My Meeting with President Trump

By February 23, 2017General, Shopfloor Main

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This morning at the White House, President Donald Trump convened a group of business leaders to talk about growing the economy and creating jobs. As Chairman of the Board of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), I told him directly what actions manufacturers want to see from his administration and from Congress.

I outlined many of the solutions that the NAM has already compiled in “Competing to Win.” We talked about tax reform, regulatory reform, infrastructure investment and workforce development. But I really hammered home the point on regulations, perhaps the biggest roadblock for manufacturers right now.

For the average small manufacturer with fewer than 50 employees, regulatory compliance costs almost $35,000 per employee per year. And, according to a recent NAM study, manufacturers face more than 297,000 restrictions on our operations from federal rules and regulations. This burden is crazy, and it’s time for smarter and simpler regulations.

It is encouraging to have an administration that will take the time to sit down with manufacturers and hear what we have to say. He was eager to listen, and in private as in public, his commitment to manufacturing was evident. Manufacturers have the solutions. We just need our leaders to get the work done.

The president knows that other countries are beating us with smarter, fairer tax codes, investments in modern infrastructure and a more sensible, navigable regulatory environment. The world can’t match the productivity and innovation of the U.S. workforce, but without meaningful reform, working families will pay the price for our policy mistakes.

Yesterday, I was honored to help launch the State of Manufacturing Tour at Emerson in Austin, Texas. The tour will share with people across this country the same message I took to the president. And that message is that we all must work together if we are going to achieve the goal of making manufacturing—and America—even greater than ever before.

David Farr

NAM Board Chair and Chairman and CEO at Emerson
During David Farr’s 16-plus years leading Emerson, the company has steadily transformed from a diversified manufacturing conglomerate into a highly focused global enterprise that provides innovative technology and service solutions for customers in industrial, commercial, and residential markets. Such was the case in 2016 as Farr led a number of strategic initiatives that again reshaped the company for the future. Its two key business platforms, Automation Solutions and Commercial and Residential Solutions, delivered global sales of more than $14.5 billion in 2016, with international sales representing 52 percent of that total.

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