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State of Manufacturing Tour Day 3: Charleston, South Carolina Jay Timmons Opening Remarks

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Jay Timmons, President and CEO of The National Association of Manufacturers Delivers Opening Remarks From Trident Technical College in Charleston, South Carolina

Good afternoon. It’s great to be here in this historic city and to be with students and educators, as well as leaders of this state.

We’re grateful that Senator Tim Scott joined us earlier today, and appreciate his participation in this program and for his leadership in maintaining our nation’s mantle of economic leadership.

I want to also thank a number of people for joining us, including…

…Dr. Mary Thornly for welcoming us to Trident Tech, and for the work you do every single day to equip the next generation of innovators and dreamers.

…South Carolina Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt, for your leadership as a champion for manufacturing and opportunity.

…Ted Pitts, for your partnership and tireless advocacy.

…Eric Spiegel, for being here and for sharing your insights. Siemens continues to make great contributions here in America, not just through the people you employ and the work you do—but also through the Siemens Foundation’s investment in building a 21st century manufacturing workforce.

Also, I want to recognize Anita Zucker, Chair and CEO of The InterTech Group, and a generous supporter of Trident Tech.

***

I’m here today to share with you the State of Manufacturing in the United States. Why manufacturing? It’s simple really. It’s because the strength of manufacturing in America is responsible for the success of America in the world. That is an indisputable fact. When manufacturing succeeds, America succeeds.

That may sound counterintuitive to some, and it belies the picture some would like to paint: that manufacturing means things of the past—old, gritty factories, simple tools and rudimentary machines. If that’s the image the word “manufacturing” conjures in your mind, then, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to introduce you to modern manufacturing.

Today’s manufacturing is vastly different from yesterday’s. Just a quick look at some of our members companies’ work will show you: modern manufacturing touches every aspect of our lives.

For example, I just visited Boeing in North Charleston, where the impressive Dreamliners are being produced…And in the foothills of the Blue Ridge, South Carolinians at BMW are building hundreds of thousands of vehicles a year and exporting to 140 countries.

But innovative manufacturing is everywhere…from the advances in sustainable paper products from Domtar and International Paper…

…to the new material developed by Milliken and Company that will allow windmill blades to last longer and capture more energy.

From the precision parts produced by Timken and Bommer Industries…

…to the vast new world of the Internet of Things, where everyday objects are now digitally interconnected.

First it was our phones. Then it was our thermostats, our watches, our cars. Soon it will be everything from our contact lenses to entire homes, where companies like Westinghouse are making the “digital home” a reality with advanced security that can be managed with a touch of a button from anywhere in the world.

That’s the Internet of Things…and that’s modern manufacturing.

By 2020, 26 billion objects will be linked together by the Internet. Manufacturing is truly changing everything…and all these things are changing America and changing our lives.

That’s why, today, manufacturing in the United States is leading an innovation revolution—a revolution that will win us jobs, raise standards of living and restore our mantle of leadership around the world.

It’s a revolution that will be on display this coming April—at the world’s largest industrial trade show in Hannover Messe, in Hannover, Germany. This year, the United States is the official partner country for the event, which last year drew 220,000 trade visitors to see the latest technologies and new frontiers of digital integration in manufacturing.  And the NAM, partnering with the U.S. Department of Commerce and Siemens, is working on rallying more American manufacturers to participate—and to demonstrate our global leadership.

***

Of course, this leadership is already on display across America, as more than twelve million people are building our future in our industry. And manufacturing is adding more than $2 trillion to the national GDP.

Here in South Carolina, manufacturers employ nearly 12 percent of non-farm workers and contribute over $30 billion to the state economy.

And get this important data point: For every $1.00 spent in manufacturing, another $1.40 is added to the economy. It’s why manufacturing improves our way of life and builds communities.

So, you see, the state of manufacturing matters. It matters for the state of our union.

But obstacles are still in the way of forging an economy that lives up to our people—and to the potential we can unleash.

Unavoidable headwinds, like global economic weakness and worldwide instability, have roiled manufacturing. While this will be slow to change, our leaders right here in our own country have the power to fix other self-imposed barriers to opportunity and success. They can fix policies in Washington that imperil our promise.

These barriers exist because Washington hasn’t yet summoned the will to change them. And because “We The People,” in some ways, haven’t done enough to fight for manufacturing as essential to American Exceptionalism and our future.

