Saturday, October 5, 2013

David Craig Urges Lt. Gov Brown to Reconsider Attending Manufacturing Forum

For immediate release: 10.3.13
Contact: Jim Pettit

Harford County Executive and Maryland candidate for Governor David R. Craig said Lt. Governor Anthony Brown should reconsider his position about cancelling attendance at a manufacturing forum.   The Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland, which represents businesses in the Baltimore area, is reviewing policy positions from each of the candidates for Governor, all of whom with the exception of Brown, are scheduled to attend October 4.

The keynote address will examine why Maryland earned a “D” letter grade according to a national report on manufacturing.     Ranking states among its peers in several areas including diversification of industries, tax climate and human capital potential, the report reinforces dismal results in Maryland’s business climate compared to other states in the region.

“With ongoing fiscal emergencies in Washington having an adverse impact on Maryland’s ability to grow jobs, one would think that the Lt. Governor might want to learn about ways to diversify our state’s employment base,” said Craig.  “Unfortunately his priorities appear not to lie with regular people who need high-paying jobs in a manufacturing rebound that could leave Maryland behind.”

A recent report issued by Boston Consulting Group predicted the boom in shale "fracking" and resulting lower natural-gas and electricity prices,  is setting the stage for the U.S. becoming one of the lowest-cost countries for manufacturing in the developed world.  The U.S. deficit on trade of manufactured goods in the first half of 2013 declined from the same period a year earlier according to the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation.  The improvement is significant and halts a trend where the U.S. lost manufacturing business to China, South Korea and other nations.

Maryland’s manufacturing employment dropped from 133,000 in 2007 to 107,000 in 2013, a loss of 26,000 jobs and a 20% decline which is higher than both Pennsylvania and West Virginia.  Moreover, Maryland's manufacturing share of gross state product at 6.5% is the lowest in the region compared to surrounding states and well below the national average of 11.9% of GDP.

“Martin O’Malley and Anthony Brown should both have a seat at the front of the room for this important event,” said Craig.


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