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Manufacturers Gear Up for the DRIVE Act

With federal highway and transit programs headed into shutdown mode in just 9 short days, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) today plans to revisit and proceed with his intention to move H.R. 22, the “Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act” – legislation that represents a six-year commitment to surface transportation investments.

While the action to move the transportation legislation to the floor of the Senate does not ensure a six-year transportation bill by the end of the month, the Majority Leader’s commitment, with the help of unlikely ally Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) to get the DRIVE Act passed in the Senate is good news and a welcome development by manufacturers. (continue reading…)

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Senate Committee Offers Bipartisan Long-Term Highway Reauthorization

Manufacturers need competitive infrastructure to thrive in today’s global economy. Unfortunately, the nation’s infrastructure is outdated and resting on a legacy built by previous generations.

Transportation extensions can no longer be a substitute for action. Manufacturers have been asking Congress for a well-funded, multiyear transportation bill and the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) leadership has delivered. