Make it In America

Issues: Labor and Jobs

Democrats’ Make It In America plan is based on the belief that when more products are made in America, more families will be able to Make It In America. The plans is intended to create the conditions to help American businesses produce goods here, innovate here, and create jobs here; it includes many of the investments necessary for America to out-educate, out-innovate, and out-build its international competitors. President Obama has already signed ten Make It In America bills into law, many of which won bipartisan support. Business and labor leaders alike support Democrats’ Make It In America plan—because Making It In America is central to the future of our competitiveness, our jobs, and our place in the world.

 

MAKE IT IN AMERICA: LEGISLATION

The following bills represent a cross-section of the legislation that are part of the Make It In America plan for the 112th Congress. This initiative is dynamic and continues to evolve: Democrats stand ready to examine and include other good ideas to create good jobs, help our companies produce more goods here, maintain our leadership in innovation, and educate a 21st-century workforce. Some of these bills are concrete proposals that are ready to be acted on; others are ideas for the development of legislation that can create jobs and strengthen American industry.

MAKE IT IN AMERICA IS…investing in infrastructure and supporting the flow of commerce.
  • Focusing Resources, Economic Investment, and Guidance To Help Transportation (FREIGHT) Act (Rep. Sires, H.R. 1338): Calls for the development of a National Freight Strategic Transportation Plan to assess the current national freight transportation system, designate priority freight corridors and gateways, and create a proposed investment plan to develop the priorities.  It also creates a National Freight Infrastructure Investment Grants program, which would fund eligible projects such as port development, freight rail improvement, and intelligent transportation systems.
  • Build American Jobs Act (Rep. Levin, H.R. 992)/Build America Bonds to Create Jobs Now Act (Rep. Connolly, H.R. 11): Extends the Build America Bonds program, provides additional funding for the Recovery Zone bonds program, and makes improvements to existing bond and credit programs to help states and local governments leverage private capital to create jobs today and build the infrastructure that is the backbone of future economic growth.
  • National Infrastructure Development Bank Act (Rep. DeLauro, H.R. 402)Establishes a wholly-owned government corporation to facilitate efficient investments in and financing of infrastructure projects—from leading-edge broadband networks and energy delivery systems to modern ports—that foster economic development and keep America competitive.
  • The Airports, Highways, High-Speed Rail, Trains and Transit: Make it in America Act (Rep. Garamendi, H.R. 613): Increases domestic content provisions for airports and rolling stock and eliminates non-availability waivers.
  • One Global Internet Act (Rep. Lofgren):Establishes a government task force that would review, prioritize, and act on attempts by foreign governments to degrade or disrupt the flow of goods, services, and/or content on the Internet.
MAKE IT IN AMERICA IS…KEEPING AMERICA COMPETITIVE.
  • Miscellaneous Tariff Bill: Eliminates duties on certain products not produced in the U.S., particularly raw materials and intermediate inputs that are used by U.S. manufacturers, reducing these manufacturers’ production costs and making them more competitive.
  • National Network for Manufacturing Innovation:  Creates a national network of manufacturing institutes to stimulate U.S. leadership in advanced manufacturing research, innovation, and technology.
  • Advancing Innovative Manufacturing Act of 2012 (Rep. E. B. Johnson, H.R. 6081): Creates industry-led consortia that will identify, prioritize, and address long-term, pre-competitive industrial research needs in advanced manufacturing; establishes a pilot program to promote advanced manufacturing and enhance the innovative capabilities and competitiveness of small and medium-sized manufacturers; creates a pilot program to award “innovation vouchers” worth up to $20,000 that small and medium-sized manufacturers can use to acquire technical expertise; and amends America COMPETES to provide competitive, merit-reviewed grants to community colleges for the development and implementation of innovative advanced manufacturing curricula and degree or certification programs.
  • American Textile Technology Innovation and Research for Exportation (ATTIRE) Act (Rep. D. Price, H.R. 2275): Creates a competitive grant program to fund research and innovation and to promote increased textile exports.
