Manufacturing has always been the height of political fashion, and so it’s never a surprise when politicians talk about their commitment to expanding the manufacturing sector. Usually, though, they manage to do it in an area where their actions haven’t strangled it. Barack Obama tried out that strategy when he bragged about Boeing’s ability to build 787 Dreamliners in places like Everett, Washington, and … South Carolina:
“So this company is a great example of what American manufacturing can do in a way that nobody else in the world can do it,” Obama told the assembled workers this afternoon at the Everett, Wash., Boeing plant. “And the impact of your success, as I said, goes beyond the walls of this plant. Every Dreamliner that rolls off the assembly line here in Everett supports thousands of jobs in different industries all across the country. Parts of the fuselage are manufactured in South Carolina and Kansas,” Obama also noted before mentioning factories in other states.
Boeing does build airplanes in South Carolina, but it’s despite Obama and his NLRB, as Joel Gehrke reminds us:
The NLRB tried to close that South Carolina plant, though, after union workers in Washington argued that Boeing had built the new factory in South Carolina — which is a right to work state — in retaliation against the Machinist Union strikes that had slowed production in Washington state. The NLRB dropped the complaint in December after Boeing signed a new contract with the machinists.
Yeah, as soon as Obama forced Boeing to knuckle under to the union, they let the company operate its South Carolina plant. Obama offered this piece of advice at the event, which reads curiously like a warning:
“What’s happening here in Everett can happen in other industries,” Obama added today during his discussion of American manufacturing.
If we let Obama have another term, I’ll bet that will be absolutely true.
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