. Perriello and others will spur job creation in American clean energy.  This legislation provides loans to American families, small businesses and farmers in rural communities to renovate their homes, farms or businesses to become more energy-efficient. These programs will offer homeowners loans of about $3,000 to $7,500 to eliminate the upfront cost of home energy upgrades, which customers will then repay over 10 years on their electric bill -- with their energy savings from the renovations covering most of the cost of the loan.  The Rural Star and Loan Star programs in this bill will boost demand for energy efficient products, materials, and construction and installation services that are made in America; over 90% of these products and materials —caulking, insulation, HVAC systems, hot water heaters, sealant, windows, doors other structural materials — are made in America.

The Congressional Made in America Promise Act, H.R. 2039 introduced by Rep. Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) which passed the house by a vote of 371-36 requires Congress to buy goods and services made by American workers for the first time since “Buy American” rules were instituted for federal agencies under President Roosevelt in 1933.  The legislation applies to “articles, materials, and supplies” used by House and Senate offices, and includes tighter Buy American requirements for items with the seal of Congress, the House, or Senate.

The Berry Amendment Extension Act, H.R. 3116  introduced by Rep. Kissell (NC-08), and passed unanimously by the House of Representatives on September 15, 2010, bars the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and all of its agencies from buying clothing, tents and “natural fiber products” that are not “grown, reprocessed, reused or produced” in America.  (It requires implementation consistent with International trade agreements, with exceptions for emergency procurements and by vessels in foreign waters)  For the last 60 years, the Berry Amendment has served our nation well requiring the Defense Department and the Coast Guard to buy a range of domestically produced or grown items with 100% U.S. content, and today we are voting to cover the DHS.  The brave men and women of DHS deserve to wear uniforms made by American workers that share common goals and values, among them defending our national security.  The legislation is supported by National Council of Textile Organizations, American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, National Cotton Council, United States Industrial Fabrics Institute, Workers United, and American Apparel and Footwear Association.  This legislation is critical to helping the U.S. textile and apparel industry, which has been battered by a flood of imports – with a $575 billion trade deficit in textiles and apparel and a loss of 587,000 American middle-class textile and apparel manufacturing jobs since December 2000.

The Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act, H.R. 2378 introduced by Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) addresses China’s persistent undervaluation of its currency which has reduced American exports, caused the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs, and significantly contributed to our large trade deficit with China.  The bipartisan bill gives the Administration effective tools to address the unfair trade practice of currency manipulation by foreign countries, including China.  The bill makes clear that additional tariffs can be imposed to offset the effects of a “fundamentally undervalued” currency under U.S. trade remedy laws (known as the countervailing duty laws). The bill contains two key provisions:

  • reverses a current Commerce Department practice that has precluded it from treating foreign government currency practices as an export subsidy;
  • directs Commerce on how to measure the subsidy provided to foreign producers through currency undervaluation

President Obama has already signed three manufacturing-boosting bills into law. 

The Small Business Jobs Act, H.R. 5297, expands much needed lending to millions of small businesses and offer tax incentives to help them grow, hire, and fuel our economy.  The bill is projected to create 500,000 jobs and leverage up to $300 billion in private sector lending for small businesses.

H.R. 4830, the U.S. Manufacturing Enhancement Act, helps U.S. manufacturers compete at home and abroad by temporarily suspending or reducing duties on intermediate products or materials these companies use that are not made domestically or opposed by domestic producers.  Reducing costs for U.S. businesses and increasing the competitiveness of their products will increase U.S. production, expand GDP, and support tens of thousands of American jobs.

H.R. 1586 prevents outsourcing by closing tax loopholes that encourage companies to ship jobs overseas.  99% of House Republicans voted against the bill.

H.R. 5874, United States Patent and Trademark Office Supplemental Appropriations Act speeds up innovation by breaking the backlog of patents awaiting approval. Patents are critical to American innovation and economic growth, supporting good paying jobs here at home, by providing protections for new ideas and technologies.

The House has also passed Make It In America legislation:
  • calling for a national strategy to strengthen our manufacturing base and create jobs
  • helping U.S. clean energy technology firms sell their products here and around the world
  • building job-training partnerships among businesses, unions and educators
  • taking steps to combat the trade imbalance, to strengthen our economy and national security.