What should our new President do when they are at the peak of their power and the halo is brightest over their electoral success?
This afternoon, I will have the privilege to speak at the National Press Club at the US Manufacturing & Public Policy Conference to tackle a question that will decide the fate of millions of unemployed Americans and drive the job security of our 12 million USA factory workers. Getting it right will set the tone for the next four years and create an inertia that will power our industry and grow our middle class. Here are my five suggestions that the President should power through Congress to grow the economy quickly and add millions of job fast:
1) Bring Home $3 Trillion Dollars
American companies have kept cash profits overseas for over a decade because they do not want to be double taxed (once by the foreign country and again back home by the IRS). This money is locked in low interest accounts overseas - very unproductive. If we tweaked our policy and said all profits made are taxed where they are made (like Europe and Japan and Canada do), we would have $3 Trillion dollars rush home in a 100 days. This money will be used for wonderful things back here in the USA like creating new USA factories or initiating new R&D projects which will cause fast job creation. Some fear that dividends or stock may be bought back by some of the companies with their repatriated funds. This may occur in some cases, but ultimately this will help our retired people living on pensions - a good thing. Bring back the cash and supercharge the economy and our retirees.
2) Protect Intellectual Property
USA intellectual property is being stolen. Frequently. For example, today six Chinese companies have cut and pasted my wire baskets (that our engineers created) from our website on their website and are pretending they came up with these innovations. To make matters worse, Americans observing the Chinese websites buy Marlin Steel's baskets from these Chinese companies who are not being stopped at our border. Our Federal government does not act and protect our innovators so the foreigners save money by not hiring scientists and researchers and engineers and just copy our ideas. Then they export our ideas back to the USA - and keep the cash. We must stop this injustice by disallowing these companies to sell in the USA. Our government has the power to make this change (Where is the Customs Agency?) but without leadership and direction, they do not act. Hundreds of thousands of USA jobs are lost each year because of this dereliction of duty that can be stopped in the first 100 days.
3) New Clients = More Sales = More Factory Workers
When we get a new wire basket client, we have to make more products and hire more talent to fulfill these orders. Most of the world's consumers are over seas. Matter of fact, the USA has only 4% of the world's populations. We need more clients to sell so we can hire more locals. My company makes everything in the USA and ships wire baskets and precision wire forms to over 39 countries - including China. The best way we can double sales is closing more foreign deals but the foreigners put taxes on our products. Right now, China and Europe are cutting trade deals all over the world and our country is asleep at the wheel. Our nation has a manufacturing trade SURPLUS with countries we have deals with however we have a Deficit with countries we do not have a deal. Time to cut deals like the TPA so we can lock in these new clients so our factories can hire more talent to hit their ship dates.
4) Sunset Regulations
Many regulations are critical to have safe drinking water and clean air. We need them desperately or we will have to wear masks like the Chinese do in Beijing. However, there are many regulations that are cumbersome and do not improve our standard of living. Each regulation should be sunset and have to be affirmatively voted on by Congress (not unelected bureaucrats by fiat). This will create an ecosystem where useful regulations are kept and silly ones die. American Factory jobs are dying because of strangling regulations - compliance costs over $35,000 per employee at our small businesses. This job killer has to be reined in.
5) Tax Reform
My Canadian competitor pays a 15% tax rate (this includes 100% health insurance for his employees) but companies like my factory in Baltimore that makes custom wire racks pays over 40+% in taxes. In addition, we have to pay for health insurance and local and state taxes which makes our share of the profits less than 50%. This means when we quote jobs we have to quote too high and lose jobs to our Canadian economic rivals. Canadians are thrilled with this plan but our unemployed workers want jobs so we have to make sure our tax plan makes us nimble enough to beat the Canadians and the Europeans and Japanese. We want factories moving to the USA and not moving away to Mexico or Ireland to escape our exorbitant burden.
These five plans enacted will create a surge of job creation and growth in our economy that will power our middle class for a decade.