FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 20, 2004
Schumer: White House Hamburger Plan Is Not Going To Create New Jobs
White House is weighing whether to reclassify fast-food industry as manufacturers Schumer: President should be focusing on creating jobs, not reclassifying them
US Senator Charles Schumer today urged the White House to stop weighing whether to continue count the fast-food industry as part of the service sector or reclassify it as manufacturers. The question of whether to reclassify the industry was contained in the annual Economic Report of the President that was released last week. In a letter being sent to the White House today, Schumer urged the President "to stop this internal debate and focus instead on policies aimed at creating jobs, not reclassifying them.
"While there may be some instances where the food industry could be classified as manufacturing, I do not believe that cooking hamburgers fits that bill. The example your report cites of the soft drink industry fails to reflect the fact that soft drinks are mass-produced. Hamburgers from fast-food restaurants, on the other hand, are sold at the retail level and are produced by hand. If fast food is classified as manufacturing, perhaps the neighborhood lemonade stand should be considered part of the military-industrial complex," Schumer's letter continued.
"As the election year gets underway, I recognize that your Administration is under extraordinary pressure to answer for the 2.3 million manufacturing jobs that have been lost since you assumed office. But instead of focusing on ways to game the economic statistics, you ought to be focusing on real job-creating policies such as getting the Chinese to stop manipulating their currency, a maneuver that puts US industries at a competitive disadvantage," Schumer's letter continued.
Earlier this week, the White House backed off another claim contained in its economic report that asserted that 2.6 million jobs would be created over the next year after two cabinet officials raised doubts. The White House has still failed to repudiate statements in that same report that asserted that outsourcing US jobs was, as White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Gregory Mankiw stated, "a good thing."
A copy of Schumer's letter is attached.