Just as “American Idol” is entering its final season this year, it’s also time to stop selecting political candidates based on how they sound, rather than what they can actually do for manufacturing and our country.

If you listen to the candidates out campaigning, whether it’s in the final hours before today’s Iowa Caucuses…or here in South Carolina for the First in the South Primary, they all support manufacturing…at least rhetorically. The same is true of many of our leaders.

But, words alone won’t create jobs or equip students. It takes action. That’s something Governor Haley and Secretary Hitt know well. Creating the right climate for economic growth takes the right policy agenda.

At the NAM, we want to make it easy on our leaders. We’re spelling out exactly the right policies for manufacturers to compete and win, so that America can compete and win.

Last week, we unveiled our 2016 Agenda for Economic Growth and American Exceptionalism.

“Competing to Win” is an agenda that is guided by four core values that also happen to be foundational principles of this country that we love.

The first of these is free enterprise: powerful market forces that drive innovation and growth better than any system ever conceived in the history of mankind.

The second is competitiveness: our ability to expand markets and succeed in the global economy.

The third is individual liberty: the creativity and entrepreneurship unleashed by protecting, defending and advancing the basic freedoms enshrined in our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

And the fourth, equal opportunity: our shared belief that every one of us, if given the chance, has the potential to contribute to the success of our companies, our communities and our country.

Every policy proposal supports these principles—which are also the values that have made and that will keep America exceptional.

Our message is this: If a candidate wants to be a manufacturing president…if Congress wants to energize the manufacturing economy….if you want to be a manufacturing voter…this is the agenda.

We zero in on 11 areas:

  • tax;
  • trade;
  • energy;
  • environment;
  • transportation and infrastructure;
  • labor;
  • immigration;
  • workforce;
  • health care;
  • research, innovation and technology; and
  • regulatory and legal reform

That’s more topics than we have time for here….so I’ll focus on just three…starting with a big one. Taxes.

To unleash a wave of growth—and create new jobs for students like you, we have to fix our broken, decrepit tax code. Companies in America pay a higher tax rate than their competitors in every other developed, major economy.

We want to lead in the global economy, but our tax code means we’re starting from behind.

Comprehensive tax reform means…

  • 5 million jobs added to the U.S. economy over 10 years;
  • Lower tax burdens for companies of all sizes, including the millions of small businesses that drive job creation in America;
  • Driving down the corporate rate to 25 percent or lower; and
  • Moving away from a seemingly prehistoric tax system that taxes worldwide income…to a modern, territorial system so U.S. companies can compete on a level playing field when they do business overseas.

We can’t let Congress or the president kick the can down the road any further, and we must demand a cooperative approach.

A model is that of President Ronald Reagan…who in his second term worked with, rather than around or against Congress, to enact comprehensive tax reform.

But we can’t stop with taxes. Our regulatory and legal systems are also broken. In fact, our legal system is more than twice as expensive as major competitors such as Japan, France and Canada. And the total cost of federal regulation exceeds $2 trillion each year and is on the rise.

Manufacturers bear a disproportionate share of that burden. Regulatory compliance costs for small manufacturers with fewer than 50 employees total almost $35,000 per employee per year—more than three times the cost for the average U.S. company.

That’s money that could be spent on paychecks or new hires. So what do we do about it?

Well, we could follow South Carolina’s lead. Governor Haley has done a lot to simplify regulation. She brought in the job creators who understand these burdens firsthand, and they reviewed some 3,000 state regulations and recommended improvements.

This wasn’t just a feel-good excercise. Their ideas are now the basis for executive and legislative remedies—and they’re working.

There’s a reason more South Carolinians have jobs today. There’s a reason more than 26,000 new manufacturing jobs have been announced, and the state continues to recruit more jobs.  There’s a reason why Boeing and others are investing billions of dollars here to create state-of-the-art facilities. We can find solutions to drive growth, if only we find the will first.

We also need to use that will to strengthen our workforce.

Over the next decade, we will need to fill an estimated 3.4 million manufacturing jobs. But 2 million of those positions will likely remain empty because there’s a shortage of workers with the right skills—often high-tech skills.

It’s what we call the “skills gap.” It affects all of us in lost innovation and productivity.

It also represents a missed opportunity. The average manufacturing worker earns over $79,000 annually – $15,000 more than the national average.

So why aren’t more students preparing for manufacturing careers? Part of the problem is that only 37 percent of parents encourage their kids to do so. And only 18 percent of people see it as a top career choice.

