This morning on Capitol Hill the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) hosted a Shopfloor event to provide Congressional staff with additional information on the importance of the miscellaneous tariff bill (MTB). The current MTB expired at the end of 2012 and manufacturers have faced higher tariffs on products critical to their operations that are not available here in the United States.
The participants in today’s Shopfloor event included Linda Dempsey, vice president of international economic affairs for the NAM; Jessica Lemos, director of international trade policy; House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, Senator Bob Casey; Ron Eva, global sourcing and contracting manager for BASF Corporation and Ed McAssey, COO of Lasko Products, Inc.
Chairman Camp and Sen. Casey both discussed the importance of passing a bill as soon as possible. The MTB has bicameral and bipartisan support and helps support and create jobs.
Lasko Products produces desktop and oscillating fans at facilities in Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas and they employee 900 people. Mr. McAssey discussed how important the MTB is to the competitiveness of the company. Without the MTB they will see costs rise, making it more expensive to manufacture fans, putting jobs at risk. The failure to move an MTB will also resonate throughout the supply chain for manufacturers like Lasko, impacting even more jobs.
Mr. Eva from BASF talked about the importance of the MTB to help maintain competitiveness in markets such as automotive, printing, packaging, telecommunications and agriculture. BASF has more than 100 facilities in 31 states in the United States and employ more than 15,000 people. The global market is becoming increasingly more competitive and the MTB helps BASF better compete against this growing competition.
Following the Shopfloor event dozens of manufacturers met with members of Congress and staff in the House and Senate to drive home the importance of moving an MTB as soon as possible. “There is a lot of talk about growing manufacturing jobs and this is an easy step Congress can take to do just that,” said the NAM’s Jessica Lemos. With manufacturers already facing a 20 percent cost disadvantage compared to our major trading partners it’s important Congress gives manufacturers the tools they need to compete.