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Voters Say National Policies for Manufacturing Jobs 'Not Working'

July 20, 2010
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MILWAUKEE-The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) released details of a non-partisan nationwide poll about voter attitudes on the economy, manufacturing and transportation infrastructure. When asked how much of the $800 billion economic stimulus package was used to create jobs by rebuilding and improving highways, roads, and bridges, two out of five voters incorrectly guessed 25%.

Fifty-three percent of voters think worse of the stimulus package when they learn that only 3% of its funding was dedicated to rebuilding highways, roads and bridges.

"The findings in our national survey demonstrate strong majorities of voters believe putting money into infrastructure would make America a more desirable place to live and work, and would create a significant number of new jobs," says AEM President Dennis Slater.

Eight-nine percent agree that "America needs to dramatically increase manufacturing jobs so our economy can keep pace with other countries."

Eighty-three percent of voters say it is "very" or "critically" important that equipment manufacturers are "able to prosper and grow right here in the United States."

Sisxty-six percent of voters believe "given current economic conditions, it's a good time to build and repair America's roads and bridges."

The survey also shows voters strongly believe that national policies are failing to keep manufacturing jobs in this country. American voters think that national policies are failing when it comes to expanding trade with other countries and keeping white-collar jobs in the U.S.

Sixty-eight percent believe national policies to keep manufacturing jobs in this country are "not working well."

Sixty-six percent support making the implementation of the National Export Initiative a top national priority during the next year. In the survey, it was explained to voters that the Initiative "is designed to create more jobs in the United States by encouraging the sale of American-made products to other countries. The goal of the Initiative is to double our exports over the next five years by working to remove trade barriers abroad and by helping U.S. businesses enter new export markets."

"Questions about national policies to keep manufacturing jobs in America and expand exports to other countries capture an important strain of economic discontent that is now running through the electorate," says Ron Faucheux, president of Clarus Research, which conducted the AEM poll.

AEM's poll results come on the heels of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's announcement that the Democratic Caucus is developing a plan titled "Making It In America" to increase manufacturing jobs.

"Eighty-nine percent of voters agree America needs to dramatically increase manufacturing jobs so our economy can keep pace with other countries," says Slater. "AEM welcomes efforts by Speaker Pelosi to increase manufacturing jobs, but we question how Congress can develop an effective plan without working with AEM and its member companies."

These results are based on a survey conducted by Clarus Research Group, a nonpartisan survey research firm based in Washington, D.C. The survey was conducted for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers by live telephone interviewers June 27-July 2, 2010. Sample size: 1,000 registered voters nationwide. The poll's margin of error was +/- 3.1%.

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