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July 22, 2017

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Ohio's Manufacturing Economy


During the 2016 Presidential campaign, both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders were the loudest voices on saving and restoring US manufacturing.  They were often shouted down by their opponents who believed NAFTA and TPP were critical to the success of the global economy.  The fact that Donald Trump is the President and Bernie Sanders is the leading voice of the Democratic Party shows the American public agreed with Trump and Sanders and not the numerous economists and career politicians who promised better jobs and cheaper products.


What these voters saw was the hollowing out of American manufacturing and the loss of the jobs that defined their communities, their history and their future. They understand the direct impact of the structural changes in the economy – from off-shoring to automation to wage pressures – that led to the massive loss of well-paying manufacturing jobs available to those with a high-school education.  These frustrated and angry voters saw the ladder to a good middle-class lifestyle cut away one rung at a time, all in the name of the global economy.


So where does Ohio stand now?  Some basic facts about the state’s manufacturing economy:


  • Today, one in eight Ohio workers is in manufacturing, making the state third in the nation, after California and Texas, for the size of our manufacturing workforce

  • In 2015, average wages of $1,119 per week in the sector exceeded the average for all sectors by

  • 24.9 percent.

  • Ohio manufacturers contributed $108 billion to the economy in 2015, 17.8 percent of the total for the state

  • The typical worker with a high school diploma and no college earns $2.99 more per hour in manufacturing

The Economic Policy Institute has shown that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) cost the U.S. 683,000 jobs from 1994 to 2010. Manufacturing lost the most, 60.8 percent, and Midwest states like Ohio took the hardest hit. Despite that, the treaty served as a model for the World Trade Organization, normalizing economic relations with China, and similar deals. Economist Jeff Faux puts the toll for those policies at an additional net loss of 2.7 million U.S. jobs. Economist Josh Bivens has costed out the impact on U.S. workers: the typical American with a high school degree and no college loses $1,800 per year.



Voters in Ohio do not need charts like the above to understand the importance of manufacturing jobs to their local economies.  They understand manufacturing – making something valuable from less valuable raw materials – provides higher financial rewards and the satisfaction of a meaningful job more than the minimum-wage jobs they have been given because of globalization.


Ohioans need leaders who know what it takes to create high-paying jobs, who understand the dignity of work and who are not concerned with their own self-interest or self-promotion. Ohio’s next generation deserves better than career politicians and out-of-touch globalists.  The next generation demands to be heard.


The truth is career politicians have failed the American economy and really failed states like Ohio even more.  A solid decade of miniscule economic growth and virtually no job creation has put Ohio in an even deeper hole.  The solution is not more of the same.  The last thing we need are more career politicans in Washington, especially those who have a lifetime of receiving their paycheck from the taxpayers and have little to offer on how to grow the economy.


We are encouraged by what we are hearing from fellow Ohioan and Republican US Senate candidate Mike Gibbons.  Gibbons brings with him decades of experience in the private sector and the know how to create new tax paying Americans by creating new jobs.   The last ten years have been a lost decade for consistent economic growth and sending another career politician to Washington will have little effect on reversing this dangerous trend.  We encourage our readers to learn more about Ohio Senate Candidate Mike Gibbons.

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American Potential Fund is an independent expenditure-only, federal political committee, registered with the Federal Election Commission. Not coordinated with any candidate or candidate's committee.