Despite repeated warnings, America’s industrial base has been whittled away by corporations offshoring work to Mexico, China, and other countries. The offshoring of much-needed medical equipment in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic heightens the urgency to bring these supply chains home.
While U,S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer’s recent op-ed heralding an end to “the era of reflexive offshoring” highlights some positive steps forward by the USTR, much more needs to be done to bring supply chains home. It is not enough to—as the administration has done—set tariff policy by tweet, negotiate trade agreements that do not directly take on outsourcing across manufacturing and service sectors, and hope that corporations finally “see the light” and bring jobs home. Rather, returning jobs to America requires a robust, comprehensive strategy that coordinates policies in trade, currency valuation, investment, financing, energy, technology, tax, education, training, government procurement and labor.
To start, this strategy would include the following:
- Insist that the Defense Department and other U.S. agencies cease their reflexive support for continued use of outside supply chains in Mexico and elsewhere and instead push for bringing work home.
- Ensure that “Made in the U.S.” in government procurement programs actually means that a product is manufactured by U.S. workers with U.S. supplies and materials.
- Require employment impact statements in government contract and award determinations in order to maximize U.S. job creation.
- Create a U.S. Manufacturing Investment Bank.
- Address currency misalignment.
- Eliminate tax incentives that encourage corporations to outsource production.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story @ Ending offshoring and bringing jobs back home will take more than tweets, press releases, and op-eds | Economic Policy Institute