By Justin Sink - 02/18/12 02:15 PM EST
President Obama said that while technology and outsourcing have eroded the traditional American manufacturing base, innovation and skill will position the country to compete in the future.
“Jobs that provided a decent living have been shipped overseas. And the hard truth is that a lot of those jobs aren’t coming back,” Obama said in his weekly address, released Saturday. “But that doesn’t mean we have to settle for a lesser future. I don’t accept that idea. In America, there’s always something we can do to create new jobs and new manufacturing and new security for the middle class. In America, we don’t give up, we get up.”
The president recorded the message after touring the Boeing airplane-manufacturing plant in Everett, Wash., and touted the aeronautics company as a model for American manufacturing in the future.
The president reiterated a call he made Friday in a speech to plant workers, in which he encouraged Congress to reform the tax code to raise taxes on multinational corporations that ship jobs overseas — and reward companies that open factories domestically.
“No company should get a tax break for outsourcing jobs,” Obama said. “Instead, tax breaks should go to manufacturers who set up shop here at home. Bigger tax breaks should go to high-tech manufacturers who create the jobs of the future. And if you relocate your company to a struggling community, you should get help financing that new plant, that new equipment, or training for new workers. It’s time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding businesses that create jobs here in America.”
The president notably shied away from discussion of his recent budget proposal.
Obama has undertaken a major effort to promote jobs growth after encouraging unemployment figures from last month buoyed the country’s economic outlook. But the president still faces a tough battle in convincing voters that the economy — expected to be the biggest issue of the 2012 campaign — has bounced back from the recession.