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NAM Launches Growth Agenda for Manufacturing Resurgence

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Manufacturing is in the spotlight as policymakers continue to realize its significant role in driving economic growth. NAM has released A Growth Agenda: Four Goals for a Manufacturing Resurgence in America, a policy blueprint for the administration and new Congress that sets four goals with bipartisan appeal for enhanced competitiveness and economic growth:

•             The U.S. will be the best place in the world to manufacture and attract foreign direct investment.

•             Manufacturers in the U.S. will be the world’s leading innovators.

•             The U.S. will expand access to global markets to enable manufacturers to reach the 95 percent of consumers who live outside our borders.

•             Manufacturers in the U.S. will have access to the workforce that the 21st-century economy demands.

“Manufacturers are urging policymakers to support and enact the pro-manufacturing policies that will spur job creation, provide a skilled workforce and help improve the pace of U.S. economic growth,” said Doug Oberhelman, chairman and CEO of Caterpillar Inc. and chair of the NAM board of directors. “Manufacturing has the highest multiplier effect of any sector of our economy – investment in manufacturing creates a ripple effect of job creation and growth throughout the U.S.”

The Growth Agenda has been widely distributed to key administration officials, every office on Capitol Hill and the media. The NAM is running Politico Playbook ads all week to support the new agenda and highlight the contributions that manufacturing makes to our country. To reach an even broader audience, the NAM has a robust social media campaign on Twitter, along with digital ads and a State of Manufacturing Facebookapplication.  

On Wednesday, Feb. 13, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons brought the Growth Agenda to the Detroit Economic Club. In his state of manufacturing speech, Timmons told the audience of nearly 400 local leaders and the media that “manufacturing makes America strong, and if we embrace the policies that make this country more competitive, there’s no doubt that this country’s best days are ahead.”

Timmons laid out a scenario that will bring manufacturing and our economy back by the year 2020 – a “20/20 vision”:

•             Industrial production grows by 4.5 percent.

•             Manufacturers create 20,000 jobs a month, which equals more than 1.5 million by 2020.

•             The economy grows at a minimum of 3.5 percent annually, thereby relieving some of the immediate threats posed by our mounting debt.

“We aren’t growing or creating jobs with consistency, and the reason we can’t sustain a positive trend is the fault of Washington,” Timmons said. “The challenge is getting policymakers to enact the right policies.”

Timmons also discussed the NAM’s roadmap for unleashing manufacturing’s potential to drive economic growth and living standards:

•             To attract and retain investment, manufacturers need competitive tax rates at the individual and corporate levels, an “all-of-the-above” approach to energy development and production and a strong, modern infrastructure.

•             To strengthen our trade relationships to sell more products abroad, manufacturers need policies that open and expand new markets and prioritize exports, removing tariff and non-tariff barriers.

•             To maintain and expand our edge on innovation, manufacturers need strong and reliable incentives. Where the U.S. once had the world’s most competitive R&D incentives, we have now fallen to the middle of the pack, and our R&D credit is routinely authorized retroactively. We also need to significantly enhance our intellectual property and cyber protections.

“Manufacturing growth is driven by advanced industries. Today’s – and tomorrow’s – manufacturing is not your grandfather’s manufacturing,” Timmons said.