U.S. Manufacturing Base Gone, Congress is Told

25 de abril de 2007

<body><div id="article"><tr><td height="28" valign="middle" width="184"></td><td valign="middle" width="185"></td></tr><h1>U.S. Manufacturing Base Gone, Congress is Told</h1><p>Washington, D.C., April 24 (EIRNS)-- "China is investing in their future," asserted Cong. James Oberstar (D-Minn.) as he contrasted U.S. versus China steel output. "The country with the highest output of steel" in 1979 was the U.S. with 129 million tons of raw steel output. In 2006, "China's raw steel output was 450 million tons. Oberstar's comments, made at an oversight hearing April 24 on the topic of the Bush administration's subversion of "Buy America" laws as applied to transportation projects. While this was the topic of the hearing before the House Transportation Committee's subcommittee on Highways and Transit, the real underlying subject discussed was America's decimated manufacturing base. Oberstar said China "is investing $1 trillion" in infrastructure as he insisted its time the U.S. do likewise.</p><p>Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.) returned to this theme. "We don't have the infrastructure we once had." Back in the 1980s "we were losing manufacturing jobs. We used to build rail cars," for example. "In the 1930s when we had a recession, we built bridges and dams, etc. Why not use transport projects" to rebuild the U.S. economy today, she asked the witnesses as she asked for their ideas on how do we rebuild. John Catoe, general manager of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, agreed. He explained the U.S. no longer manufactures train cars, and has only one domestic company still making heavy-duty buses. He then told her, "If you are calling for a public works program for transportation projects, I'm willing to lead it."</p><p>Pathetically, not one congressman mentioned the shutdown of the nation's auto industry, or called for a reversal of these closures by retooling the industry to manufacture the components for transport projects as Lyndon LaRouche has called on Congress to do.</p></div></body>