US President Barack Obama has stressed on the need for economic reforms in US saying that not doing so would mean waving the white flag to the rest of the world especially to countries like India, Germany and China.

“If we don’t make these investments and these reforms, then we might be waving the white flag to the rest of the world, because they’re moving forward. They’re not slowing down,” Obama said yesterday.

He added that countries like China, Germany and India are going forward and US can’t just sit by. Doing nothing doesn’t help the middle class.

Offering a framework to help break through some of the political logjam in Washington and try to get Congress to move on some of the proven ideas, Obama said the country needs to focus on creating good jobs, with good wages, in durable industries and areas that will fuel the future growth.

“For the first time since the 1990s, number of manufacturing jobs in America hasn’t gone down, it’s actually gone up. I want new tax credits so communities hit hardest by plant closures can attract new investment,” he said.

Obama urged the Congress to create 45 manufacturing innovation institutes that connect businesses, universities and federal agencies to help communities left behind by global competition to become centres of high-tech jobs.

“I want it to made here in the United States of America.

“I don’t want that happening overseas,” he added.

Noting that there is about $2 trillion of deferred maintenance in the country, Obama said, “Congress should pass what I’ve called my “Fix-It-First” plan to put people to work immediately on our most urgent repairs, like the 100,000 bridges that are old enough to qualify for Medicare.”

Obama also called for creating jobs in energy – in wind, solar and natural gas.

“Those new energy sources are reducing energy costs and dangerous carbon pollution along with our dependence on foreign oil. So now is the time to double down on renewable energy, bio fuels and electric vehicles, and to put money into the research that will shift our cars and trucks off oil for good,” he said.

Emphasising for more exports Obama said, “We’ve got to export more. We want to send American goods all around the world. A year ago, I signed a new trade agreement with Korea, because they were selling a lot of Hyundais here, but we weren’t selling a lot of GM cars over there.

Since we signed that deal, our big three automakers are selling 18 per cent more cars in Korea than earlier.”

(This article was published on July 31, 2013)
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