Holly Henschen, Editor
If U.S. manufacturing is going to grow, both domestically and globally, Americans are going to have to work together, according to Hillary Clinton.
Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke at the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association’s Dairy-Deli-Bake Expo 2014 at the Denver
Convention Center June 2, the group’s 50th meeting. I was there
to scope out food manufacturers and their disciples. A delicious
time was had by all.
Clinton’s keynote address hit the nail on the head and may have
been an economic policy platform for the 2016 presidential race that
she’s yet to formally announce her candidacy for. As more U.S. companies reshore their operations, Clinton's on her game in regards to both food and manufacturing.
“If you look at the food market in the United States, which is a very large part of our economy,
it is one thing that can’t be outsourced,” Clinton said. “But it’s also something that, increasingly,
people are going to want to know where their food came from, where it’s made, what’s in it. And
so this is an opportunity to get ahead of the curve.”
Clinton named three ways the U.S. can compete in the global manufacturing arena.
“First, we have to up our game. We have to be as good as we can be, as competitive and
smart,” she said. World leaders told her that they’d love to have American products sold in their
countries, but the companies that produced them were reluctant to compete because they felt
they would be entering a rigged game in a country without a free market. “We’ve got to compete
everywhere again. We’ve got to be just as hungry as everybody else is,” Clinton said.
“Secondly, we need to be sure that we keep pushing for international rules and systems of
accountability, and enforcement for those who violate them. You can’t expect to be entering the
global marketplace with one or two arms tied behind your back.” In the case of these economic
injustices, the U.S. must be willing to approach officials in the highest levels of government in
countries. “You have to raise a ruckus when your people are treated unfairly,” she said.
“Finally, I think it’s important that we make the connection with the opportunities that we have
now to become more effective,” Clinton said. The ongoing domestic energy boom has pushed U.S.
manufacturing production costs 10 percent lower over the last decade. “That has encouraged
companies to bring production back,” she said. As wages rise in export-led economies like China,
production is returning to both the U.S. and the Western Hemisphere. The U.S. could do much
more business with these trading partners. “They’re our biggest customers right now. We need to
be paying more attention to how to build economic relationships in this hemisphere,” Clinton said.
Clinton rounded out her manufacturing speech with an ode to the American Dream that’s now
being adopted by industrializing countries, like China and India.
“Part of what’s happening in our economy is that our workers continue to increase their pro-
ductivity, but their incomes are not keeping up with that,” Clinton said. “…
If we were dropping on productivity, you’d say, “Ok, that’s understandable.”
But we’re not.”
“As we invest in people, building up our neighborhood institutions and
strengthening our bonds, restoring the trust that binds a society, particularly a
democratic society, together, then we will be stronger than ever,” Clinton said.
I like her theory. Now to see if we can work it out. Do you think Clinton’s
manufacturing plan would pan out as planned? Do you think she’ll test it in
the next presidential race?
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out
@foodmfged with your thoughts. ◆
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