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Jay Timmons

American Values, Manufacturing Have a Place in Cuba

By | Shopfloor Main, Trade | No Comments

Manufacturers in the United States produce great products desired across the globe each and every day. But our single greatest export remains America’s values – values which include free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity, and a willingness to lead by example.

That has never been clearer to me than it was during my recent trip to Cuba when I took eight manufacturers there to engage in discussions with government officials and engage in a dialogue with the Cuban people.

Times have changed. The tense days of Kennedy, Castro, and the Cuban missile crisis are behind us. I witnessed a nation in transition, whose citizens want to adapt their economy and expand their opportunities.

The decision to normalize diplomatic relations with that isolated island was controversial in some quarters, but a recent national survey found that nearly three-quarters of U.S. adults favor ending the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba. They also favor lifting the restrictions on travel to the island. Based on what I saw during my visit, clearly the time is right for positive interactions between the United States and Cuba.

Cuba May 2017

Economic engagement will benefit both countries. But in the case of Cuba, it will launch its citizens on a trajectory of greater prosperity, opportunity, and freedom.

To get there, we need to do more.

Just 90 miles from the United States, Cuba is well-positioned to become a market for U.S. goods and services. With normalized trade, American exports of goods to Cuba could reach an estimated $4 billion per year.

While the United States has eased some of the restrictions on travel, trade and investment, lifting them completely is up to Congress.

The U.S. government has made allowances for some exports to Cuba and issued changes to facilitate authorized travel to the island. There remains, though, a long road ahead for both countries to expand trade and investment opportunities.

Manufacturers are committed to sharing with the Cuban people American values that will enrich the lives of all. Congress needs to listen, and to take action by repealing the trade embargo and lifting restrictions on travel once and for all.

The Cuban government should reciprocate by allowing U.S. companies to trade directly with the emerging Cuban private sector and by continuing market-oriented reforms that facilitate foreign investment.

I encourage you to communicate with your representatives in Washington. Expanded economic engagement means new opportunities for us, and greater prosperity and freedom for Cubans. It is time to demonstrate our American values in action.

Energy Revolution Powers Exxon Job Announcement

By | Energy, Presidents Blog, Shopfloor Main | No Comments

Great news out of Houston today. Exxon Mobil Corporation announced it will be investing in manufacturing jobs in Texas and Louisiana—to the tune of $20 billion over 10 years. This announcement is important because it demonstrates the connection between domestic energy production and manufacturing. These investments will lead to the creation of thousands of high-paying manufacturing jobs, and it’s all made possible thanks to the domestic energy revolution.

Manufacturers depend on affordable, accessible energy to power their operations and as a raw material. Without the expanded domestic energy production of recent years, an announcement like today’s wouldn’t be possible. Across the United States, manufacturers are being empowered to expand and grow because of access to affordable energy, and America’s energy industry is boosting manufacturing jobs in the United States.

Since 2011, the National Association of Manufacturers has released a series of economic reports all showing that if the United States develops its vast energy resources, manufacturing will grow. Today’s announcement is a sign of what’s possible and a reminder that the future is bright if we continue to invest in energy development and infrastructure in the United States.

Read more about Exxon’s exciting announcement here.

NAM Kicks Off 2017 State of Manufacturing Tour in Austin, Texas

By | General, Shopfloor Main | No Comments

The 2017 State of Manufacturing Tour launches today in Austin, Texas! This is manufacturers’ moment to tell our story and leverage the national enthusiasm for our industry.

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NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons participates in an interview with “Good Day Austin.” Photo by David Bohrer.

From Texas, we will travel to New York, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. If you can’t join us in person, you can still follow the action and help amplify the message.

We want to show the country the true story of modern manufacturing and the incredible, rewarding careers we offer.

You can find the full list of our stops on our tour website and access the opening remarks here from our kickoff event in Austin.

Follow along with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Don’t forget to use #StateofMFG. We are excited to join with manufacturers, business leaders, elected officials and students from across the country to share the promise of manufacturing’s future and our commitment to “be the solution” for the challenges facing our communities and our country.

See you on the tour!