  • American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act (Rep. Lipinski, H.R. 5865): Brings government, business, and labor stakeholders together to formulate a comprehensive national strategy to attract manufacturing businesses to our shores, help them compete overseas, and encourage them to expand and create well-paying jobs here in the U.S.
  • Permanent R&D Tax Credit (Rep. Carney, H.R. 1693): Make permanent and expand the Research and Development Tax Credit so research investments can draw capital that create tomorrow’s jobs.
  • Rare Earths Materials: Three bills have been introduced on this important issue. Rare Earths and Critical Materials Revitalization Act (Rep. Boswell, H.R. 618), Energy Critical Elements Renewal Act (Rep. Brad Miller, H.R. 952), and the Resource Assessment of Rare Earths (RARE) Act (Reps. Hank Johnson and Markey, H.R. 1314). These bills support the assessment and development of U.S. capacity in rare earth minerals critical to the manufacture of energy and other technologies.
  • Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act (Reps. Levin and Tim Ryan, H.R. 639):Levels the trade playing field by holding accountable countries that create an unfair trade advantage by manipulating their currency.
Make It In America is…ensuring a level playing field, enforcing trade laws, and promoting exports.
  • Enforcing Orders and Reducing Customs Evasion (ENFORCE) Act (Reps. Long and Linda Sanchez, H.R. 3057):  Establishes new procedures for investigating claims that foreign manufacturers are evading anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders to better enforce trade laws and prevent illegal imports.
  • The Customs Training Enhancement Act (Rep. Lipinski): Creates a public-private partnership between the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and American manufacturers to provide specialized training to CBP agents to prevent mislabeled or transshipped items from entering the U.S.
  • Export Promotion Reform Act (Rep. Berman, H.R. 4041):  Strengthens the interagency Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC); increases coordination among federal export programs; requires the government to gather input from more sources, including small and medium-sized businesses, when drafting strategic plans for federal trade promotion policies; and directs ambassadors to develop country-specific commercial diplomacy plans to increase U.S. exports.
MAKE IT IN AMERICA IS…SUPPORTING SMALL BUSINESSES.
  • The Innovative Technologies Investment Incentives Act (Rep. Van Hollen, H.R. 1732): Accelerates innovation by providing a 25% tax credit for qualified equity investments in eligible high technology and biotechnology small businesses.
  • Small Business Start-up Savings Accounts (Rep. Sewell, H.R. 1730):  Establishes tax-preferred savings accounts for small businesses.
  • Make It in America Block Grant Act (Rep. CicillineH.R. 1912): Establishes a grant program at the Commerce Department to provide small to medium-sized businesses in communities hardest hit by unemployment with the resources and strategies they need to retool and retrofit their operations and train their workforce in order to transition to the manufacturing of clean energy, high-technology, and advanced products.
MAKE IT IN AMERICA IS…SMART TAX POLICY.
  • The Bring Jobs Home Act (Rep. Pascrell, H.R. 5542):  Eliminates the tax deduction for moving expenses for companies sending jobs overseas and provides a new tax credit for companies that bring jobs back to the U.S.
  • Corporate Tax Reform: Our corporate tax system is far too confusing and inefficient.  It causes economic distortions by forcing managers to make decisions based on tax consequences rather than on solid business principles.  Many of these decisions, unfortunately, send investment and jobs overseas.  Reform could lower the corporate tax rate and bring investment back to make American business and the American worker more competitive globally.
MAKE IT IN AMERICA IS…INNOVATIVE EDUCATION POLICY
  • Workforce Investment Act (Rep. Tierney, H.R. 4227):  Reauthorizes and modernizes the Workforce Investment Act to help close the gap between the talent manufacturers need to keep expanding their businesses in the U.S. and skill level of today’s workforce.
  • Workforce-Ready Educate America Act (Rep. Hochul, H.R. 4249): Allows a $1,000-per-student tax credit to employers that partner with educational institutions to provide skills training.
  • Job Opportunities Between our Shores (JOBS) Act (Whip HoyerH.R. 1716): Establishes a Workforce Investment Act pilot program to provide education and training programs in advanced manufacturing.
  • American Manufacturing Efficiency & Retraining Investment Collaboration (AMERICA Works) Act (Rep. Donnelly, H.R. 1325): Strengthens our workforce by helping American workers earn certifications, degrees, and qualifications for the jobs American industry needs to fill.
