Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

Leading up to November’s midterm elections, the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) is following how developments on the campaign trail could impact U.S. manufacturers and their workers. AAM is a nonpartisan organization and does not endorse candidates — our goal is to highlight the discussion taking place.

UPDATE: Politico published a piece on Oct. 3 looking at David Perdue's history of outsourcing jobs with the headline, "David Perdue: 'I spent most of my career' outsourcing."  The piece specifically outlines a nine-month period in Perdue's career when he worked as CEO of the textile manufacturer Pillowtex Corp., which has since gone out of business. Politico reports that in a 2005 deposition, "Perdue acknowledged that he was hired, at least in part, to outsource manufacturing jobs from the company."

As the November midterm election approaches, both candidates for Georgia’s Senate seat are eager to talk about the expansion of infrastructure and job creation. The question is… who will actually do it?

Does Republican businessman David Perdue really support the revitalization of American manufacturing when he has a history of outsourcing American jobs? When Perdue was vice president of Haggar Clothing, the company closed down factory lines in the United States and outsourced production overseas, according to MSNBC:

In SEC filings, Haggar reported employing 4,300 workers in America in 1996. That number dropped to just 2,600 in 1997 while the company maintained 1,700 workers overseas in both years. By 1998, 1,667 laid off Haggar employees had been certified for NAFTA retraining programs for workers who lost their jobs to outsourcing or foreign imports – the most of any company in Texas, according to The Dallas Morning News. 

Meanwhile, Democratic Rep. Michelle Nunn frequently has stated on the campaign trail that upgrading Georgia’s infrastructure is important for creating jobs and helping the economy. But will Nunn encourage our aging railways and bridges to be upgraded with imported steel from China? Using American-made steel for upgrading infrastructure plays a vital role in creating more jobs in the manufacturing sector and helping the economy.

Georgia has lost more than 180,000 manufacturing jobs since 2001, but the United States has no real plan for revitalizing our manufacturing sector. Preparing one should be our highest priority. Stand with American manufacturing and urge the candidates for Senate to create a manufacturing strategy to help rebuild Georgia’s middle class.