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Obama Hails 'Insourcing' Trend, Hints at New Tax Breaks

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- With his re-election prospects hinging largely on the economy and jobs, President Obama on Wednesday highlighted what he said is a growing trend under his administration:  the “insourcing” of jobs back to America.

“You’ve heard of outsourcing.  Well, these companies are insourcing,” Obama said during remarks in the East Room, where he was flanked by U.S. business leaders who have committed to keeping work on American shores.

“These companies are choosing to invest in the one country with the most productive workers, best universities, and most creative and innovative entrepreneurs in the world: the United States of America,” he said.  

The White House says in a new report that 334,000 manufacturing jobs have been created in the U.S. over the past two years and that manufacturing production has increased roughly 5.7 percent, the fastest pace in a decade.

Meanwhile, the outsourcing of jobs by U.S. firms has slowed dramatically under Obama, according to the most recent statistical snapshot by the Labor Department.

In 2008, the year before Obama took office, companies laid off more than 11,000 American workers because of “out-of-country relocations” for cheaper, foreign labor.  There were 10,300 outsourcing-related layoffs in 2009 and just 5,300 in 2010, according to a BLS report on mass-layoffs published in November.

“Right now, we are at a unique moment, an inflection point, a period where we have opportunity for those jobs to come back -- and the business leaders in this room recognize that,” Obama said.

“For example, after shedding jobs for more than a decade, American manufacturers have now added jobs for two years in a row.  That’s good news.  But when a lot of folks are still looking for work, now is the time for us to step on the gas.”

The unemployment rate stood at 8.5 percent in December with 13.1 million Americans out of work.  

Obama plans to propose “in the next few weeks” a series of new tax breaks for companies that bring jobs home and end special tax treatment for those that ship work overseas. Neither he nor administration officials offered further details.

The jobs tact advances a narrative Obama’s re-election campaign seeks to underline in the weeks ahead, particularly in contrast to GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney whose former private equity firm, Bain Capital, reports noted this week had a record of outsourcing jobs.

“I don’t want America to be a nation known for financial speculation and racking up debt buying stuff from other nations,” Obama said. “I want us to be known for making and selling products all over the world stamped with three proud words: 'Made in America.'”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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