Manufacturing, A-Z in Pottsville, PA

By April 3, 2007Economy, Energy

The Manufacturing Institute’s Bill Canis, our partner in blogging, recently turned up in Pottsville, PA to speak to the Northeast Pennsylvania Manufacturers and Employers Association. John Usalis, the editor of the local newspaper, the News Item, did a great job reporting the highlights of the speech in this story.

Bill covered energy costs (natural gas), the pressing need for skilled workers, and the 31.7 percent of additional costs manufacturers pay in the United States compared to our major trading competitors. He also talked trade:

“One of manufacturing’s strengths is that we are very globally positioned for both big and small companies, and yet we face trade barriers all over the world…Most countries can send their products here free of any tariffs or duties, but we face, for example, tariffs of 14 to 15 percent and up in Latin America. Our products face industrial tariffs in China. If one of the growth sectors for manufacturing is exports, and if foreign countries maintain those tariff barriers, then that puts an absolute dead end for a lot of manufacturers here. So one of the things we need to do is knock down those trade barriers so our products can easily be sold overseas like those products from overseas come here. It should be quid pro quo.”

Good timing on Bill’s part. A few days after his remarks, the United States completed the negotiation of Free Trade Agreements with Panama and South Korea, knocking down trade barriers to U.S. exports.

Anyway, the News Item’s item presents a quick way of learning all about manufacturing’s priorities. Our thanks to everyone in Pottsville, where cool stuff is always being made.