President Trump Begins Work to Support Manufacturers on Day One

By | General, Presidents Blog, Shopfloor Main | No Comments

Thank you, Mr. President. Manufacturers welcome the presidents swift move to provide no new burdens to the onslaught of regulations we have endured these past eight years. One after another, regulations—on everything from health care and energy to workplace conversations—have made keeping our doors open harder and harder.

Todays announcements are great first steps, and we hope this is a sign of more positive actions to come.

Impeding the Development of Lifesaving Products Is What’s Really “Dangerous”

By | Health Care, Innovation, Presidents Blog, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

If you’re following debates in the Senate, you may have heard Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and others refer to one important piece of pending legislation, the 21st Century Cures Act, as “corrupt” and “dangerous.”

Well, she certainly got my attention. But what is really alarming is that Sen. Warren’s attack is baseless. In fact, the effort to derail the 21st Century Cures Act is what is really dangerous—and alarming.

Here’s why:

Manufacturers of medical devices and pharmaceuticals save lives and improve the human condition. Their breakthroughs in scientific advances and technological innovations create jobs for scientists and researchers as well as machinists and those on the manufacturing line.

Their work is essential to both the health of our families and our economy.

Unfortunately, due to an outdated federal device and drug approval process, manufacturers in the United States face burdensome costs and unnecessary delays in the development of innovative, lifesaving products.

The 21st Century Cures legislation works to address these challenges. It will modernize our approach to the discovery, development and delivery of medical innovations to ensure that the United States maintains its rightful position of leadership in the global economy at a time when foreign competitors are catching up.

This bill, which represents a bipartisan negotiation in the House and Senate, has been significantly debated over the past two years. The act focuses on important investments in basic research that will lead to further advancement in the development of treatments and products, help fight diseases and other chronic conditions and allow for small business flexibility to provide health care options to employees.

In addition, the legislation also includes a fix to the Affordable Care Act that will allow small businesses to use Health Reimbursement Arrangements to provide health care options for their employees, a practice that is currently heavily fined by the IRS.

Attempts to call this effort “corrupt” and “dangerous” are baseless and more about making points based on political rhetoric, completely ignoring the positive and much needed provisions of the legislation.

Too much progress is at stake. Americans should hold Sen. Warren accountable for attempting to hold up these much needed medical advances—all to score political points.

President Obama Has Crossed the Line

By | Shopfloor Main | No Comments

National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons issued the following statement after the Obama administration moved to halt construction of the Dakota Access pipeline:

“The Obama administration just made the decision to put politics above jobs, trying to stall, obfuscate and scapegoat in order to block this job-creating energy infrastructure project. The administration has ignored the rule of law because it doesn’t like the court’s findings that the project can move forward.

“This sets a bad precedent that could threaten future infrastructure projects of all types. For manufacturers, this means the men and women supplying steel pipe, coatings, construction equipment, compressor motors, gauges and instruments, sand and gravel and other key components to the Dakota Access project are sitting idle, without work.

“We understand there are concerns, and above all, we want discussions about this project to be peaceful, productive and respectful. But it’s time for the administration to put its political agenda aside. It’s time to put people to work, including the many manufacturers who will build the components of this project. Let’s come together to move forward, create jobs, strengthen our economy and boost manufacturing.”

Politics’ Corrosive Effect on Jobs Has Gone Too Far

By | Economy, Energy, Presidents Blog, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy, Trade | No Comments

Lost in the news about today’s jobs numbers is politics’ corrosive effect on future labor reports and our nation’s standing in the world. Actions and debates underway in America today are erecting walls to long-term prosperity for millions of manufacturers. It’s wrong that this administration’s policies have caused health care costs to skyrocket, while policymakers use red tape to regulate many manufacturers out of business.

It’s unfortunate that critical energy infrastructure projects, such as the Dakota Access pipeline, are threatened, resulting in less energy independence and slower job growth. And it’s a failure of leadership when those seeking to serve us in elected office attack the very reasons we’re great, such as global trade and our free enterprise system.

