There’s not much action to report from Capitol Hill, and that won’t change much through the end of the year. Much of the work that is being done is in preparation for the new administration and Congress that will take office in January. Midway through a dramatic election year where party control of the White House and the Senate is at stake, most members of Congress are spending the bulk of their time on the campaign trail either campaigning for themselves or their favorite candidates. 

For the next few months, I’ll join them virtually and report on the candidates’ plans and policy proposals that would impact manufacturing.

This month, I have a few more details on Hillary Clinton’s proposal for creating manufacturing jobs. Clinton first unveiled her five-part “Make It in America” strategy last December. It is built on the premise that American companies should invest on American soil and that outsourcing jobs and production should be penalized to encourage that investment. Below is a short description of the plan:

Establishes “Make it in America Partnerships” – A cornerstone of Clinton’s strategy is to forge collaboration between government, workers, academia and businesses throughout the supply chain to capitalize on a region’s strength in a particular industry and invest in production. The plan is built around the Obama administration’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) and the bipartisan Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act, which encourage regional collaboration to move quickly to bring ideas from the lab to market. 
 
Clinton recently announced she would invest $10 billion to expand these partnerships across the country and pay for it using funds raised from a proposed “claw back” tax that would rescind tax relief going back several years for companies that outsource(d) jobs or facilities overseas. Although AMT supports regional collaboration and the NNMI concept as a means to job creation and innovation, raising taxes on businesses to pay for this program or any other is a non-starter.

Levels the global playing field – Not exactly. While Clinton’s proposal includes support for the Ex-Im Bank, she opposes market-opening trade agreements such as the Trans Pacific Partnership and would retaliate against China for currency manipulation. AMT supports the TPP and diplomacy over retaliation when addressing China trade issues. Taken together, this part of the plan would hurt U.S. global competitiveness rather than strengthen it. 

Revitalizes manufacturing communities – The proposal would create tax incentives to encourage investment in communities that have faced or are about to face significant manufacturing job losses

Create incentives for companies to reshore jobs – And penalize companies who shift earnings overseas.

Invest in the manufacturing workforce – Clinton’s plan includes a $1,500 tax credit for apprentice hiring, supports nationwide credentialing, allows student aid for technical training and provides tuition-free community college. AMT supports these Smartforce initiatives in principle, but more detail is needed to fully understand their impact in this specific proposal.

All in all, Clinton’s proposal is a mixed bag. Support for boosting U.S. manufacturing innovation and jobs is necessary but raising taxes and opposing trade agreements create barriers to global competitiveness. For more information on Clinton’s Make it in America strategy, visit her website: www.hillaryclinton.com

AMT is non-partisan and does not endorse Presidential candidates. The association supports policies that support manufacturing regardless of party affiliation. Our efforts to make you aware of where the candidates stand on manufacturing issues are aimed at bringing out the manufacturing vote on Election Day. #MakeTheVote