Obama taps two to head manufacturing office

The administration has already moved forward with a number of manufacturing initiatives, perhaps most notably when it helped give the struggling auto industry financial support as it tried to reorganize.

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With their new responsibilities, Sperling and Bryson will build on efforts from past administration officials like Ron Bloom, who served as assistant to the president for manufacturing policy.

The Office of Manufacturing Policy will coordinate efforts across a host of government agencies, including the Small Business Administration and the Transportation Department, among others.

According to Monday’s administration release, Karen Mills, the SBA administrator, will take charge of the attempts to increase small manufacturers’ access to capital.

The release also said that the free trade agreements that passed with bipartisan support this year – with South Korea, Colombia and Panama – would help expand the manufacturing sector.

Policymakers have also proposed tax preferences to help manufacturers, with both the president’s jobs plan and the House GOP proposal to continue payroll tax relief calling to extend a provision allowing companies to completely write off capital investments.