Cross-Posted from The White House
Blog by Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy Jeff Zients
On Monday, we had the privilege of
participating alongside the President in a meeting with his American Manufacturing Partnership
(AMP) Steering Committee.
AMP -- led by its co-chairs, Dow’s Andrew Liveris and MIT’s Rafael Reif --
final report with a set of new recommendations, and we discussed additional
policy steps we’re taking to respond to them.
The President created AMP -- a working group of 19 leaders in industry,
academia, and labor -- in June 2011 as part of his continuing effort to maintain
the competitive edge on emerging technologies and invest in the future of our
manufacturing sector. We’ve come a long way since then, and the policies fueled
by AMP’s recommendations have been a big contributor to that progress.
When the President first launched AMP, unemployment was at 9.1 percent. We
were just starting to see some fragile signs of life in the manufacturing sector
after more than a decade of erosion. But not many shared our view that together
we could build a foundation to revitalize American manufacturing or that
manufacturing could continue to play a central role in our economy and our
ability to innovate.
Contrast that picture to today. Growth has steadily strengthened and recently
accelerated, with GDP rising 2.6 percent over the past year, faster than the 2.0
percent annualized pace of the preceding two years. Job growth is accelerating
too. Unemployment is now down to 5.9 percent, falling 1.3 percentage points in
the last year.
Our manufacturing sector is getting stronger too. After more than a decade of
job losses, we’ve added more than 700,000 manufacturing jobs over nearly five
straight years of job growth. Those jobs lead to others along the supply chain
and in local communities. U.S. manufacturing is now growing at nearly twice the
rate of the economy, the longest sustained period of outpacing the overall
economy since the 1960s.
Last year, for the first time since 2001, the U.S. was ranked first in a
survey of business leaders as a destination for investment, a ranking we
repeated this year. In another recent study, 54 percent of American
manufacturers with operations overseas reported they are considering bringing
manufacturing back to the United States.
And AMP has been central in getting us here.