Outlines Changes Needed in
Speaking before a manufacturing symposium sponsored by
DaimlerChrysler in the nation’s capital, Granholm said that while the
world’s economy is changing, manufacturing will continue to be critical
Granholm’s bold plan for reshaping
• restructuring business taxes in
• creating thousands of new jobs right now by accelerating $800 million in university and road upgrade projects and by creating new tools to upgrade schools, downtowns, and nursing homes.
• training out-of-work citizens to step into fields that need workers right now. The MI Opportunity partnership is a worker training initiative that will match, train and place as many as 30,000 unemployed citizens in high-demand job vacancies this year.
• making college accessible to all.
Granholm’s proposed new Merit Scholarship award guarantees every
• creating tens of thousands of jobs for tomorrow by investing $2 billion to create good-paying jobs that can never be outsourced, that will keep our kids in Michigan, and that can diversify our economy…all without raising taxes. The Jobs for Michigan Fund will invest $2 billion in bond proceeds over the next ten years in life sciences, advanced auto manufacturing, and alternative energies. Investment decisions will be made by business experts – not bureaucrats – and the fund will be regularly audited.
The Governor said that in addition to her five-point plan to
“No matter how hard we try to make our states friendly to business and investment, it is very difficult to compete with countries where workers are paid a few dollars a day, and that do not have adequate environmental standards. We need a federal government that’s enforcing the policies that can level our playing field,” Granholm said.
Specifically, the Governor called for:
• stronger enforcement of current trade laws. The Bush Administration must fight for American workers by more aggressively identifying cases of unfair labor/trade practices and take them to the World Trade Organization (WTO) for dispute resolution. She noted only 12 cases have been taken to the WTO for dispute resolution since 2001 as compared with 40 cases brought against the U.S. in the same time period.
• a uniquely American solution to address skyrocketing health care costs.
• a permanent solution to the problems businesses face regarding pension contributions. The pension bill passed by Congress last year replaced the antiquated 30-year Treasury bond rate used to calculate employer contributions to pension plans with a corporate blend rate.
Granholm was one of five governors participating in the manufacturing symposium. Also speaking were Alabama Governor Bob Riley, Ohio Governor Bob Taft, North Carolina Governor Mike Easley, and Missouri Governor Matt Blunt.
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