For far too long, the U.S. has depended on outsourcing manufacturing, as companies attempt to save money by sending work overseas where they exploit workers. The pandemic taught the U.S. the hard way as to why we shouldn’t be so reliant on other countries. It became incredibly difficult for the U.S. to receive masks from China, our major supplier for medical supplies, because of the high demand during a pandemic.
Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul spoke with the AWF Union Podcast about bringing manufacturing back to the U.S. and keeping jobs onshore.
Broken supply chain
What does the future of American manufacturing look like? As the pandemic continues, the U.S. needs to find ways to fix our broken supply chain and dependency on other countries. The pandemic has caused a major ripple effect throughout the world with supply chains, exposing the U.S. dependency on other countries. This was reflection in the lack of preparation for a pandemic, to this magnitude.
However, Paul said this is a great opportunity to bring jobs back to the U.S. We need to support ourselves and be prepared for another unexpected crisis. He added that there needs to be a plan put in place so that the U.S. can be ahead of the curve rather than left to struggle.
This led him to talk about how major corporations are at fault for outsourcing their manufacturing jobs. They outsourced jobs because other countries could do the work for cheaper exploiting their workers. Although there are trade agreements put in place that were meant to prevent this from happening, it still does.
Paul said that the Secretary of State, Andrew Blinken is working on ways to enforce the agreements, holding corporations more accountable and punishing those who still go against the agreements. He added that workers have to be at the center of conversation for developing strategies involving manufacturing and incentivizing keeping jobs onshore.
Need for new infrastructure bill
The U.S. is in desperate need of a new infrastructure bill that will repair and replace dated infrastructure. There has been deferred maintenance for years now and it is time for an upgrade.
Paul said that the U.S. is getting left behind in global competition with infrastructure and ours is much less efficient and more costly for repair and maintenance since we have let it go for so long. It is an issue that impacts everyone.
The cost of inaction is over three billion dollars and still growing. An infrastructure bill will help the U.S. get right back on track, put thousands of people to work.