At a White House forum Wednesday,executives of 14 companies that have brought jobs back from overseas or have added domestic jobs,talked to the president about the challenges associated with doing so.
The president,Vice President Joe Biden and Cabinet officials used the forum,“Insourcing American Jobs,” to applaud the companies and government officials who have made strides to bring more jobs to the U.S.
Companies represented at the forum included Ford,DuPont,Otis Elevator Co.,Intel,Siemens,Thyssen Krupp,Rolls Royce,Master Lock,Lincolnton Furniture and Chesapeake Bay Candle.
“These companies are choosing to invest in the one country with the most productive workers,the best universities and the most creative and innovative entrepreneurs in the world,and that is the United States of America,” Obama said.
In addition to hosting the forum,the White House released a report detailing the trend of “insourcing” in the U.S. According to the report,real business fixed investment has grown by about 18 percent since the end of 2009. Over the past two years,334,000 manufacturing jobs have been created,and manufacturing production has increased at its fastest pace in a decade.
In December,the U.S. job market added 200,000 jobs,bringing the unemployement rate down to 8.5 percent.
Bruce Cochrane,president of Lincolnton Furniture,said the company is bringing130 jobs to North Carolina. His family sold a furniture company many years ago,and the new owners moved the manufacturing jobs to China.
After 12 years importing furniture from Asia,he decided to start a furniture company in his family’s old plant. He and other executives talked to reporters after meeting the the president.
“Each of us had the opportunity to give our perspective on the issues we have,and the problems and barriers that exisit for companies like ours to begin manufacturing in the United States again,” Cochrane said. “We are all very motivated to bring jobs back because it makes good business sense.”
Mark Fields,Ford’s president of the Americas,discussed the motor company’s plans to add 12,000 jobs in U.S. plants by 2015. The company is bringing jobs from China,Japan and Mexico and production of some Fusions and F-650 and F-750 commercial trucks to the U.S.
“We are very proud to be insourcing and investing in America,the American worker and doing our part to a part of the economic recovery,” Fields said.
Some companies mentioned specific difficulties. For example,Siemens said it spends nearly $50 million annually to train its U.S. workforce.
Obama used the forum to promote tax proposals that will reward companies that either invest in American jobs or bring them back to the U.S. The tax proposals would eliminate tax breaks for companies that are moving jobs overseas.
“After shedding jobs for more than a decade,American manufacturers have now added jobs for two years in a row. That’s good news,” Obama said. “But when a lot of folks are still looking for work,now is the time for us to step on the gas.”
Reach reporter Brooke Kelly at [email protected] or 202-326-9866. SHFWire stories are free to any news organization that gives the reporter a byline and credits the SHFWire.