During job Renaissance attendees discussed trade issues and a summary of the events held that day sent via News Release below:
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November 4, 2011
Colorado Springs, CO ~ State economic leaders gathered in Colorado Springs yesterday for Jobs Renaissance to discuss how to revitalize Colorado’s economy and create jobs. Attendees included elected officials, representatives from government economic development agencies and councils, local businesses, labor and agriculture. After a deliberative process, attendees said that reforming trade policy (to export more than we import) and fixing our tax system were the fundamental priorities in job creation.
“Colorado Springs has been hard hit by the recession,” said Frank Shannon, Chair of the Colorado Chapter of CPA. “State and local community, business and economic leaders want to do the best for their region. After considering issues of regulation, credit, trade, and tax, the group decided fixing trade policy, to become a net exporting nation, was the number one issue for Colorado and the country. The majority believed that smart tax reform should include consideration of a value added tax (VAT) or other device to combat foreign VAT’s and improve U.S. trade competitiveness.”
Speakers Fred Crowley (Associate Director of Southern Colorado Economic Forum, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs) informed the group that the Colorado Springs region lost 54 percent of its manufacturing and technology jobs since 2000. He projected both an increased population and increased unemployment unless major new job creation was achieved. He expressed concern that the city is heavily dependent on military (60%) expenditures and manufacturing now contributes a very small percentage to the economy. With impending cuts in military budgets, the city will suffer greatly without some reforms and primary employment increase.
Karl Dakin (Senior Fellow, DaVinci Institute; Executive Director, Sullivan Chair for Free Enterprise, Regis University) discussed the fact that inadequate access to capital has prevented Colorado small businesses from creating more jobs. Dakin leads the Colorado Capital Congress which is helping find solutions for this problem.
Ian Fletcher (Senior Economist for the Coalition for a Prosperous America) informed the audience that America’s lack of a coherent strategy on trade, and the flawed assumption that other countries engage in “free trade”, is causing record trade deficits, offshoring of most industries, and substantial job losses. Mr. Fletcher touched upon foreign currency manipulation and foreign value added taxes as elements that contributed to the US trade deficit.
Jonita Le Roy, from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, told attendees that the Governor’s office is following the proceedings and is interested in the outcome.
Attendees split into small groups to discuss the material presented and decided by a majority vote that their two top priorities for economic recovery were trade and tax reform. Volunteers formed a task force to follow up and assist in the formulation of a written statement of agreement to be used for future advocacy with public officials.
Jobs Renaissance was hosted by The Coalition for a Prosperous America. Sponsoring organizations included: * Integrity Manufacturing * Stockmens Bank * Kurt Manufacturing * Flying Horse Realty * Qualtek Manufacturing * Ranch Foods Direct * Roosters Men’s Grooming Center * Colorado Capital Congress * KINEO Manufacturing * Finishes, Ltd. * Springs Fabrication * The New American Colonies * REMCO * Westar Systems * La Plata Communities * The Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce * Colorado Springs Regional Economic Development Corporation * America’s Got Product
CPA is a nonprofit organization representing the interests of 2.7 million households through our agricultural, manufacturing and labor members.