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Manufacturers Question Benefits Of Jobs Bill

James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent

A group of manufacturing industries has taken a swipe at the Obama administration's proposed tax cuts for energy-conserving purchases in connection with the jobs stimulus bill being debated by Congress. The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) says the tax breaks for homeowners who purchase new appliances and retrofit their homes with insulation, dubbed "Cash For Caulkers," will not spur employment in the United States.

The organization visited a Home Depot in the Washington area and found that many of the energy-saving products such as water heaters, fluorescent bulbs, insulation, windows and doors and other products are not made in America. While admitting that the tax breaks might contribute to energy savings, AAM sees few job-creation benefits by encouraging consumers to buy goods "Made in Mexico," "Made in Japan" or "Made in China."

AAM says that, if possible, Congress should explore ways to ensure that domestically manufactured products are given preference in order to enhance jobs creation.

December 15, 2009