The administration has been unable to make a formal currency manipulation declaration. The Senate has passed legislation to address currency manipulation but it is stuck in the House, with over 60 Republican co-sponsors who won't sign a discharge petition, and a presidential candidate who says he will address the problem on his first day in office -- but won't ask his party to address it today.
Next, a national economic / industrial policy. Other countries see themselves as COUNTRIES, and have national policies. We do not. So we send our companies into the world alone to fight against countries. We need to say that WE as a country will work to put the components in place to secure a share of key industries like green manufacturing so that we can continue to make a living as a country.
We need to fix tax policy to promote manufacturing. We should eliminate tax incentives that encourage U.S. companies to ship jobs overseas and end the system of tax deferral that allows American multinational firms to keep profits offshore.
And finally, Buy American! Trade rules allow us to specify that our tax dollars be used to buy American, and it's just a no-brainer to strengthen this. If other countries reciprocate, fine -- but they don't!
One last point. To kick-start this effort, we need to invest in rebuilding and modernizing ourinfrastructure. In the plenary with Paul Krugman he pointed out that this really would be a free lunch. He said that we would not be diverting anyone from other jobs because we have millions of construction workers looking for jobs. We have construction equipment sitting idle. And we can finance the necessary projects at the lowest cost in history. And, of course, all of this work is work that needs to be done eventually, so we should do it right now.
And we should require that all of it be done under Buy American procurement policies!
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