Terry on Obama’s manufacturing plan: New policies, not executive orders, are what’s needed

In response to President Barack Obama announcing actions to strengthen U.S. manufacturing on Monday, Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) said policies – not executive orders – are what’s needed to grow the nation’s economy.

Obama released executive actions aimed to spur advanced manufacturing in the U.S. based on recommendations from an Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) report that focus on enabling innovation, securing the talent pipeline and improving business climate.

The actions include the Departments of Defense, Energy and Agriculture and NASA making $300 million worth of investments on three technologies singled out by AMP: advanced materials, advanced sensors for manufacturing and digital manufacturing. Addressing the talent pipeline, the White House will spend $100 million on an American Apprenticeships Grant Competition to increase apprenticeship models in advanced manufacturing fields.

Terry, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s, Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee, said he was pleased to see Obama recognize the need for a more skilled workforce – something he said his subcommittee has focused on throughout the current session of Congress.

However, he noted that stimulating the economy will take more than a commitment to education and research.

“We need policies in place that allow our nation of builders to be more competitive,” Terry said. “These policies would include tax reform that brings certainty and fairness to job creators; an energy policy that uses our reliable and affordable supply of American energy to power our factories; and, eliminating Obamacare’s 30-hour work week that keeps workers out of factories and ultimately makes our manufacturers less productive.”