One way that perception will change is by updating and invigorating our training programs. We should make it easier for students to earn industry-recognized credentials in schools…to acquire the skills the real world demands. Trident Tech is doing this. You’re leading the way. Others need to learn from you.

Our Manufacturing Institute is focused on this challenge. Executive Director Jennifer McNelly is here with us today, and she works every day to tackle these challenges—changing perceptions and equipping students.

If we take steps like these to close the skills gap, we will enable a new generation of workers to achieve great things for their communities and this country.

***

That’s what all of this is about—helping people build better lives.

To offer the mom living in the Upstate a job to provide for her children today and her retirement tomorrow…

To give the family in the Midlands the chance to advance and improve their standard of living…

To ensure the veteran coming home to the Lowcountry can enjoy the freedom she defended for all of us overseas…=

And to give communities a foundation for growth and hope for tomorrow.

Throughout America’s history, manufacturers have made our country stronger by the people we employ, the lives we touch and the products we make.

Today, building a stronger country requires something else: bringing the right leaders together to get the job done…people who believe in those four foundational principles of free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity.

You know, leading our great nation is about more than who can yell the loudest, or who can denigrate others most, or who can express the least desire to work across ideological lines. No, true leadership that is worthy of the promise of America brings out the best in all of us.

A great leader unites. He or she doesn’t divide.

That is why manufacturers are raising our collective voices—the more than 12 million voices in the Manufacturing Army—to speak out…and take a stand. We need you to join us—to question candidates and to vote for those who support real solutions and real leadership.

We’re manufacturers. We make things—incredible, life-changing things. And now, it’s up to us to make a difference again—for the future of our country.

 

 

State of Manufacturing Tour Day 1 Part 2: Tampa, Florida Jay Timmons Opening Remarks

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Jay Timmons, President and CEO of The National Association of Manufacturers Delivers Opening Remarks From University of South Florida

January 28, 2016

Good evening. It’s great to be here in the Sunshine State in January.

It is a privilege to speak to educators and others working so hard to develop the talent this country relies on…and especially to address the students in this room who will soon be leading the U.S. economy forward. It’s good to see so many from the Muma College of Business and the College of Engineering.

I want to thank Dr. Stiling and the University of South Florida for hosting us. And I also want to thank Tom Feeney of Associated Industries of Florida for his partnership and tireless work on our tour…as well as Chris Hart of CareerSource Florida and Doug Bailey of Anheuser-Busch for being part of this important conversation. I’m here today to share with you the State of Manufacturing in the United States. Now, why manufacturing? It’s simple really. It’s because the strength of manufacturing in America is responsible for the success of America in the world. That is an indisputable fact. When manufacturing succeeds, America succeeds. That may sound counterintuitive to some, and it belies the picture some would like to paint: that manufacturing means things of the past—old, gritty factories, simple tools and rudimentary machines. If that’s the image the word “manufacturing” conjures in your mind, then come with me, ladies and gentlemen. It’s time to introduce you to modern manufacturing.

Today’s manufacturing is vastly different from yesterday’s. The National Association of Manufacturers has more than 14,000 member companies—from world-recognized brands to family-owned small businesses, and we are the voice of more than 12 million working men and women, their families and the communities they build. Just a quick look at some of our members’ work will show you: modern manufacturing touches every aspect of our lives. Innovative manufacturing is everywhere, across America and here in Florida. From Ryder System’s strides in alternative fuel solutions and energy efficiency……to the sustainable infrastructure developed by CSX. From Rayonier Advanced Materials’ development of high-value ethers that enable the development of slow-release medications……to Amgen or Bayer’s research and production of cancer-fighting and life-improving drugs.

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We’re talking about everything from the precision metal-formed parts produced by Hialeah Metal Spinning……to the vast, new world of the Internet of Things, where everyday objects are now digitally interconnected by the web. First it was our phones. Then it was our thermostats, our watches, our cars. Soon it will be everything from our contact lenses to our entire homes…from smart wallboard, to autonomous automobiles, to transcontinental pipelines. Companies like Jabil are making the “digital home” a reality. And thanks to companies like Honeywell, for example, you can control your home security and energy management with the touch of a button from around the world.

That’s the Internet of Things…and that’s modern manufacturing.

By the year 2020, 26 billion objects will be linked together by the Internet. Manufacturing is truly changing everything…and all these things are changing America and changing our lives. That’s why, today, manufacturing in the United States is leading an innovation revolution—a revolution that will win us jobs and restore our mantle of leadership around the world.

