Rep. Annie Kuster: Trump has failed manufacturers in the Granite State

For the Monitor
Published: 9/14/2020 10:17:49 AM

When New Hampshire manufacturing thrives, our entire economy thrives. Each job in manufacturing generates as many as 3.4 additional jobs in our communities, helping Granite Staters support their families and build the future they want right here in New Hampshire.

In Congress, I have worked across the aisle to support our manufacturing industry by expanding apprenticeships, job training, and vocational programs. I have prioritized small business growth and job creation, and authored my Jobs and Opportunity Agenda, which lays out specific policies that will build our 21st-century workforce, invest in advanced manufacturing, and promote collaborations between local colleges and businesses.

When it comes to manufacturing, outcomes here at home are often affected by decisions around the world. Growth opportunities for our companies are spurred by accessing new markets overseas. Aggressive work to boost American manufacturing during the Obama-Biden administration was beginning to bear fruit, seeing strong growth in New Hampshire and around the country.

Unfortunately, New Hampshire’s manufacturers and manufacturers across the country suffered a serious blow: the Trump administration. While President Trump loves to talk about American manufacturing, the results we see today make it clear that he has only delivered broken promises and empty words.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses across New Hampshire were feeling the consequences of President Trump’s reckless trade war. A 2019 study published by Moody’s Analytics found that the trade war had already cost the U.S. economy nearly 300,000 jobs, and New Hampshire was not immune. Last year, the manufacturing industry in our state was already losing jobs, and many who kept their jobs saw their paychecks shrink.

Then we were faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, a crisis that President Trump has mismanaged and misled the nation about from the start. The public health consequences of this crisis have been tragic, but Trump’s egregious errors have added to our collective economic hardship.

Let’s be absolutely clear: President Trump’s mistakes on trade policy directly contributed to our failure to contain COVID-19. While attempting to make up for his failed trade war and rushing to make a deal, President Trump actually praised China rather than holding them accountable for early failures to notify the world about the risk of COVID-19.

So what do we have as the end result? Trump lost his trade war, workers in New Hampshire have lost their jobs, and more than 190,000 Americans have lost their lives.

Now, Granite State manufacturers who have been able to forge ahead are facing lower revenues, broken supply chains, and higher costs for their business and customers. Our manufacturing sector is hurting, and we need a president who has a plan to rebuild this critical portion of our economy. We need an administration led by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, who are committed to boosting American manufacturing and supporting American workers.

This commitment was made crystal clear in Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan, which lays out a comprehensive set of actions that will create millions of good-paying jobs, invest in Main Street businesses, and mobilize American manufacturing to ensure the future is made right here at home. Joe’s plan to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, expand clean energy technology, deploy universal broadband to rural communities and create a highly skilled 21st-century workforce is exactly what our country needs to bounce back from the economic failures of the Trump administration.

The past six months have demonstrated the resilience of the American people and our collective ability to support our neighbors and our communities. Granite Staters want to see our economy thrive again, but we can achieve this goal only if we have a president with a plan to combat the pandemic and rebuild our economy. We have an opportunity to build a better American economy that delivers for working families, and Joe Biden has the plan to get the job done.

(Annie Kuster represents the 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.)

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