U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., and U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-10th, are teaming up to provide incentives to grow U.S. manufacturing.
The legislators announced their partnership after unemployment in the U.S. edged up to 9.1 percent in May.
“America’s competitors for these solid, good-paying manufacturing jobs are nations like India, China and Korea – countries which have consistently offered generous incentives to attract investment and jobs,” Warner said in a statement. “Our legislation provides more tools for states and localities, allowing them to ‘tip the balance’ by providing an additional financial incentive and a trained, qualified work force as employers are considering where to open new factories and hire new workers.”
Warner’s and Wolf’s plans would create a grant program for states to issue forgivable loans to companies that establish manufacturing jobs in rural or regions with especially high unemployment rates. States would apply for the grants, which states would use to issue up to $5,000 per employee in forgivable loans to companies adding at least 50 manufacturing jobs that paid above the area’s mean wage.
The loans would be forgivable as long as the jobs were maintained for at least five years.
The legislation also would create a pilot program between the Department of Commerce and the Export-Import Bank to expedite applications from companies that are seeking export financing from the Export-Import Bank.
“However, we have been far too slow in responding to our international economic competitors in this era of global markets and competition,” Wolf said in a statement. “This legislation helps to re-focus the United States to be more proactive and a smarter competitor in the global economy - both in the short-term and long-term. We cannot afford to wait. Our international competitors aren’t.”
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