With his domestic political standing boosted by last weekend's killing of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan, United States President Barack Obama has now trained his guns on the U.S.' economic competitors and upped the ante on India and China in particular.
Speaking to factory workers at a clean-energy auto manufacturer called Allison Transmission, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, Mr. Obama said that the U.S. was in a competition all around the world with other countries, and those countries knew that clean energy technology was going to help spur job creation and economic growth for years to come.
Arguing that that was the reason why the U.S. had to “make sure that we win that competition,” he added, “I do not want the new breakthrough technologies and the new manufacturing taking place in China and India. I want all those new jobs right here in Indiana, right here in the U.S, with American workers, American know-how [and] American ingenuity.”
While the early part of 2010 saw many of the President's statements refer to emerging markets such as India as a source of competition in global commerce and jobs, his November 2010 visit to India marked a lull in that trend. Contrarily towards the end of last year Mr. Obama spoke of numerous deals signed with Indian companies that would help create American jobs, including the example of one such link between Schenectady, New York, and Samalkot, Andhra Pradesh.
Yet it would appear that Mr. Obama is once again focussed on the domestic economic recovery and job creation policy agenda, which is also significantly centred on cutting the size of the U.S. budget deficit and its dependence on imports of oil.
Underscoring the need to “get gas prices under control” through a reduction in the U.S. dependence on oil, Mr. Obama also said that his administration aimed to boost the production of fuel-efficient cars and trucks across the country.
To that end they had “reached an historic agreement with every major auto company,” Mr. Obama announced, for these companies to ramp up the fuel economy of their cars and trucks.
“That will not only save 1.8 billion barrels of oil, it's going to save you, the average driver, about $3,000 at the pump as cars increasingly get better gas mileage,” Mr. Obama explained.
As part of this agreement the White House has also proposed a $7,500 tax rebate for electric vehicles, aimed at encouraging people to use these new technologies. This rebate would be paid for by “putting an end to the unwarranted subsidies that we are giving oil companies right now through the tax code,” the President added, noting that the top five oil companies through the last five years of the recession had profits ranged between $75 billion and $125 billion.
Emphasising that the jobs of the future were to be found in areas such as clean energy, Mr. Obama reiterated his intention to jump start manufacturing in the U.S. economy. “America's economy is always going to rely on outstanding manufacturing, where we make stuff – where we're not just buying stuff overseas, but we're making stuff here, and we're selling it to somebody else,” he said.