Iowa Senator Tom Harkin is preparing to introduce sweeping legislation which he says is America’s “best bet” for keeping pace with countries like China and other emerging economic giants. Harkin, a Democrat, says his Rebuild America Act will bolster the economy and the middle class in a comprehensive fashion.
“The bill has many elements, including investments in infrastructure, education and research that are very much in line with the president’s proposals,” Harkin says. “My bill also places a strong emphasis on expanding America’s manufacturing economy.”
China’s vice president is currently in Iowa discussing agricultural trade and Harkin notes, China’s economy has thrived thanks to extraordinary investments in manufacturing and infrastructure. He says the U.S. could learn from that example by ramping up investments in those areas.
“Many countries across the globe have high wages as well as strong environmental and safety regulations, just as we do, but these countries are doing a much better job of creating and attracting manufacturing jobs,” Harkin says. “Why is that? They’ve taken smart aggressive steps to support their domestic manufacturing sectors.” Harkin says his bill will mandate the development of a national manufacturing strategy.
“The aim is to provide additional support for domestic manufacturers to innovate, receive financing and carry out research, development and production in the United States,” Harkin says. “In addition, my bill will promote domestic manufacturing by reforming the tax code, by reducing rewards for shifting jobs overseas, and finally, it will more fully revisit our trade laws to insure they reflect a fair trade agenda.”
Harkin says the aim of the strategy is to pursue policies that create good jobs and provide lasting benefits for the economy. He couldn’t provide an exact timeline for the legislation but says he will introduce it “in the coming weeks.”