The President is in Texas today and it is being reported that he plans to announce that he is issuing an Executive Order focused on manufacturing innovation. This is good news. It continues to recognize what the NAM already knows: Manufacturers in the U.S. are the world’s foremost innovators and therefore are driving our economy. It also endorses the NAM’s position that this White House initiative can be accomplished with existing funding and not increase the deficit.
Today’s announcement follows through on the President’s commitment, made in his State of the Union address earlier this year, to launch three new manufacturing hubs around emerging manufacturing technologies. The existing hub launched as a pilot in Youngstown, OH is centered on additive manufacturing and is being led by many NAM member companies. The competition for the next three institutes are said to focus on digital manufacturing, lightweight and modern metals manufacturing, and manufacturing for next generation power electronics. It is hard to imagine given these areas that NAM’s members will not once again be the innovative brainpower behind these centers as well.
The NAM has been an advocate of this concept. Public-private partnerships bringing together the best minds from industry, academia, the research community, and the government have a proven track record of delivering game-changing innovations in manufacturing products and processes. The NAM has also been clear that now more than ever before these partnerships must be strategic and not lead to wasteful spending. In a recent letter to the U.S Senate we in fact supported an amendment to the Budget resolution that would accelerate the development of advanced manufacturing technologies as long the effort did not add to the deficit.
While it is encouraging that the President continues to bring attention to the power that manufacturing has in job growth and creation the NAM will remain vigilant that any new proposals are fiscally responsible and are in sync with the NAM’s Growth Agenda.