Manufacturers—and all Americans—are looking for more than what we see on the campaign trail and by this administration. As we pause to celebrate Labor Day and the achievements of workers that made this country exceptional, policymakers should be reminded that we won’t settle for mediocrity. Americans deserve and expect leaders to partner with us to compete and win every day.

Chamber’s Josten Set Standard for Effective Lobbying

By | Presidents Blog | No Comments

With the announced retirement of Bruce Josten from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the business community is losing a stalwart champion of our free enterprise system and a highly respected leader who has defined the Chamber’s advocacy success. For more than two decades, Bruce has been the voice and face of the business community in Washington with singular talent, passion and skill that have set the standard for effective lobbying. He’s been a friend and partner to many of us at the National Association of Manufacturers. In my previous role, I had the privilege of working directly with Bruce on many priorities that our two organizations share. There isn’t anyone in Washington who could be a more experienced and respected mentor for public policy advocacy.

Marty Regalia, who is also retiring, has been as much as anyone a guiding force in shaping and securing major elements of the business community’s tax and economic agenda. Along with Bruce, he has strengthened the work and advanced the progress of the entire business advocacy army. Their leadership has benefited us all. Manufacturers thank Bruce and Marty for their exemplary and dedicated service to promote and defend American Exceptionalism.

Manufacturers Congratulate Sen. Tim Kaine

By | Presidents Blog, Shopfloor Main | No Comments

Secretary Hillary Clinton has chosen a tested and successful governor and senator for her running mate, and manufacturers congratulate Sen. Tim Kaine as he joins the Democratic ticket.

I have worked with Sen. Kaine in a number of capacities over the years and am pleased to count him as a friend. From his time as mayor of Richmond, to lieutenant governor and governor of Virginia, to his current service in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Kaine has proven to be a principled leader. While we don’t always agree on every issue, he takes the time to listen, and most importantly, he keeps his word. He is a dedicated public servant who is well qualified to serve—and who would serve with integrity.

Manufacturers will continue paying close attention to the policy proposals of the Clinton-Kaine campaign. We appreciate Clinton’s stated support for manufacturing, but we remain concerned that many of the positions she’s highlighted on the campaign trail on trade, energy, taxes, regulations and health care would make it more difficult for manufacturers to compete in the global economy and create jobs here at home.

As a former governor, Sen. Kaine has firsthand experience and knowledge about the impact of public policy on investment, job creation and competitiveness. On that note, we hope Sen. Kaine, who has spoken positively about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, will persuade his running mate that expanded trade will support jobs for millions of Americans.

Manufacturers encourage the Clinton-Kaine team to take a close look at our policy agenda, “Competing to Win,” to gain a better understanding of the policies that manufacturers desperately need to win in a competitive global marketplace. We look forward to working with all candidates to enact comprehensive tax reform, pursue new opportunities to export American products, implement regulatory reform and help manufacturers to provide meaningful benefits to their employees.

If the Democratic ticket works with manufacturers to grow the economy and enhance our global competitiveness, we indeed can be “stronger together.” After all, when manufacturing succeeds, America succeeds.

Manufacturers Congratulate Gov. Pence

By | Presidents Blog, Shopfloor Main | No Comments

Manufacturers congratulate Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. Donald Trump has chosen a running mate who has proven executive experience as well as a keen understanding of the legislative process. While in Congress, he was a champion for manufacturing, accruing a 90 percent lifetime voting record with the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).

For manufacturers, however, this election isn’t about the personalities on the ticket. It’s about the policies these candidates support. We are encouraged by Gov. Pence’s support for pro-growth tax reform, regulatory reform, energy and health care policies. We hope Gov. Pence, who has supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership, will persuade his running mate that expanded trade will make America even greater.

Despite his many policy strengths, we have been disappointed by Gov. Pence’s support for laws that fall short of protecting equal opportunity for all citizens. We hope a Trump-Pence ticket will strongly support and defend the equality of opportunity and recognize how diverse workforces strengthen businesses and their communities.

Ultimately, we hope both Trump and Pence will use their campaign to advance an agenda that truly supports manufacturing and the more than 12 million men and women who make things in America. The NAM has already laid out its roadmap for economic growth through manufacturing in our Competing to Win agenda.