The Obama administration is undertaking an athletic push to promote manufacturing employment in the United States: proposing giving manufacturers new tax breaks, closing loopholes that benefit companies that send manufacturing jobs offshore, expanding worker training programs and increasing trade enforcement, for instance.
The administration underscored manufacturing’s first-among-equals status when announcing its proposed overhaul of the corporate tax code on Wednesday. “It’s a framework that lowers the corporate tax rate and broadens the tax base in order to increase competitiveness for companies across the nation,” President Obama said in a statement. “It cuts tax rates even further for manufacturers that are creating new products and manufacturing goods here in America.”
But what’s so special about manufacturing? Is there really a reason for the White House to champion that certain set of businesses? Why not services? Or another growing sector of the economy, like agriculture?