Schakowsky Introduces Key Legislation to Grow Manufacturing Sector From Bottom Up

Aug 31, 2021 | Press Release

By Alan Minsky, Executive Director – Progressive Democrats of America | Rep. Jan Schakowsky Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), a Senior Chief Deputy Whip and Chair of the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, introduced the Manufacturing Reinvestment Corporation Act. The legislation will ensure that a revitalized manufacturing sector can create the products, processes, and transition opportunities that are necessary to address the climate crisis, embrace inclusion and empowerment of non-traditional manufacturing populations in all aspects of manufacturing, and expand training opportunities in distressed communities.  Schakowsky is joined by Reps. Marie Newman (IL-03), Danny K. Davis (IL-07), Ro Khanna (CA-17), and Tim Ryan (OH-17) as co-leads in introducing the legislation.

“President Biden’s transformational American Jobs Plan will require many tools in the toolbox to succeed, and with this legislation, we lay out a path to success, growth and resiliency for our manufacturing sector,” said Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky.  “I’m really proud that this bill focuses on creating jobs, ownership opportunities, and applying innovative strategies to improve our economy from the bottom up, creating the foundation for a manufacturing renaissance our nation needs and deserves.”

“With President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and the Manufacturing Reinvestment Corporation Act, the United States has a once-in-a-century opportunity to create millions of new good-paying jobs and reclaim our title as the global leader in a manufacturing economy,” said Congresswoman Marie Newman. “If we want to build back better, Congress needs to pass this critical legislation so that we can truly lift up our local labor, create greener and cleaner communities, and strengthen economic growth across the nation through a revitalized manufacturing sector.”

Congressman Danny K. Davis added, “As a long-time advocate for technical skills training in struggling communities, I support this legislation because I believe it could transform the communities I represent. The best program is a job. This bill puts a renewed emphasis on manufacturing and creating opportunities to meet the challenges of our time.  This a once in a generation opportunity to provide transformative change for ordinary people and have the America that we know it can be.”

“Investing in American ingenuity requires a comprehensive manufacturing strategy that fosters competition and re-industrializes our country. I am excited to co-lead the Manufacturing Reinvestment Corporation Act to scale and re-center manufacturing as a key economic priority for America’s future,” added Congressman Ro Khanna.

“It is critical that we provide a comprehensive response to the challenges facing the manufacturing industry in America. We can start moving that direction today by passing this legislation which includes the creation of a Chief Manufacturing Officer, appointed by the President, who will help provide industry specific advice on tax policies, infrastructure, transportation, regulations, and workforce development,” said Congressman Tim Ryan. “Retaining, filling, and growing manufacturing jobs in the United States is a complex task that requires deliberate, interconnected action across different federal and state government departments. With new and emerging challenges in artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and data privacy, addressing these needs will require a high-level strategic response. It’s time for the United States to tackle these issues head-on and transform our manufacturing industry to benefit all Americans.”

The legislation charters the Manufacturing Reinvestment Corporation as the tax-exempt corporate body within the Department of Commerce responsible for implementing and overseeing the activities of the national manufacturing strategy. The proposal will be funded by an initial $20 billion appropriation by Congress with installments of $5 billion over the four years after the passage of the legislation.

The corporation’s board of directors will be a 15-member body with equal representation from federal agencies and national community stakeholders, respectively. The board will be supported by an Advisory Committee consisting of academic and industry experts, public administrators, local community stakeholders, and others at the discretion of the board.

“This is vitally important legislation. In 1986 I was the Commissioner of Economic Development under Chicago Mayor Harold Washington and at that time we focused on creating jobs and investing in community wealth in Black, Brown, and white neighborhoods. We worked with Dan Swinney to save manufacturing companies and jobs, and to equip and prepare community people to acquire companies with ownership succession challenges. We saw retention and growth of the manufacturing base as a key to rebuilding these communities. We also found that when we invested resources and worked with those communities, they became more economically vibrant, and they also became greener. This bill has the potential to build on what we did in Chicago throughout the country,” said Rev. Timothy Wright, who also served as the Director of Domestic Policy in the Clinton White House.

“Manufacturing investments enjoy bipartisan support in Congress, as policy makers understand that we can’t address critical national needs like the pandemic and climate change without rebuilding our industrial economy. However, we won’t ever be able to fulfill the promise of manufacturing unless we address the need for more inclusive employment and ownership of manufacturing companies. TheManufacturing Reinvestment Corporation Act represents a bold plan to reinvest in diverse communities that have long counted on manufacturing as a source of good paying jobs. By investing in strong partnerships between labor, the community and industry, the future of manufacturing can be brighter than ever,” said Andrew Stettner, Sr. Fellow at the Century Foundation 

Dan Swinney, Chair of Manufacturing Renaissance, stated, “Rep. Schakowsky’s bill speaks to exactly how we can rebuild our society. Manufacturing must be the foundation. Today manufacturing in the US is 11% of GDP.  In Germany, it’s 25% of GDP and China is close to 30%.  We need to reach that threshold of 25% of GDP if we are to be leaders in the global economy. As President Biden says, we must rebuild ‘Better.’ If manufacturing expands under the current industrial policy, it’s growth will increase income inequality and polarization in our country. We must have an investment in social inclusion in manufacturing that is equal to the investment in new technologies. In that way, manufacturing will be a tide that lifts all boats. The Manufacturing Reinvestment Corporation Actprovides the blueprint for the resurgence of manufacturing in our society that builds communities, addresses the climate emergency, and builds a stable and secure society.”

Alan Minsky, Executive Director, Progressive Democrats of America stated, “The time is right for a U.S. Manufacturing Renaissance. Humanity’s move away from fossil fuels will require the mass production of a whole new generation of machines, vehicles, energy systems, and component parts. It’s understood that the high-tech research that will spark these changes will mostly occur in the United States, and that America will be the largest initial market for these items; but unless we act now, the manufacturing production itself will likely take place offshore – depriving communities, and working people, across the country of an unparalleled opportunity.  The Manufacturing Reinvestment Corporation Act establishes a process to insure that doesn’t happen; and lays the groundwork for a green US manufacturing renaissance in the 21st century.”

Additionally, the corporation achieves the national manufacturing strategy through locally established Manufacturing Renaissance Councils (MRCs). Regions submit competitive bids to the NMRC to create a local MRC with the national goal of establishing 30 MRCs over ten years. The MRCs will be composed of public, private, and community stakeholders.

A detailed fact sheet is available HERE.

Text of the legislation is available HERE.