The retail and manufacturing industries have remarked on President Obama’s State of the Union address, commending his focus on job creation, while also offering a few suggestions.
“We have repeatedly called on Congress and President Obama to make the economy and job creation their top priority, so we are very pleased to see these goals emphasized by the president,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the National Retail Federation, in a written statement.
“We need Washington to pass laws that boost job creation and to repeal laws and red tape that stand in the way,” Shay continued. “That means putting an end to uncertainty on fiscal policy that cripples consumer confidence and long-term business planning, adoption of tax reform that will make U.S. companies more competitive, removal of outdated restraints on trade and a moratorium on mandates that drive up the cost of adding workers to the payroll.”
“We’re pleased that manufacturing was once again front and center in the State of the Union, and we look forward to working with the administration to craft public policies that will create more manufacturing jobs,” said Scott Paul, Alliance for American Manufacturing’s president, in a separate remark.
However, he noted that the president did not reference his 2012 campaign pledge to create 1 million new manufacturing jobs and made no mention of trade enforcement issues in his address.
“We’ll continue to remind the president of the need for bolder policies and stopping China’s cheating on its trade obligations,” Paul said. “America can be a magnet for manufacturing jobs, but we’ll need to think bigger than this.”
Manufacturers welcomed the president’s remarks on immigration reform, STEM education and negotiations for a free trade agreement with the European Union, said Jay Timmons, National Association of Manufacturers’ president and CEO, in a written statement.
“However, equally important is creating an atmosphere where employers can hire and invest in their businesses,” Timmons added. “We unfortunately didn’t hear a call for action on comprehensive tax reform that will benefit manufacturers.” He also called for reforms to energy policy and approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.
During a speech today at the Detroit Economic Club, Timmons reiterated his call for the government to create appropriate manufacturing policy and laid out a “20/20 vision” scenario that will bring back manufacturing and the U.S. economy by 2020. The plan calls for industrial production growth of 4.5 percent, 20,000 manufacturing jobs created per month and GDP growth of 3.5 percent annually.