Manufacturing has been leaving U.S. shores for decades as companies find places with little to no labor laws, leading to companies sending operations overseas for cheap labor.
America’s Work Force Union Podcast welcomed United Steelworkers International-Secretary John Shinn to discuss keeping manufacturing jobs in America. In addition to manufacturing, Shinn detailed what he and the USW would like to see in an infrastructure bill.
Bringing manufacturing back to the U.S
Manufacturing has left the U.S. over a period of decades, when companies realized they could get cheaper labor and materials overseas. However, this came at the cost of American jobs and production of a lesser quality product.
In order to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S., Shinn said the Steelworkers are being proactive in their approach to lawmakers. They have been working with various politicians and the Biden campaign and administration to make sure American workers reap the benefits.
In the short term, Shinn said the U.S. needs to keep the pressure on China through tariffs on aluminum and steel. Limiting their output helps keep jobs in America.
He also said the Biden administration can incentivize staying in the U.S. through tax breaks for companies, who promise to employ an American workforce and make their product in the U.S.
Additionally, there needs to be a plan for the future. As the U.S. switches from fossil fuels to more renewable energy, Shinn said it will be vital to the American workforce to begin making plans for manufacturing components for turbines and solar panels in the U.S.
Working on an infrastructure bill
Infrastructure is a bipartisan issue that should receive a fair vote. It is the perfect way to break the partisan gridlock of Washington D.C. according to many in labor and politics, including Shinn.
He said the USW has launched a campaign called, We Supply America. The campaign aims at bringing data to lawmakers showing that infrastructure is a bipartisan issue and that it will greatly help American workers, including Steelworkers. They are also working with their employers to get the word out about keeping jobs in the U.S.
The opposition any infrastructure bill will receive is if there is a tax hike, which Shinn said there will be. However, Republicans should not be opposed to this tax hike, as rates will just return to Bush-era rates, which was fine then.