On Wednesday, Senator Marco Rubio released a report in which he called on American businesses and policymakers to invest more money in domestic capital in the United States, rather than investing in short-term profit for economic growth that lasts. Rubio, who is chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, released a statement that accompanied the release of the report.
In the statement, Rubio wrote: “We must prioritize investment in long-term capabilities in order to ensure future prosperity for American workers and communities.” He continued by saying: “Less investment in our own future productivity represents a lack of will to build an economy and country that can sustain and renew itself for generations to come.”
The report, which is titled American Investment in the 21st Century, is Rubio’s second product of his Project for Strong Labor Markets and National Development. Rubio’s first product was a report that he released earlier this year about the challenges presented by China’s whole-of-state industrial planning for productivity in the United States.
According to a recent op-ed posted by the Washington Examiner that previewed the report, Rubio made the argument that economic growth is mostly driven by finance rather than innovation when it comes to the production of real assets. Because of this. American workers have turned into “line items on a ledger rather than essential contributors to value creation.”
In the report, Rubio wrote: “Investment in domestic innovation and research is often cut or outsourced to competitor nations such as China, which then steals technology to develop and win the technologies of the future — robotics, artificial intelligence, advanced pharmaceuticals, and 5G.”
When Rubio was recently interviewed by the Washington Post, he put the corporations in the hot seat for consistently prioritizing high returns to investors. He also criticized them for making deals that are detrimental to the future of American workers. In the interview, Rubio said: “If you go to China, they promise you ‘X percent’ of their overall market share. You make money, and you look good in front of your shareholders, but you’re also turning over your intellectual property and eventually they’re going to replace you. But who cares? You won’t be CEO in ten years when that happens.”
Rubio also referred to the imbalance with China as “dangerous.” He also said that it would cause China to become aggressive and courageous. Rubio said: “For the sake of global stability, there has to be equilibrium in that relationship, and we don’t have it right now. At its core, this is very simple: China is allowed to do anything they want in our economy and in Western economies, but our firms are allowed to do very little if anything and pay a tremendous price over there.”
Rubio did praise the Trump administration for being the first to not back down in the face of Chinese leaders. “They have traditionally been able to unleash the American corporate class to march up to D.C. and pressure their policymakers to back down because so many of these companies have established a market presence in China that in the short-term is very beneficial but in the long-term is probably suicide for those companies,” he said. Rubio continued by saying: “That’s what’s happened in the past. This is the first administration that has not backed down.” He also said that what the United States needs is a return to “free market capitalism.”
During the interview with the Post, Rubio said: “We have a free market, but that free market operates under the conditions created for it by policymakers. Those conditions should reflect our national priorities. And one of our top national priorities should be creating strong and stable jobs upon which strong families and strong communities can take root.”
Rubio gives credit to his 2016 presidential run for what helped him to open his eyes as to what the American people were facing. “Someone working in an industrial city that’s been hollowed out isn’t necessarily going to move to Silicon Valley and work for a high-tech firm. And even if that transition eventually happens, in the interim period, these are real people and real communities that are left behind. So that stark reality, coming back to the Senate, led me to further explore this,” he said.