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State of Manufacturing Tour: Manchester, N.H. Jay Timmons Opening Remarks

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Jay Timmons, President and CEO of The National Association of Manufacturers Delivers Opening Remarks From The New Hampshire Institute of Politics, During Day One of the State of Manufacturing Tour

Good morning. It’s great to be here in New Hampshire at this exciting time. The eyes of the nation, even the world, are on your first-in-the-nation primary.

With the steady stream of candidates passing through the doors of the Institute of Politics, the eyes of the world have also been on Saint Anselm. So what a privilege to join you.

Neil, thank you for welcoming us. And Jim [Roche], thank you for the introduction—and for your leadership for manufacturers and the business community here in New Hampshire.

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I’m grateful to have two NAM board members with us: Doug Starrett, president and CEO of the L.S. Starrett Company; and Don Welch, president of Globe Manufacturing Company.

Bill McCourt, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association, thank you for coming—and for your partnership.

***

I’m here today to share with you the State of Manufacturing in the United States. Why manufacturing? It’s simple really. It’s because the strength of manufacturing in America is responsible for the success of America in the world. That is an indisputable fact. When manufacturing succeeds, America succeeds.
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United We Stand, Divided We Fall

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Last week, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Donohue delivered his State of American Business address. He spoke of the challenges and opportunities that businesses in the United States see on a daily basis, and he touched on a range of important policy issues. But he also brought up an important political concern: the type of troubling rhetoric we’re hearing in this year’s political campaign.

He observed, “[T]here are voices—sometimes very loud voices—who talk about walling off America from talent and trade and who are attacking whole groups of people based not on their conduct but on their ethnicity or religion.” Read More

Manufacturers Welcome President Obama’s Decision to Attend Hannover Messe 2016

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Washington, D.C., December 31, 2015 – National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons issued the following statement after the announcement that President Obama will attend Hannover Messe, the world’s largest industrial trade show, in April 2016:

“Manufacturers applaud President Obama’s decision to attend the largest innovation conference on the globe—to lend his voice and presence to the great story we’re telling of the innovation revolution of manufacturing in the United States. We are excited about showcasing our innovation leadership to the rest of the world and advancing transatlantic trade at Hannover Messe. Understanding the importance of this annual event, the NAM has bolstered our involvement each of the past two years. The NAM is proud to partner with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the many German manufacturers who have made significant investments in American manufacturing, to take U.S. participation at Hannover Messe to the next level and to promote manufacturers’ abilities to transform the world.”

View the full press release.

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Manufacturers Welcome Paul Ryan as Speaker of the House

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Washington, D.C., October 29, 2015 – National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons issued the following statement on Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) confirmation as the new Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

“In politics, it is easy to spot the differences between those who are genuine and those who are in elected office for all the wrong reasons. Nothing in the government is more important than personal integrity. We can find truly good people on both sides of the political aisle, and in my view, Speaker Ryan is one of the absolute best.

“In his ascendance to the speakership, he has clearly demonstrated that he is taking on this new role, second in the line of succession to the presidency, not for the good of his career, but for the good of the institution of the House of Representatives and our country.

“Regardless of your philosophy, I believe we can all be assured Speaker Ryan will approach his job from a position of integrity and compassion and with the best interests of all Americans in mind.

“While we recognize that manufacturers won’t always agree with Speaker Ryan on every issue, we know that we can count on him to respond to the concerns and priorities of the NAM’s more than 14,000 member companies and America’s more than 12 million manufacturing workers with a listening ear and an open mind—as he has done on many issues over the years.

“Today, manufacturers are grateful for Speaker Boehner’s commitment to the principles that make manufacturing strong and our country exceptional. And we look forward to Speaker Ryan advancing all of these principles—with leadership and continued friendship. We are hopeful that his election will help Congress move forward as a fully functional lawmaking body serving the American people and promoting the values that make America truly exceptional.”

Ex-Im Is an Easy Yes

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carjayProGauge Technologies, Inc., a manufacturing company based in Bakersfield, California, is bidding on a project that could lead to 30 new jobs, but only five are staying here in the United States. The rest will be created abroad.

It didn’t have to be that way. ProGauge is one of countless manufacturers in the United States, large and small, losing out on foreign sales and international deals because of Congress’ failure to stand up for American jobs. “It’s pretty sad not to be able to keep the jobs here,” said ProGauge president Don Nelson.

