The rise of China and the destruction of the middle class in America are two things that I’ve witnessed firsthand. From witnessing manufacturing jobs shipped overseas to my time living in China and seeing the rise of the middle class there, what we’ve lost is something I take personally and will tirelessly work to fix in Congress.
When I moved to Bejing in 2005, there were three subway lines, housing cost $30,000, and to get to Shanghai you had to take an overnight train. When I left in 2017, there were over 20 subway lines, that same house cost $500,000, and you could leave for Shanghai at lunch and arrive in Bejing by dinner. These enormous economic strides were bought and paid for by what used to be the American middle class, and it’s our jobs and our pensions that were lost in the process.
I believe we can and will outcompete China. It’s essential to grow our jobs, rebuild our middle class, and ensure our national security.
Demand Fair Markets and Competiton
China currently outcompetes us through many subversive tactics. By leveraging their labor force, they’re able to strong-arm companies into establishing a base of operations in the country in order to both utilize their labor and market to their people. Through corporate espionage, they’re stealing intellectual property from our industries and are threatening US technological security.
We need to shore up these areas of competition and security through appropriate legislation to ensure that we’re competing on a level playing field. Allowing China the unfair advantages they’re accustomed to is unacceptable.
Build a robust American Industrial Policy
Operation Warp Speed, which produced the COVID-19 vaccines, showed us that when America puts its mind to something and works toward a common goal, we get things done. However, working through the challenges of the pandemic while relying on the Defense Production Act shows us that America needs a comprehensive industrial policy if we’re to meet future challenges. For years, federal investment in research and development has provided great technological strides and created entirely new sectors of the economy. From the Internet to GPS and even the commercialization of space travel, we know that these investments can work to develop industries that are good for the country that traditional investors won’t touch due to the lack of near-term returns on investment.
Building and funding these opportunities can help close the manufacturing gap between newly developed technologies and store shelves, help existing manufacturers become more efficient, and provide jobs and security to our domestic supply chains.
Invest in Manufacturing Workforce Development
As part of my focus on education, I’m dedicated to returning vocational training to American schools and building partnerships with trades and businesses to ensure we’re making the blue-collar workforce of the future. By supporting the trades, we’re supporting workers with good-paying jobs and a ticket to the middle class. Nobody can outcompete American workers.
Support the Commercialization of American Startups
In all of this, we know that America is continually at the forefront of developing new technologies. From Silicon Valley across the country, cities and states have invested in technology incubators to develop the next Facebook. Yet, we have little to no infrastructure for where we can manufacture physical products. We need to change this.
Through all of these items – leveling the playing field, rebuilding our industrial policy, investing in our workforce, and closing the “manufacturing gap,” we can start down the road of rebuilding the American middle class and bringing good-paying jobs back home.