Panel: Rebuilding American Jobs

Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue and AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka.
7:04 | 10/23/11

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Transcript for Panel: Rebuilding American Jobs
Council here is quoted as saying. If there is one thing that Washington should be able to agree on -- Rebuilding our infrastructure. Should be one and me when you've got the AFL and of the chamber of commerce agreeing on anything that's a sign that it's a good idea. And we do have the AFL in the chamber of comments here is not often the big business and big -- -- agree that this is one of those times. Both see an opportunity to create jobs by rebuilding America. The -- is expected to take up that issue in the next few weeks. I'm now joined by two men that you seldom -- -- -- AFL CIO president Richard -- and US chamber of commerce president Tom -- gentlemen thank you very much indeed for joining -- and it it makes all the sense in the world. Build the crumbling infrastructure put people back to work and it is such a haunts -- make the case. For why the senate why congress should do this business on on the on -- structure. Well first of all we're living off the investments that our parents and grandparents made in this country. We've gone in the last four years from being in the top five infrastructure in -- world to sixteen and were falling. We can't be competitive in the global economy unless we have infrastructure -- allows us to be competitive. We have a major deficit -- 2.2 trillion dollar deficit and old infrastructure. And -- two trillion dollar deficit in new infrastructure to bring us into the 21 century. This is really a no brainer and four years and years and years infrastructure. Was an issue the Democrats Republicans independents everybody. Came together and said. This needs to be done let's join together and -- it. Tom Donahue -- and one joined together. -- -- in that building an easy -- to get this done and how these jobs you think you would bring to them if it was agreed to. Well first I'm wearing agreement and the need to bring along a major improving -- infrastructure. Second. We understand that a lot of jobs can be created in the transportation. And AG side the aviation. And the water side and and those all come with a trust fund attached to them where people pay money. We would disagree on the current discussion. In terms. The game that's going on over -- to -- and a past. President Obama's tax issue one piece at a time -- lot of things we can say about that. And we would disagree. In the issue the buy America components of that when we did it in the stimulus. We -- -- -- 170000. Exemptions why we were trying to build roads and bridges but for the fundamental issue. Of let's put people who work and let's improve the nation's infrastructure we have no objection and no differences and we're -- to try and work it out. By making those suggest. And it's not just about putting people to work it's also about growth without growth obviously -- will be no significant uptick in employment and I've been told red of course. That investment in infrastructure. Creates growth and by the contrary. Crumbling infrastructure. Really hosts the GDP in this -- actually we even have an equation that we shared. With rich you can tell based on the healthier infrastructure. Which indeed GDP is going to be and you are on target. No growth. No jobs. So rich if Tom Donahue and the Republicans don't -- Greenwood. Tax how to pay for this how is this going to. Become a reality this eminently sensible idea of getting people to work in infrastructure. Play it we have the money. It's not a better of this country being broke we have the money -- -- decision to make this a priority. I think we have to make it a priority for two reasons. One it makes us more competitive as a nation to it put people back to work. When you put people back to work you don't have to talk about deficits and things like that because people there working. Contribute to the economy rather than taking something the I was sort of tickled by time -- when He said He. Disagrees with us about not wanting to do buy America -- you'd rather stimulate somebody else's economy rather than our economy so. -- -- royals fans two weeks ago. And what every state in the union. Fifty states -- are selling services equipment and materials into that huge project. And soon I hope we're going to have the pipeline. That comes down through the United States to our refineries. In think in the Gulf Coast which are gonna create 250000. Jobs most of them union jobs so we. Won't we want to do and by America is build more things in America. But that set up opposition. To selling things abroad and from people selling things here. It cost jobs to doesn't create -- -- -- Jeffrey Immelt who's the head of the president's jobs counselor whose -- -- on as well said that. He doesn't think America is in this game to win unlike other countries China Germany other such countries that. Meaning needs to really work harder to do this how -- that could not be in this to win -- this country gone soft. Well it is fair to say and I think -- and I would agree and emerging countries have you know heart all over. And -- and people that are entrepreneur or isn't working very hard. We're we're a developed country and I wouldn't say we've gone soft we've gone comfortable. And what we need and the young people. Coming into the work force starting their own businesses. People would just determined to do this because they've got the skill they got the energy and we need help -- need the banks need help them. Look look. The other countries that we deal -- They have a plan and -- strategy they have a plan for manufacturing have a plan to build things we don't have that strategy in the United States and the reason we don't have. That place up there it's flooded with lobbyists. -- from multinational corporations whose interest. Are beginning to diverge more and more in from the interest of this country would -- realign those interest. -- I think we all start to -- put America back to work. We'll take on the competition and ultimately we -- debate creaky Jenny for instance has managed keep employment up by dealing with the unions. -- sharing Alice in reducing out rather than laying people off -- does something that you would consent -- actually look they -- they have a different strategy. There is is a highway strategy. This country went on and low wage high consumption strategy some time ago cut wages for every one. The major driver of the economy in the United States is consumption He can consume less people have money in their pocket. -- -- -- -- Quick. Fannie -- consumption. People are sending their money and -- manufacturing more than we had a.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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