Manufacturing in State of the State Addresses: Michigan

Rick Snyder’s first State of the State address as governor of Michigan was heavy on programs, priorities and proposals. Columnist Tom Walsh’s analysis at The Detroit Free Press was right on: “Like a no-nonsense, politically agnostic businessman, Gov. Rick Snyder spent most of his 43-minute State of the State speech ticking off a to-do list of stuff designed to create more jobs and help companies profit and prosper.” (Also from the Free Press, the speech transcript.) 

Snyder, a Republican, specifically mentioned manufacturers just twice, both times in a phrase to describe the private sector in the state. But he certainly discussed many proposals of keen interest to manufacturers, including replacing the state’s Business Tax with a 6 percent corporate income tax. Good to see Michigan finally starting to talk about the Business Tax.

Snyder dubbed the speech, “A roadmap to drive change in Michigan’s economy,” and that roadmap includes an international bridge crossing. The governor emphasized with the importance of trade to Michigan and declared his goal of completing a new Detroit-Windsor bridge:

To achieve success in today’s world, it requires that we look beyond our borders. We must open ourselves to the promises and potential of the global marketplace. We must increase exports from Michigan farmers, manufacturers and entrepreneurs.

Last year, Canada was the top market for our products. In 2009, Michigan did roughly $4 billion in trade with Canada . We also know that one out of every eight jobs in Detroit is in the export industry. In Grand Rapids, it’s one out of seven….To satisfy growing demand, we must move forward towards building a bridge, a new bridge from Detroit to Windsor, The Detroit River International River Crossing.

To achieve success in today’s world, it requires that we look beyond our borders. We must open ourselves to the promises and potential of the global marketplace. We must increase exports from Michigan farmers, manufacturers and entrepreneurs.

The governor discussed a new funding plan for the bridge and made a broader point manufacturers will embrace: “This project isn’t just a Detroit issue. Every farmer and manufacturer in our state can tell you why it’s important to have world trade. This new bridge will create jobs, strengthen our economy, help establish Michigan as a hub for global commerce. So let’s work together so this opportunity does not slip away.”

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