WASHINGTON Aug 11 President Barack Obama
signed a bill on Wednesday aimed at easing costs for U.S.
manufacturers by reducing tariffs on materials used to make the
products they sell.
The bill is part of a "Make it in America" agenda Obama's
Democrats are pushing ahead of the Nov. 2 congressional
elections. Backers say the initiatives will reduce the huge
U.S. trade deficit with China and other countries by bolstering
American manufacturing firms.
"Our economy has fallen into the habit of buying from
overseas and not selling the way it needs to but it is vitally
important that we reverse that trend," Obama told an audience
of businesspeople gathered at the White House for the bill
Obama said the bill would make it "cheaper and easier for
American manufacturers and American workers to do what they do
best: build great products and sell them around the world."
The manufacturing legislation passed overwhelmingly in the
U.S. Congress last month and has the support of many business
The National Association Manufacturers has said it would
boost U.S. manufacturing output by $4.6 billion and support
about 90,000 jobs.
It would reduce or suspend tariffs on a list of raw
materials and component parts no longer produced in the United
States but used by American companies to make other products.
Some examples include shoe leather used by companies such
as New Balance to make running shoes and some types of computer
chips used to make computers.
The global financial crisis led to a major slowdown in
trade, causing the U.S. trade deficit to shrink to $375 billion
in 2009 from $699 billion in 2008.
As economic growth has returned, the trade gap is on the
A wave of consumer goods imported from China led to a
surprising widening of the U.S. trade deficit in June,
according to a report from the Commerce Department on
Wednesday. The trade gap hit $49.9 billion, the highest since
(Editing by Bill Trott and Jerry Norton)