April 13, 2016

Manufacturing a Ray of Light in the Political Blackness

When we look back at the 2016 presidential election race, it’s doubtful we will do so with fondness. The interminable campaign season has been characterized by some truly head-scratching moments, from violence-marred rallies to juvenile name calling. And, hurray, we still have seven more months of this to look forward to.

If there’s one good that can come out of the embarrassment that is the 2016 campaign, it’s the fact our political leaders have finally rediscovered manufacturing. Outsider candidates Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have made trade deals, and their effects on American manufacturing, a centerpiece of their candidacies. The more-establishment candidates have been forced to follow suit and address a subject that often goes ignored.

The proposed solutions, as one can imagine in a sound-bite driven process, are hardly revolutionary. Or even workable. Giant walls and closed borders designed to keep out people and products viewed as competitive threats might sell on the stump, but not in Washington when the new administration takes office next January and has to actually govern with reality as an annoying backdrop.

But simply talking about manufacturing—the importance of it to the domestic economy, the threats to it from misguided policies, opportunities inherent in it for job creation—is healthy for the nation. And tremendously important to the metals industry, which must do all it can to hold the winner accountable and make sure that campaign rhetoric actually turns into thoughtful and positive pro-manufacturing policies in the coming years.


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Friday, October 20, 2017