One-tenth of all U.S. jobs are in the manufacturing sector — good jobs that pay 20 percent more than the national average. Manufacturing accounts for 12 percent of gross domestic product and over half of our national spending on research and development. Because even the most modern economies cannot thrive without making things. Good ideas that will help presidential candidates win in Ohio today can also help America win in the global economy. Let’s remember that, long after the votes are counted.
What kind of good ideas? Helper recommends that we “start with more investment in education, training, and research and development.” In that, the NAM agrees, but it’s not enough. Addressing the skills gap, improving our national infrastructure and promoting R&D are a start, but we also need to address the serious challenges faced by manufacturers in the United States — things like soaring energy costs, the high costs of civil litigation, and a corporate tax structure that discourages investment.
Today’s manufacturers need pro-growth policies put in place to help them compete in this global market place. Candidates who advocate one set of policies, however credible, without addressing the costs of doing business aren’t doing anyone a favor.