An Open Letter to the House on a Manufacturing Strategy

By July 22, 2010Economy, General

The National Association of Manufacturers today published an open letter to Congress in The Hill. Here is the text:

A Manufacturing Strategy for Jobs and a Competitive America

An open letter to Congress

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has declared that the U.S. House of Representatives will dedicate itself to a manufacturing plan, and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) welcomes the focus on this critical sector of the U.S. economy. We urge House members to use this opportunity for a substantive discussion of what it takes for manufacturers in the United States to succeed in the global marketplace. The NAM believes such deliberations will lead to one inevitable conclusion: The United States must develop and enact a comprehensive manufacturing strategy.

The hard truth is that manufacturers in the United States are too often at a disadvantage. Governments of other countries craft consistent policies to support their industries, and their officials stand by manufacturers as they compete around the world. In America, regulations, taxes and government mandates pile up one after another, making the country a less attractive place to do business.

In Europe, Asia and South America, policymakers think strategically about manufacturing. It is time the United States does the same.

The NAM recently released a call to action that embraces this vision—a “Manufacturing Strategy for Jobs and a Competitive America.” The Strategy proposes three goals:

  • The United States will be the best country in the world to headquarter a company.
  • The United States will be the best country in the world to innovate, performing the bulk of a company’s global research and development.
  • The United States will be a great place to manufacture, both to meet the needs of the American market and serve as an export platform for the world.

A strategy requires substance. It must do more than play at the policy margins. Accordingly, the NAM’s “Manufacturing Strategy” lays out the fundamental, essential policies manufacturers believe are necessary to improve America’s competitive position. On taxes, trade, energy and the environment, there are clear policy choices Congress can make to strengthen the manufacturing economy in the U.S. and create good, high-paying manufacturing jobs. Making other choices can cause harm.

The NAM is pleased the House of Representatives will give much-deserved attention to manufacturing in the coming weeks. The United States remains the No. 1 manufacturing economy in the world, producing 21 percent of all manufactured products. Manufacturing has also proved to be the workhorse of the current recovery, driving growth with increased exports and economic activity.

Still, as the House closes out its July by focusing on manufacturing, the NAM sends this message from our members: Every week, every day, is one in which manufacturers in the United States face unprecedented competitive challenges. A strategy for succeeding in that competitive global environment already exists. It is the “Manufacturing Strategy for Jobs and a Competitive America.”

The document is available at www.nam.org/manufacturingstrategy

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