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FAA Reauthorization Bill Ready for Final Passage

Yesterday, the Senate passed a bill to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration bill by a vote of 75-20. The bill is funded through 2014.

The bill’s passage is major news after four years of trial and error, resulting in 23 temporary extensions. It will provide infrastructure improvements, next generation air traffic control and common sense regulatory reforms that won’t hinder growth. This is great news for American manufacturers.

Job creation and infrastructure investment are two of the NAM’s top priorities and this legislation takes important steps toward accomplishing them. The House passed the bill on February 3, by a margin of 248-169. The bill now awaits President Obama’s signature.

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Leading Truck Manufacturer to Add More Jobs in 2012

Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) announced yesterday that it will be adding a second shift in order to ramp up production at its Freightliner Truck Manufacturing Plant in Cleveland, N.C. The move will create more than 1,100 new jobs by the end of 2012, an increase in personnel of 72 percent.

DTNA says the new jobs will “nearly double the daily production rates at the Cleveland plant by October 2012.”

DTNA is the largest Freightliner Trucks manufacturing plant in the U.S. and exclusively produces Class 8 on-highway truck models. In addition to this welcome news; DTNA will also be hiring 100 new workers at its nearby Components and Logistics Plant in Gastonia, N.C.

It’s great to see companies like Daimler Trucks North America expanding and creating quality manufacturing jobs. Manufacturers continue to lead the economic recovery and are looking for pro-growth policies from Washington which will enable them thrive and create more jobs. 

News coverage on DTNA’s announcement:

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Under Secretary Sanchez Talks Manufacturing, Exports at CMA Meeting

Yesterday, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Francisco Sanchez spoke at the NAM’s Council of Manufacturing Associations (CMA) winter meeting.

Under Secretary Sanchez reiterated calls that we are at the beginning of a “manufacturing renaissance” and talked about the number of quality jobs created in the industry over the course of the last two years. He highlighted a Department of Commerce report which said that in 2009 alone, manufacturing made up more than 11 percent of GDP.

In order to build off the successes of manufacturing, and to really enter into a manufacturing renaissance, we have released our own four-point plan to guide the process. A Manufacturing Renaissance: Four Goals for Economic Growth addresses both the areas where we are thriving and the areas that need more attention.

Among those issues are exports. The NAM has been a strong supporter of the president’s goal to double exports by 2015. Manufacturers play an imperative role in that effort and Under Secretary Sanchez says “the correlation between jobs, exports and manufacturing is clear.” We agree.

Under Secretary Sanchez also spoke about the New Market Exporter Initiative. This initiative helps U.S. businesses find new markets, opportunities for export training and new contacts with distributors and representatives to expand their business.

The topic of manufacturing has been at the forefront of the Republican presidential debates and recent remarks by President Obama. It is encouraging to see so much attention on the industry that has led our economic recovery and continues to do so.

“U.S. manufacturers are vital to our economy and future growth.  It’s work that I’ve always valued.  My father ran a candy factory.  He had to make payroll.  He had to monitor inventory.  He had to sell and market products.  From his experience, I know how a strong manufacturing sector benefits workers, communities and our nation.” – Under Secretary Sanchez

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Keystone XL Construction Will Create 7,000 Manufacturing Jobs

New details were released by TransCanada today on the potential job creation that awaits once the Keystone XL pipeline is approved. The data shows that the pipeline will create 20,000 jobs – 7,000 specific to manufacturing.

December’s employment report showed a lower unemployment rate of 8.5 percent. While this is good news, it does not restore the certainty that Americans need. The Keystone XL pipeline is the key to a national energy plan that strives for affordable, reliable and secure energy.

TransCanada boasts the residual effect of the pipeline.

“Hundreds of jobs will be created through requirements for fuel, coating materials, welding supplies, concrete materials, geo-textile materials, pipeline weights, native seed materials for reclamation, cathodic protection materials, crushed rock, sediment barrier materials, valve and pigging assemblies, field trailer manufacturing, construction mats, power facility materials, aggregate manufacturing, road construction materials, water and waste facility manufacturing, fencing materials, communication infrastructure, bridge construction materials and many others.”

The ball is now in President Obama’s court. Congress gave President Obama 60 days to deny that the Keystone XL pipeline is in our nation’s best interest. Manufacturers, who are excited about this opportunity to invest and expand, remain waiting on the sidelines.

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Presidential Candidates Talk Manufacturing

With all eyes shifting from Iowa to New Hampshire, the six remaining Republican presidential candidates gathered for two debates in the Granite State this past weekend.

Both debates featured the full ensemble – Speaker Newt Gingrich, Gov. Jon Huntsman, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. Rick Santorum and Gov. Mitt Romney.

Saturday night’s ABC News and Yahoo! News debate encompassed a variety of issues, the obstacles to growing our economy and creating jobs. Sen. Santorum highlighted the NAM’s cost study, which shows that it is 20 percent more expensive to do business in the United States. This figure excludes labor costs. The cost burden rose from a 2008 report which put it at 17.6 percent. The report indicates the increase is due to widening gaps in regards to corporate tax rates and employee benefits.

While we have emerged from the economic recession, we are still facing challenging times. Unemployment remains at 8.5 percent and employers frequently cite “uncertainty” as their reasons for not expanding. This in turn, lowers our competitive edge. These topics were also echoed during Sunday’s NBC News and Facebook debate.

Several other candidates, including Gov. Romney and Gov. Huntsman discussed the need to become more competitive and Speaker Gingrich reiterated his plan to lower the corporate tax rate.

Manufacturing needs to be at the forefront of our economic recovery and it is encouraging to see presidential hopefuls talk about the need for a “manufacturing renaissance.” The National Association of Manufacturers is hopeful that the candidates will continue to discuss their manufacturing plans during the upcoming South Carolina and Florida debates.

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Failure to Approve Keystone XL is Costing Jobs

Welspun Tubular Company which manufactures steel pipes for the oil industry in Little Rock, Arkansas recently announced that it had to layoff 60 employees because of the delay in approval of the Keystone XL pipeline project.

The pipeline, which would put Americans to work immediately, would create 118,000 jobs. Approval of the pipeline now would help Americans keep their jobs in Little Rock.

“We had to make a staffing reduction with some of the temporary employees. Due to the KXL pipeline not being shipped out. We have 500 miles of pipe just sitting in the yard, expected to be shipped out, that some of the employees were working on,” said President Dave Delie.

With the economy struggling to recover and high unemployment we should be racing to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Instead, the Administration has chosen to play partisan politics and halt the pipeline project until 2013. Americans need jobs. We can’t afford to delay this project any longer.

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