Upton, Larson Talk Priorities for Manufacturers

Top lawmakers from both sides of the aisle brought the House floor to the shop floor at the 2013 National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Manufacturing Summit. “We have a real vision, a real agenda that we want to pursue,” said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI-6), which has sweeping jurisdiction over energy and other critical manufacturing issues.

Part of committee’s agenda includes working toward U.S. energy independence. Moving forward with the Keystone XL pipeline is perhaps the single greatest step that would bring us closer to this goal. Keystone would deliver 830,000 additional barrels of crude oil from Canada, North Dakota and Montana to the market every day and create thousands of jobs for manufacturers that would make the steel pipe and the thousands of fittings, valves, pumps and control devices required for a major oil pipeline. For manufacturers, which use one-third of our nation’s energy supply, the pipeline is indispensable.

So is tax reform. It is 20 percent more expensive to manufacture in the United States compared to our competitors, and that figure excludes the cost of labor. “American manufacturers getting a tax break is something both sides agree on,” said Rep. John Larson (D-CT-1), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. He called for a bipartisan commitment to getting the job done. Upton expressed optimism that members of Congress will come together on this issue. “Tax reform is going to focus again on helping businesses create jobs, to bring [them] back from overseas,” he said. “I am more encouraged than ever that in fact, at the end of the day, at some point in the next couple of months, before the next election, we’re going to see a plan to really reform the tax code.”

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