  • Strengthening Employment Clusters to Organize Regional Success (SECTORS) Act (Rep. Loebsack, H.R. 1240): Forms partnerships between businesses, unions, and educators to train workers for some of the most needed 21st Century jobs.
  • STEM EducationTo strengthen American innovation, create the industries of the future, and ensure that our kids have the skills they need to fill well-paying jobs in those industries, we must invest in outstanding science, technology, engineering, and math education.
    • Ensure that states develop rigorous core standards in science, to complement standards in math and reading
    • Help interested science, technology, engineering, and math professionals enter teaching careers
    • Build community partnerships to create externship opportunities for students
    • Promote careers in manufacturing for high school students
    • Fully fund STEM education provisions in the America COMPETES Act to strengthen manufacturing education, increase STEM career opportunities for women and minorities, and recruit STEM teachers from underrepresented groups
MAKE IT IN AMERICA IS…CLEAN ENERGY JOBS.
  • Rural Energy Investment Act (Rep. Kaptur, H.R. 5955):  Renews and streamlines the Rural Energy for America Program, which provides financial assistance to rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements; renews and expands the Biobased Markets Program, requiring the federal government to increase by 50 percent  its commitment to purchase biobased products like cleaners, lubricants, building materials, and other industrial products; and renews and streamlines the Biomass Crop Assistance Program, which provides incentives for producers to find new uses for biomass by-products.
  • Clean Energy Technology Manufacturing and Export Assistance Act (Rep. Matsui, H.R. 502): Establishes a Clean Energy Technology Manufacturing and Export Assistance Fund, to be administered through the International Trade Administration, to ensure that U.S. clean energy technology firms have the information and assistance they need to be competitive and to create clean energy technology sector jobs.
  • Security in Energy and Manufacturing (SEAM) Act (Rep. Rothman, H.R. 724): This program, initially created in the Recovery Act, invested $2.3 billion in tax credits for advanced energy manufacturing facilities generating more than 17,000 jobs and incentivizing an additional $5.4 billion in private-sector investment.
  • New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions (NAT GAS) Act (Reps. Sullivan, Boren, Larson, and Brady, H.R. 1380): Provides incentives to encourage private investment in natural gas refueling infrastructure and the production and purchasing of natural gas vehicles and trucks.
  • ·Advanced Vehicle Technology Act (Rep. Peters, H.R. 1367): The bill reauthorizes the Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies research programs (FreedomCar and the 21st Century Truck Partnership) so that the next generation of advanced vehicles can be built in America.
  • Energy Efficient Buildings and Homes:  The Rural Energy Savings Program (Rep. Clyburn), along with the “Home Star” and “Building Star” programs, would support installation of American made energy efficient products.
MAKE IT IN AMERICA IS…MAKING IT IN AMERICA.
  • Market Based Manufacturing Incentives Act (Rep. Honda, H.R. 3495): Allows a tax credit for the purchase of new products certified as assembled in the U.S. and consisting of at least 60 percent of components assembled in the U.S.
  • Patriot Corporations of America Act (Rep. Schakowsky, H.R. 1163): Rewards companies that voluntarily meet “patriotic” standards (e.g., produce at least 90 percent of their goods and services in the U.S., spend at least 50% of their R&D budgets in the U.S., pay at least 70 percent of the cost of health insurance premiums) by giving them preference in government contracting and a 5 percent reduction in their taxable income.
  • The Keep American Jobs from Going Down the Drain Act (Rep. Sutton, H.R. 1684): Gives preference to U.S.-made goods and materials for use in the installation, replacement, and improvement of drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects.
  • Berry Amendment Extension Act (Rep. Kissell, H.R. 679): Prohibits the Department of Homeland Security from procuring certain items directly related to the national security unless the items are grown, reprocessed, reused, or produced in the U.S.
  • American Jobs Matter Act (Rep. Chris Murphy, H.R. 1354): Directs federal contracting officers, government-wide, to solicit optional information regarding the impact a contract award may have on U.S. job creation and authorizes the use of this information in award decisions.
  • All-American Flag Act (Rep. Braley, H.R. 1344): Ensures that when the government buys American flags, they are made in America.
MAKE IT IN AMERICA: SMART REGULATIONS AND EFFICIENT GOVERNMENT

