Audits of working conditions are under way at Foxconn's manufacturing plants in China, a key link in Apple's supply chain of iPhones, iPads and other devices. The effort will include visits to at least three sites, "each with more than 100,000 workers," says Auret Van Heerden of the Fair Labor Association.
Obama has proposed using the tax code to create incentives for manufacturers to create jobs in the U.S. rather than abroad. Rick Santorum, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, has also proposed tax-based incentives for manufacturers. But it's worth noting that some economists see risks in politicians and other policymakers making such a big fuss over manufacturing.
Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin says the U.S. economic outlook is the most "uncertain" he has seen in his lifetime. Given that he was born during the Great Depression and lived through the Cold War, the 1970s' inflation, and a brutal 1980-82 recession, that may be saying a lot.
Robert Siegel talks with John Rice, vice chairman of General Electric and president and CEO of GE Global Growth and Operations. Rice is in Washington for part of his company's four-day summit — "American Competitiveness: What Works."
President Obama traveled to Wisconsin on Wednesday. He toured the Master Lock plant, which has recently brought manufacturing jobs back to the US from China. The plant is running at full capacity for the first time in more than a decade.
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