A Small Manufacturer Embraces the Opportunities of Trade

By March 3, 2011Taxation, Trade

Drew Greenblatt, president of Marlin Steel Wire in Baltimore, testified on behalf of the National Association of Manufacturers today at a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, “Made in America: Innovations in Job Creation and Economic Growth.”

His prepared statement covers the wide range of issues facing manufacturing, drawing on the NAM’s Manufacturing Strategy for Jobs and Competitiveness. Highlights included his remarks on taxes and regulation, and Drew is always good on trade issues. He speaks from experience on small manufacturers can succeed by competiting in the global marketplace. From his comments:

In today’s global marketplace, manufacturers in Maryland are no longer just competing against Texas companies that compete against Georgia companies. We face competition from around the world. Foreign manufacturers often must comply with fewer regulations and have governments that use every tool at their disposal to give those companies a competitive edge, frequently at the expense of manufacturers in the United States. The solution is to increase access to foreign markets through trade agreements and to ensure the regulatory environment in the U.S does not put manufacturers at a disadvantage.

To do this, manufacturers need an international trade policy that opens global markets, reduces regulatory and tariff barriers and reduces distortions due to currency exchange rates, ownership restrictions and various “national champion strategies.” Congress must enact pending trade agreements, and the Administration must negotiate additional agreements in the Pacific area and elsewhere.

Again, speaking from my own experience, one of Marlin Steel’s core niches is selling custom stainless steel material-handling baskets to Japanese automakers. As we all know, Korean automakers have steadily increased their market share, and I want to sell our custom wire baskets to the Korean automakers as well as the Japanese like we did this week to Mazda. The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, if enacted, will help Marlin Steel compete on a level playing field with Korean wire basket suppliers.

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