Federal regulations are crucial to protecting Americans’ health, the quality of our environment, the fairness of our economic markets, and the safety of everything from our workers to the products we use to the food we eat to the air we breathe. Democrats will defend those vital and fair rules from special interests intent on overturning them. At the same time, we must take a common-sense approach to examine regulations that might have unintended consequences, fail to achieve their objectives, or greatly hinder the creation of jobs. President Obama has ordered an administration-wide review of the economic effect of federal regulations, and Congressional Democrats will build on that effort, while working to preserve the fair rules that protect Americans’ health and safety.

Some Make It In America areas of focus include:

  • Ensure legitimate end-users can use derivatives without incurring undue costs.
  • Streamline and modernize U.S. export controls to allow for the export of widely available products in a manner that does not undermine U.S. national security.
  • Increase transparency in the Buy America waiver process across all departments and agencies.
  • Streamline the federal government’s manufacturing programs to better meet the needs of today’s manufacturers and provide them with one-stop shops to access federal assistance.

MAKE IT IN AMERICA: ENACTED LAWS

Since 2010, President Obama has signed the following Make It In America bills into law:

  • U.S. Manufacturing Enhancement Act: Makes it cheaper for American companies to obtain the materials they need to manufacture goods. [Public Law 111-227]
  • Protecting American Patents: Helps the Patent Office to begin to unclog the backlog—totaling about 1.2 million pending applications—by giving the agency access to more of the fees it collects so that patent applications can continue to be processed and innovative ideas can continue to move to market. [Public Law 111-224]
  • Preventing Outsourcing: Prevents the outsourcing of U.S. jobs by closing tax loopholes that encourage companies to send U.S. jobs overseas. [Public Law 111-226]
  • Small Business Jobs Act: Expands much needed lending to millions of small businesses and offers tax incentives to help small businesses grow, hire, and fuel our economy, without adding a dime to the deficit. [Public Law 111-240]
  • Energy Jobs and Training for Veterans Act: Provides grants for programs to provide on-the-job training, apprenticeship, real experience, and long-term employment in all energy fields. [Public Law 111-275]
  • America COMPETES Reauthorization Act: Establishes innovative technology federal loan guarantees for small- and medium-sized manufacturers and invests in science, technology, engineering, and math education. [Public Law 111-358]
  • Reauthorization of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs: The six-year reauthorization ensures that the nation’s small, high-tech, and innovative businesses are a significant part of the federal government’s research and development efforts. [Public Law 112-81]
  • Leahy-Smith America Invents Act: Improves the patent system to provide incentives for companies to continue innovating and manufacturing in the U.S. [Public Law 112-29]
  • Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act: Reauthorizes the Export-Import Bank for three years, ending uncertainty for businesses and providing the resources needed to keep American exporters competitive. [Public Law 112-122]
  • Surface Transportation Reauthorization: Funds infrastructure improvements that will support manufacturing, spur economic growth, and create jobs in our communities. [Public Law 112-141]