Congress needs to 'act on voter demands,' says AEM

| August 30, 2010

Congress prepares to return to Washington in a few weeks, and voters across America, regardless of political party affiliation, have one issue as their top priority — improving the economy. A number of recent surveys show that American voters want to restore the unlimited potential of manufacturing jobs in America as a sure way to lift stagnant unemployment numbers.

“When Congress returns in September, it cannot merely tinker around the edges of policies that will impact manufacturing jobs and the future of America’s economy,” said Dennis Slater, president of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), in a written press statement. “Two very direct ways to create jobs: meaningful funding of needed infrastructure improvements across the nation and export-friendly policies that spur trade.”

AEM recently released results of a non-partisan nationwide voter survey that showed nearly 9 out of 10 voters agree that the nation needs to “dramatically increase manufacturing jobs” so our economy can compete with other countries. The survey asked voter attitudes on the economy, manufacturing jobs and infrastructure.

IIn a bipartisan poll by Mark Mellman and Ayres McHenry, two-thirds of Democrats, Independents and Republicans agree that “high-tech and services” industries cannot replace manufacturing in a strong U.S. economy. A top concern among independent voters in this April poll is that “we have lost too many manufacturing jobs in this country.”

Slater says that voters understand the urgent need for job creation and know state and local governments face serious budget troubles. “They watch in frustration as the national debt rises,” Slater said.

A poll released in August by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research found that “60 percent of those surveyed responded positively to an economic message that said that ‘we have a budget deficit, but … we also have a massive public investment deficit’ that requires us to ‘rebuild the infrastructure that is vital to our economy’ and to the economic growth that will ‘generate revenues to help pay down the budget deficit,’” Slater noted.

Recent reports state America borrows $2 billion per day to cover trade deficits, according to Slater, however, he points out that American farmers and manufacturers can create more jobs in the U.S. by exporting their products to new markets around the world.

“Congress needs to pass the pending free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia, and build the modern infrastructure necessary to get our goods to market faster than our competitors,” he said.

“Poll after poll shows that American voters want the federal government to focus on creating a national manufacturing strategy that really drives job creation and a revival of manufacturing,” Slater continued. “We hope Speaker Pelosi and her colleagues heed this call when they return to work in September.”

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