Doyle manufactures job summit

Doyle said he already has Gov. Jennifer Granholm from Michigan joining him. He said the two plan to ask others to join them. Doyle's speech addressed the three issues spokesman for his office, Dan Leistikow said Doyle would talk about before congress.

Leistikow said the governor would ask for "fully funded job training" to make manufacturing more efficient, "action on health care" because of rising costs and work on "enforcing existing trade agreements."

The summit was a chance for Doyle to speak with people in Wisconsin's manufacturing sector. He made remarks about the state of manufacturing.

"The state has lost 56,000 manufacturing jobs" in the almost three years, he said. "Some moved to other states, some moved to China, and some simply vanished."

Terry Ludeman, chief labor economist for the Department of Workforce Development spoke about labor market issues related to manufacturing.

"I wish I could tell you I see some light at the end of the tunnel," Ludeman said after showing graphs reflecting declines in almost every area of manufacturing in the state over the past few years.

"All I can tell you is we're bleeding a little less than we were two, two –and-a-half years ago," he said.

Don Nichols, director of La Follette School of Public Affairs gave the same information he gave before the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago last week, he said. He focused on the issue of labor, and goods in general, in China being cheaper than in the U.S. The main focus of his presentation was whether or not the U.S. should let the price of China's currency raise.

He said China is putting its currency at an artificially low rate, making costs low. However, he said it would not be a good idea to push for the value of their currency to be raised. He said that will not necessarily make things any better for the U.S., and "if China gets expensive, U.S. manufactures will go to India." The U.S. needs to beat Chinese trade restrictions, he said.

"We have to negotiate away all trade barriers," Nichols said in an interview after his presentation. "The World Trade Organization, that we helped (China) join, has a code of behavior that does not allow these restrictions."

Nichols said China is growing so fast, problems with their illegal trade restrictions are recent, but the under WTO code, the U.S. could take legal action. However, he said diplomatic methods should be pursued first.

"It just makes no sense why we're allowing unfair trade practices to go on," said Ray Proeber, president of Accurate Die Design Inc. He said the U.S. pays a 31 percent tariff on it sends into China, but China only pays a three percent tariff on goods it sends into the U.S.

The summit also allowed some attendees to address the Doyle. Mike Hornby, representing the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, said the state "can't wait for the federal government" to come around on the issue of rising health care costs. He called for statewide health care programs that would give comprehensive coverage to all employees for the cost of what they are paying now.