FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Wayne Ranick (412) 562-2444
Pittsburgh, Pa. – United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard today called for a major campaign to pass a substantial, strategic and sustained economic recovery plan for President-elect Barack Obama to sign when he takes office. Hundreds of economists joined Gerard and dozens of labor and public interest leaders in the Campaign for American's Future's calling for a minimum investment of $900 billion over the next two years.
“This plan invests in America’s future. “It will get us on track to creating an economy that works for working families,” said Gerard. “I can’t imagine a successful economy that doesn’t have a strong, vibrant, forward-looking manufacturing sector, one that puts people back to work and makes the products of the new century. We need an economy that thrives on making things and creates wealth through middle class prosperity.”
The investment represents three percent of the GDP for two years and is the floor amount estimated to be needed to re-ignite the $15 trillion U.S. economy. The plan focuses on public investment to strengthen America’s long-term competitiveness by creating a much stronger infrastructure, well-paying jobs and a sustainable source of dependable energy.
“Investments to retro-fit public buildings with American-made products will spur the economy by creating jobs for working Americans and producing profitable businesses here at home,” Gerard said as he lauded president-elect Obama’s announcement this weekend to create the largest public infrastructure program in a half-century. “It would also make us more energy efficient and reduce carbon emissions.”
The statement calls for recovery plan that is sustained. While a two-year stimulus will help the economy get back on track, it will take many years to build one of sustained and balanced growth, not one driven by booms and busts of asset bubbles.
“This kind of massive investment in the economy that we’re calling for mirrors the ideas of President-Elect Obama,” said Gerard. “These investments should be done with American products where our trade policies allow, and where our trade policies don’t allow for that we should change them.”