Political divisions always seem more pronounced during presidential election seasons. Political ads, which are seemingly unavoidable this time of year, would lead you to believe that the country is deeply divided and cannot agree on any meaningful topic. There is one subject, however, that transcends political affiliation and party allegiance: putting Americans back to work.
The manufacturing sector, in particular, can create a meaningful number of jobs for unemployed Americans. Unfortunately, while voters may agree with a “Made in America” mantra, companies are not always in agreement. Yesterday, according to the Detroit Free Press, Ford Motor Company announced their plan to move all North American small vehicle production from the United States to Mexico.
Ford’s decision to move manufacturing jobs from the United States to Mexico threatens to further lessen America’s manufacturing input. Per the Detroit Free Press, “Mexico has seen a 40% increase in auto jobs since 2008 to 675,000 last year while the U.S. saw only a 15% increase in the same period to more than 900,000, according to the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor.” The United States has lost more than 5 million manufacturing jobs since the year 2000. American manufacturing workers are struggling as a result of companies seeking higher profits through outsourcing.
The United States was once the dominant automotive force in the world. Today, it ranks third among countries on the North American continent. According to the Detroit Free Press, “Ford isn’t the first automaker to move small car production out of the U.S. as Mexico has become a mecca for new automotive industry investment and has surpassed Canada in annual automotive production.” It is clear that now is the time, for the sake of American manufacturing jobs, that this trend is reversed.
Only two days prior to Ford’s announcement, the Detroit News published an article proclaiming that “We can have a renaissance in American manufacturing.” The article goes on to say that “Manufacturing has been the backbone of our economy in Michigan and America for generations. American manufacturing helped to create the middle class by providing good paying jobs for millions of families.” For years, the American middle class has been struggling, and the dearth of well-paying, rewarding manufacturing jobs is a major contributor.
At dinner tables and rallies all across the country, heated debates will take place over the next several months. Hot button topics will dominate these debates, but there is one issue that all Americans can agree on: Americans can unite behind the revitalization of American manufacturing. The struggling middle class, not to mention the country as a whole, stands to greatly benefit from making things in America, again.