From the global pandemic to the ongoing war in Ukraine to China’s aggression against Taiwan, the United States faces an unprecedented supply chain crisis that continues to hurt our economy, jeopardize our national security and lead to everyday product shortages for Americans.
There is a shortage of infant formula, the shelves normally stocked with common goods are emptying, the semiconductors used to power our most basic technology are in short supply, and the prices of used cars are skyrocketing due to the lack of computer chips available to produce new vehicles. Everyday Americans are feeling the impact of the shift of American manufacturing overseas that has taken place over the past few decades.
As Governor Greg Abbott pointed out in a recent Fox Business interview, “The country has made a mistake over the past one or two decades in contracting out the manufacturing of all these critical supplies, whether now semiconductors or health care supplies that we needed then. of COVID… We must not depend on China or other countries for our basic needs.
The United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce agrees.
And that’s why when a company has a choice between investing in Texas or elsewhere, we have to make sure that it always chooses Texas.
Texas and America should never be dependent on another country, especially an adversary, for our most basic needs. And it is absurd to beg countries like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela to increase their oil production when we can do it here in the Lone Star State.
That’s why it’s important to encourage the next wave of manufacturing, power generation, and strategic production of everyday goods right here on our own soil.
During the upcoming legislative session, our legislators have an incredible opportunity to develop a new, modern and transparent economic development agenda that can help solve the supply chain and scarcity crisis, while creating new investments in capital in our communities, giving our children greater opportunities and additional resources for local schools. A program to attract investment to Texas can incentivize building grid reliability, energy security, and the production of consumer staples in our own backyard.
One of Texas’ previous economic development programs, known as Chapter 313, expires at the end of the year. It is therefore time for a fresh start and new ideas to create opportunities for our communities and cement our economic independence.
And time is running out. Other states and nations compete fiercely to land big projects. The most significant benefit of economic development incentive programs is the highly skilled, well-paying jobs the programs are able to attract to an area. The Steel Dynamics plant near Sinton, Texas, was brought in through economic development incentives and has created more than 600 jobs that pay an average of $86,000 a year in an economically deprived area for 50 years or more. Texas must develop a new economic development program to stay in the game.
Reclaiming global dominance in manufacturing is imperative for our national security, our supply chain and our energy security. And as the country’s economic leader, that work begins here in Texas.
John LaRue is the CEO of the United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce and the Acting Director of Relations for the Nueces County Development Commission.