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Obama calls for US to get back to manufacturing

25 january 2012, 14:37
©REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili
©REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili
US President Barack Obama proposed Tuesday to radically shift the US economy back to a manufacturing base after decades of ceding jobs in goods production to factory-heavy countries like China, AFP reports.

In a move to rebuild the weakened economy, create jobs and bolster his reelection chances in November, Obama said the US has an opportunity to wrest goods production from rivals like China and burnish the "Made in USA" label.

"Tonight, I want to speak about how we move forward, and lay out a blueprint for an economy that's built to last," Obama told Congress in his annual State of the Union speech.

"This blueprint begins with American manufacturing."

He laid out a list of new policies aimed at helping manufacturing business in the US, and removing support for those who shift US jobs overseas.

They included tax breaks for more investment and job creation inside the country, support for education and research that feeds the manufacturing sector, and stepped-up protection against subsidized imports and pirated goods -- naming China as the main target.

"My message to business leaders is simple: Ask yourselves what you can do to bring jobs back to your country, and your country will do everything we can to help you succeed," he said.

Facing a country with some 13 million still employed and an uphill battle to keep his job, Obama sought to recharge enthusiasm in the potential of an economy still struggling 30 months after emerging from a deep recession.

"Long before the recession, jobs and manufacturing began leaving our shores," he said.

"We can't bring back every job that's left our shores. But right now, it's getting more expensive to do business in places like China. Meanwhile, America is more productive."

He cited his own grandmother's working in a factory assembling bombers during World War II, "part of a workforce that turned out the best products on Earth."

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