Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) gave his maiden floor speech in the Senate Thursday, and he made manufacturing in Delaware and the United States his theme. Thank you, Senator.
There is much to recommend in his speech — we appreciate the citation of the NAM’s work — and we pick out the section that used a real-world example to make the larger points about U.S. manufacturing policy.
Many Americans may not realize it today, but ours still remains the No. 1 manufacturing economy in the world. We still produce one-fifth of all manufactured goods worldwide, and this sustains more than 18 million private sector jobs. Advanced manufacturing businesses know that to achieve the quality and productivity they need, they must find a top-notch workforce, modern infrastructure, and a fair and predictable system of regulation.
I learned this myself firsthand when I was working in the private sector at a company known as W.L. Gore & Associates. It is better known perhaps for discovering and marketing GORE-TEX fabrics, but it is a materials-based company that manufactures hundreds of products, from medical devices to wire and cable. At one point, I was part of a site location team that had to decide where to build a new state-of-the-art manufacturing plant, costing more than $100 million. It could have been anywhere in the world, but we wanted to locate it right here in America. As we considered many cities and States bidding for the plant, we ultimately made a decision.
What made the difference? What were we looking for? First, a reliable and skilled workforce. Second, State, county, and city governments that were responsive and had already made investments in local infrastructure. While we also considered tax credits and training grants, an educated workforce, responsive local government, and high-quality infrastructure were the main factors that attracted our business.
The full text of his remarks is here. The entire speech is to be recommended. Thank you, again, Senator.
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