New Poll Finds Americans Blame Washington For Manufacturing Woes

Trade group pushing trade protections and currency crackdown on China

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Americans view Washington as the main obstacle to creating new manufacturing jobs, according to a new poll from an industry group.

As President Barack Obama visits a U.S. Steel plant outside of Pittsburgh on Wednesday to highlight increased manufacturing employment and his administration’s plans for more so-called “Promise Zones,” the Alliance for American Manufacturing says Washington has lost sight of growing jobs in the sector.

The trade group’s survey, jointly conducted in early January by Democratic and Republican polling firms, found that a plurality 45 percent of Americans blame government policies that “encourage outsourcing or this country’s lack of a national manufacturing strategy to compete with China and other countries.” The poll also found that Americans rank the loss of manufacturing jobs as their top economic concern.

“Rather than blaming trends like globalization and technology, voters really believe that this is policy based,” said the group’s president, Scott Paul.

Paul said his organization briefed the White House on the poll results before Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, and will brief lawmakers in the coming days. The Alliance for American Manufacturing is calling for more trade protections for American businesses, and wants the Obama administration to take action against currency manipulation by China.

“It’s clear that the American people think that the President’s and Congress’ interest in manufacturing jobs peaked in 2012,” Paul said. “Fewer people think anyone is doing anything about manufacturing. Talking about it, that’s a different story.”