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Manufacturing job losses cripple Pennsylvania economic growth
Apr '08
The American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition (AMTAC) has analyzed job gain/loss in Pennsylvania in a report prepared by Dr. Charles W. McMillion, President and Chief Economist of MBG Information Services titled, Pennsylvania's Jobs Market 2001-2008: Trading Down in A Debt-Driven, Weak Economy.

Reacting to the report, Peter McKernan, CEO of Herculite Products, Inc. of Emigsville, Pennsylvania said, "Pennsylvania can't keep trading good manufacturing jobs for lower paying service sector jobs and expect to grow its economy.”

“Americans haven't stopped buying manufactured goods; they just aren't buying as many from Pennsylvania as before. That's what has got to change if Pennsylvania is to recover the more than 207,000 manufacturing jobs it has lost since 2001 and recharge its economy,” McKernan stated.

Noting that U.S. manufacturing's competitiveness concerns are fostered by Chinese and other foreign-country predatory trade practices such as blatant currency manipulation, rebates of value-added (VAT) taxes, and outright export subsidies, McKernan continued, "A detailed policy response from the administration, all presidential candidates, and the Democratic and Republican leaderships in Congress to address U.S. manufacturing competitiveness is long overdue.

Without this, sectors of the Pennsylvania economy subject to international competition will continue to bleed jobs and wither from the lack of capital investment.”

"There also is a significant point to be made about the risk to consumers. For example, a number of serious product recalls occurred on imports coming from China in 2007. So not only have we shipped Pennsylvania jobs overseas, we are putting the public at greater and greater risk to imports of suspect quality coming from China. The notion that cheaper is better for consumers runs up against law of unintended consequence when consumers are made less safe," McKernan added.

McKernan concluded, "America can't keep running up its 'China credit card' buying foreign manufactured goods. America has got to start producing and buying more products made in Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the United States or we will leave our future generations owing an unsustainable debt to China and our other foreign bankers."

American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition

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