Earlier this year, Congress allowed the Export-Import Bank’s charter to expire and has not yet acted to reauthorize it. The Ex-Im Bank has served for more than 80 years as the U.S. export credit agency, ensuring access to competitive export financing for manufacturers in the United States that private banks are unable to offer. Countries around the world have similar credit agencies, and without ours, it is harder for U.S.-based companies to sell their products, made by American workers, overseas.

For months, manufacturers large and small in the United States have said that if the agency isn’t reauthorized, they will lose deals to foreign competitors and have to consider layoffs. Opponents said companies wouldn’t lose deals and people wouldn’t lose jobs.

The opponents were wrong, and now manufacturers’ warnings are becoming a reality. Companies of all sizes are announcing that they are, in fact, losing deals, and their people are losing jobs, or the jobs that they hoped to create in the U.S. will be created elsewhere.

When a small business loses a deal, its ability to hire and grow is put in jeopardy. And when a large company loses a project to a foreign competitor due to the lapse of the Ex-Im Bank, it means lost jobs at every company in the supply chain. When manufacturing jobs start disappearing, they don’t come back. And the loss of those good-paying jobs impacts entire communities. It is past time for lawmakers to start paying attention.

Read the full op-ed here.

Advancing Trade, Strengthening Transatlantic Partnership

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Open trade is one of the best hopes for the long-term success of manufacturing in the United States as our manufacturers increasingly seek to access the world economy. The NAM has prioritized international engagement because by working closely with government leaders, our allied business organizations and manufacturers overseas, we can enhance our impact, strengthen and grow commercial relationships and expand markets and opportunities for manufacturers throughout the United States. Read More

Remembering David Olson

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David Olson, President of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce

David Olson, President of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce

Manufacturers lost a great leader. Minnesota Chamber of Commerce President David Olson will be missed greatly by manufacturers, his fellow NAM Board Members and many more across the country.

David left us after a life not long enough, but long enough for joy and love and laughter and good times – and long enough to leave a lasting footprint on the business community, his state and his country.

He inspired all of us and will be remembered by the countless individuals whose lives he made better. David always had colorful stories to tell, laughs to laugh, words to write, legislators to buttonhole, lobbies to walk and battles to fight. He passionately led the business community in Minnesota for decades with great optimism and strong faith. As a champion for economic growth, he provided pragmatic solutions that transcended party politics.

What most of us remember best is not specifically what David did or said, but how he did it – as a unique, wonderful, patriotic and highly intelligent human being. He connected with each of us in some unusual way to get a job done. Through his words and actions, he made us proud and proud to know him.

He was the epitome of hardworking Minnesotan values and a leader among his peers. I was fortunate enough to count him as my friend.

In an industry that seems to grow more homogenized every day, David had very much his own voice. His lifetime of dedication serves as a monument to the exemplary man he was.  His integrity and hard work will encourage those who knew him and will continue to benefit those who make Minnesota their home for years to come.  Among the best things David has left behind is his shining example.

Free Speech Under Assault

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Some Senators seem committed to diminish an important aspect of our individual liberties by proposing to chill and limit the free speech rights of job creators. This unfortunately was manifested yet again as the latest iteration of the DISCLOSE Act was introduced yesterday. Free speech is a founding principle that defines who we are as a nation. Guaranteed to us by the First Amendment, the freedom of speech is at the bedrock of the democracy that made our country great. Unfortunately today this important individual liberty is under attack.

Continued and persistent efforts to erode speech based on the identity of the speaker in order to gain a political advantage are anathema to the principles for which our founding fathers fought. Today we must push back on these proposals on all fronts. Defending the right to speak freely without fear of reprisal is a fight that never ends. Proponents of such limits are seeking the most sweeping changes possible, as Senate Majority Leader Reid has even proposed the most drastic step of amending the Constitution to restrict speech about our own elected officials. This is the latest in a series of threats to individual liberty that I laid out early this month in remarks at the Adam Smith Dinner.

The NAM remains steadfast in our commitment to protecting the First Amendment rights for all Americans. As a nation, we are strongest when our right to voice our opinions is unimpeded. However, this important individual liberty should not be safeguarded only for politically favored groups. Manufacturers have a right to weigh in on the policies that will determine our future economic growth and global competitiveness, and we oppose the recent efforts by some in the Senate to hinder our right to petition officials that represent us in Washington.