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“If we don’t make these investments and these reforms, then we might be waving the white flag to the rest of the world, because they’re moving forward. They’re not slowing down,” President Obama said on Tuesday.
The US leader said countries like China, Germany and India are going forward and the “US can’t just sit by. Doing nothing doesn’t help the middle class”.
China and India have been among the world’s fastest growing economies for the past two decades.
From 1990 to 2010, China’s economy grew by an average of 10.4 per cent per year and India’s by 6.4 per cent per year.
President Obama said the country needs to focus on creating good jobs, with good wages, in areas that will fuel future growth.
“For the first time since the 1990s, the number of manufacturing jobs in America hasn’t gone down, it’s actually gone up. I want new tax credits so communities hit hardest by plant closures can attract new investment,” said the president.
Obama urged Congress to create 45 manufacturing innovation institutes that connect businesses,universities and federal agencies to help communities left behind by global competition to become centres of high-tech jobs.
“I want it to made here in the United States of America. I don’t want that happening overseas,” he added.
Obama said the US needs to boost exports, even as China replaced the US as being the largest trading partner of most nations in the world.
“We’ve got to export more. We want to send American goods all around the world,” said the president.
According to a report earlier this year by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), China is on track to overtake America as the world’s biggest economy in 2016.