Today’s Wall Street Journal painted a pretty picture about manufacturing’s success in the first quarter of 2012. Companies like 3M Co., Cummins Inc., and Eaton have reported increased earnings and improved forecasts for the rest of the year. This is good news and a testament to the strength of manufacturing in the U.S.
The lion’s share of the credit is given to domestic successes with the caveat that future growth is largely dependent on growth in Europe and China.
However, the article doesn’t paint the full picture. Manufacturers in the U.S. are succeeding in spite of the current environment of regulation and the ongoing threat of tax hikes. Yet, as the article explains, “Despite rising profits, manufacturers remain cautious about hiring in the U.S., generally relying on their current workforces to churn out more products.”
Getting down to brass tacks here – manufacturers in the U.S. are leading our economic recovery, but they are doing so in a hostile environment for business. To maintain domestic success and lessen our dependence on fluctuations in markets overseas, Washington needs to put forth policies that place certainty back in the tax system and make sure that regulations don’t stand in the way of growth and job creation.
We’ve had enough of the class warfare rhetoric and choking regulations – it’s past time to implement policies that will eliminate the 20% cost disadvantage manufacturers face and work together to foster our own economic recovery.
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