The importance of trade to small and medium-sized manufacturers was exemplified today by the testimony of Doug Hundt of Vermeer on U.S. trade relations with Brazil. In discussing the opportunities and challenges for Vermeer and other manufacturers before the Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee this morning, Hundt noted how over a quarter of its Iowa workforce – 700 hundred out of 2,400 employees – depends on Vermeer’s global sales.
Hundt also explained how manufacturers in the United States have the technology and products that Brazil and other countries need to meet their infrastructure and economic development goals. Hundt noted how Vermeer’s products can help cities in Brazil put in sewer systems efficiently without tearing up existing city streets. And his testimony provided even more examples of innovative products that can help meet the needs of the global economy.
The examples that Vermeer provided today are important reminders of the power of trade to sustain and grow manufacturing in the United States. Greater commercial engagement in Brazil and throughout the global economy is vital for our manufacturers to reach new customers and markets to grow jobs and manufacturing in the United States.
With continued headwinds in the global economy, the administration and Congress need to step up their activity to level the playing field for manufacturers in America. From the development and approval of the Executive-Congressional partnership known as Trade Promotion Authority and the completion of comprehensive and market-opening trade agreements to high-level dialogues with key countries that keep trade and economic issues as top priorities, the NAM urges more robust progress and is committed to working aggressively in support of concrete outcomes to open markets and create opportunities for manufacturers throughout the United States.
Linda Dempsey is vice president of international economic affairs, National Association of Manufacturers.