The agenda, available online here, provides policymakers with a roadmap to make America a leader in clean technology manufacturing and strengthen and transform the nation’s industrial base to make it the cleanest and most advanced in the world.
The blueprint builds on the group’s Solidarity for Climate Action platform, which provides solutions to address the simultaneous crises of climate change and economic and racial injustice. The group said a bold and proactive manufacturing agenda is key to economic recovery, growing opportunity and prosperity, and reducing the emissions driving climate change.
“The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted how important manufacturing is to our nation and how much the loss of manufacturing jobs has hurt our ability to be self-reliant,” said United Steelworkers International President Tom Conway. “American leadership in inventing—and manufacturing—the most advanced technology of all kinds was once a cornerstone of a strong and growing middle class and a pathway for many out of poverty. We cannot cede American manufacturing jobs to our global competitors or leave our economy and communities vulnerable because we failed to be forward-thinking about boosting the sector for the short and long term.”
“Action to revitalize and grow clean, family-sustaining American manufacturing jobs must be a central part of our work to tackle environmental injustice,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune. “We cannot ignore the fact that the roots of the climate crisis lie in racism, land-theft, colonialism, and patriarchy. By ensuring cleaner manufacturing, we can create new opportunities for workers in low-income communities, communities of color, and deindustrialized communities in need of economic revitalization, while reducing the pollution that disproportionately affects those same communities.”
The group expects the manufacturing discussion to continue as the presidential campaign heats up. A recent poll by the BlueGreen Alliance showed that economic recovery was the top priority for white, working-class voters in five key Midwestern swing states. The poll found manufacturing jobs and clean energy jobs were listed by the participants as two of the most critical components of economic recovery and rebuilding the economy. In addition, 99% of the respondents said they were in favor of investing in manufacturing medical supplies and critical technologies here in America.
The plan includes five pillars: investing at scale in a new generation of American manufacturing; innovating to transform industry; responsibly mining, reclaiming, and recycling critical materials; using public investments wisely to build a strong, clean, and fair manufacturing economy; and changing the rules to build a clean economy that works for all. Under each of those pillars are specific policies to achieve them and the overall goal of rebuilding and retooling America’s manufacturing sector.
“Our economy is broken. Too many communities and workers have been devastated by the bleeding of manufacturing jobs to other nations over the past few decades and we need immediate action from policymakers to reverse that trend,” said BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director Jason Walsh. “This is a positive, comprehensive agenda for policymakers to do the job done right. We can lead the world in making clean products, while also making these products in a clean, and just way.”
“It’s time for our leaders to stop blustering about jobs in the United States and instead take the actions necessary to lead in clean technology manufacturing, invest in transforming American industry, and secure and grow real jobs in communities across America,” Walsh added.
Click the link below to view the full document.