Obama Talks American Manufacturing and Exports at Boeing

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During Friday’s visit to the Boeing plant in Everett, WA, President Barack Obama praised the Boeing 787 Dreamliner as a prime example of what American manufacturing can accomplish.

The Dreamliner’s advanced technology and its success in the market symbolize what the United States has to offer in manufacturing, the president said.

“American workers have never been more productive. And companies like Boeing are finding out that even when we can’t make things faster or cheaper than China, we can make them better. Our quality can be higher and that’s what America’s about,” Mr. Obama said.

The Dreamliner, the first commercial airplane to be made of 50 percent composite materials, is lighter, faster and more fuel-efficient than any plane in its class. “It’s hard not to be impressed with the Dreamliner,” Mr. Obama said.

During his speech at the Boeing plant the president highlighted the company’s efforts to boost at-home jobs, relating that orders for commercial aircraft rose by more than 50 percent in 2011 and Boeing hired 13,000 workers all across America to meet that demand.

“Every Dreamliner that rolls off the assembly line here in Everett supports thousands of jobs in different industries all across the country,” the president said.

“The Dreamliner is the plane of the future, and by building it here, Boeing is taking advantage of a huge opportunity to bring more jobs, and more manufacturing, back to the United States of America.”

On Friday, the president was careful to mention Boeing’s recent confirmation of an order from Indonesian carrier Lion Air for more than 200 737s, Boeing’s largest-ever order.

As well as creating jobs in the U.S., Boeing is also a leader in global sales, exporting 34 billion dollars worth of goods abroad in 2011, which in turn is helping the White House meet its goal of doubling U.S. exports over the coming five years. A goal which will be met, the president claims, ahead of schedule.

In his weekly address, speaking from the Boeing plant, President Obama said that “the last few decades have not been easy for manufacturing in this country.”

The transition to a global economy has been “incredibly painful for a lot of communities and a lot of families,” Mr. Obama said. “Too many jobs that provided a steady stable life—a middle-class life—for people got shipped overseas. And the truth is a lot of those jobs aren’t going to come back because of these efficiencies.”

But that doesn’t mean the U.S. economy has to suffer, said Mr. Obama, who called for continued support of government research to maintain the competitive edge as well as policy which makes it as easy as possible for U.S. companies to create jobs in America, not overseas.

“No company should get a tax break for outsourcing jobs. Tax breaks should go to manufacturers that set up shop here at home. Bigger tax breaks should go to high-tech manufacturers who create the jobs of the future,” Mr. Obama said. “It’s time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas.”

Photo Credit: 787 First Flight by Dave Sizer on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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