Obama to Congress: Make U.S. Magnet for Manufacturing

Obama called for congressional action designed to grow the US economy and create jobs. <br/>

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Obama urged congress to act to spur economy
Obama urged congress to act to spur economy

US President Barack Obama called on Saturday for quick congressional action designed to grow the US economy, create jobs and making America a magnet for manufacturing.

"After shedding jobs for more than 10 years, our manufacturers have added about 500,000 jobs over the past three," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address, AFP reported.

"What we need to do now is simple," he continued. "We need to accelerate that trend. We need to launch manufacturing hubs across the country that will transform hard-hit regions into global centers of high-tech jobs and manufacturing."

In his State of the Union address last Tuesday, the president called for a $1 billion investment to establish 15 new "manufacturing innovation institutes" around the country in partnership with businesses.

Three of these facilities will be launched this year under executive authority.

He also renewed his push for more spending on infrastructure development in order to boost the economy and generate jobs, proposing to spend $40 billion for "the most urgent upgrades" like 70,000 aging bridges around the country.

Obama reiterated his proposals to cut loopholes and special breaks for wealthy investors and large corporations, end tax breaks for US companies that "ship jobs overseas" and to enact an "offshoring tax" on companies' offshore earnings.

In his radio address, the president called for making the US tax code more competitive and rewarding companies that create jobs here at home.

He also suggested investing more money in research and technology.

"These steps will help our businesses expand and create new jobs," Obama said. "But we also need to provide every American with the skills and training they need to fill those jobs."

He called for redesigning US high schools so that students graduate with skills that employers are looking for and taking college affordability into account when institutions of higher learning apply for federal aid.