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Obama announces new partnership to boost American manufacturing

Washington Bureau

President Obama took his jobs pitch to Pittsburgh on Friday, announcing a manufacturing partnership aimed at reviving a key sector of the American economy.

The Advanced Manufacturing Partnership is designed to team government, industry and higher education to fund new technologies. Obama’s plan calls for an initial $500-million down payment toward that effort.

Speaking at Carnegie Mellon University, Obama said the Steel City is a living example of how manufacturing helped build the middle class in America, and said the country must continue investing in new technologies to sustain it.

“Here and across America’s industrial heartland, millions clocked in each day at foundries and on assembly lines to make things. And the stuff we made -- steel, cars, planes -- was the stuff that made America what it is,” he said.

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But evolving technology and globalization mean the U.S. must continue to invest to compete, Obama said.

“We have not run out of stuff to make; we’ve just got to reinvigorate our manufacturing sector so that it leads the world the way it always has, from paper and steel and cars to new products that we haven’t even dreamed up yet. That’s how we’re going to strengthen existing industries; that’s how we’re going to spark new ones,” he said.

With Republicans in Congress unwilling to consider any new stimulus measures, Obama has been holding events like Friday’s to send the signal to voters that he is still taking steps to revive the sputtering economy.

He was in another potential swing state -- North Carolina -- last week to meet with his Jobs and Competitiveness Council, and the White House announced Friday he’ll head to Iowa on June 28 to again discuss manufacturing.

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Before his remarks, Obama toured the university’s National Robotics Engineering Center. He joked that one of his responsibilities as commander in chief “is to keep an eye on robots.”

“And I’m pleased to report that the robots you manufacture here seem peaceful -- at least for now.”


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