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Pallone: Manufacturing Has Future in US [AUDIO]

America’s manufacturing sector could still have a bright future, according to U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone.

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Pallone was in Hazlet Tuesday, to take a tour of the manufacturing facilities of International Flavors & Fragrances in support of an initiative, Make It In America, by House Democrats that aims to reinvigorate the manufacturing industry.

He said North America remains one of the largest consumer markets in the world and by opening facilities in America, companies could access a motivated workforce and save on shipping.

“So if you’ve got that market, and you can find workers here to produce the product,” Pallone said, “the raw material and transportation costs are going to be less here in many cases.”

Pallone said from a legislative standpoint, there needs to be support for bolstering infrastructure, providing employee training, creating grants for research and development and providing tax incentives.

Manufacturing was once a major sector in the U.S., offering livable wages and allowing many Americans access into the middle class. However, regulations allowed companies to outsource operations to countries with cheaper labor like China, India and Thailand.

“I mean, the service sector provides good jobs too, but the manufacturing sector has traditionally provided higher salaries and better benefits,” Pallone said.

Many of those same countries are now seeing their economies improve, and that gives the U.S. a chance to recapture manufacturing, according to Pallone.

“As those labor costs rise, ours become more competitive,” he said. “I think to the extent that we keep energy costs down, we have a good productive workforce, and we invest in infrastructure — that’s going to keep companies growing here instead of overseas.”

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