China and our competitors spend billions propping up state-owned enterprises and investing in research and development, monetizing our ideas, and using them to compete against American businesses, while paying their workers less and giving them fewer rights. I want the technologies that will drive the next generation of manufacturing — from semiconductors to hydrogen buses to the next generation jet engine — to be developed in Ohio, and built by Ohioans.
Back in 2014, I worked together with Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri and the Obama Administration to pass the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act.
That landmark bill created a national network of advanced manufacturing hubs, and was one of the biggest steps we’d taken as a country in a long time to make our manufacturing industry more competitive. America Makes in Youngstown started as a pilot program in 2012, and became the first hub in that network.
This year, Senator Blunt and I introduced a follow-up to our successful bill, and last month it was included as part of the bipartisan Endless Frontiers Act — legislation that would make our country more competitive with China and the rest of the world, and that now heads to the Senate Floor. Our provision would expand on the success of our original legislation, and create another 15 advanced manufacturing hubs around the country.
It would also promote more direct collaboration with minority serving institutions — including HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) — it would integrate the Manufacturing Extension Program (MEP) with these hubs, so that small- and medium-sized manufacturers can better participate, and it would create a workers advisory council, to better bring together manufacturing companies and the workers who make them successful.
When we channel American ingenuity — and American resources — into innovation and into American workers, we can out-compete anyone. That’s what we’re working together to do with this bill, and I hope that we can get this bipartisan plan to the Senate Floor and the president’s desk soon.
Sherrod Brown is a U.S. senator, representing Ohio. You may contact him at his office in Cleveland, 801 W. Superior Ave., Suite 1400, Cleveland, OH 44113. You may call his office at 216-522-7272 or 1-888-896-6446.