Huntsman to Release Jobs Plan

Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman unveiled a job creation plan today, ahead of similar plans that rival Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama will roll out next week.

According to released excerpts of the speech, Huntsman will emphasize the need for a strong manufacturing base.

“When I was born, manufacturing comprised 25% of our GDP; today, it’s down to 10%,” Huntsman will say. “This does not reflect a decline in American ingenuity or work ethic; it reflects our government’s failure to adapt to the realities of the 21st century economy.”

What exactly that failure is, he doesn’t say. But he does say that more products should be made domestically.

“We need American entrepreneurs not only thinking of products like the iPhone or Segway; we need American workers building those products,” he will say.

“It’s time for Made in America to mean something again.”

The message coming from Huntsman, however, rings hollow. Not only does he support the nation’s failed trade policies that have cost millions of jobs and allowed products like the iPhone to be made in China, he and his family have made billions exploiting those trade policies.

Huntsman Corp., a family-owned chemical company perhaps best known for inventing Styrofoam egg cartons, has been increasingly outsourcing American jobs to low wage nations like China.

In fact, the company has a total of 12,000 employees. Just 2,000 of which are employed in America, according to Bloomberg News.

From 2009 to 2010 alone, the company’s Chinese profits rose 57 percent. Huntsman was coincidentally the U.S. Ambassador to China at the time.

Since first entering the Chinese market in 1992, the company has increasingly moved production to China. Oftentimes Huntsman Corp. is forced to partner with state-owned companies there.

But Huntsman isn’t just guilty of taking advantage of the free trade policies that have allowed the U.S. to lose millions of manufacturing jobs. He was essential in creating them.
Under George W. Bush, he served as Deputy U.S. Trade Representative, and was instrumental in China’s accession into the World Trade Organization, among other things.

Huntsman should put his money where his mouth is and start creating jobs in America instead of China.

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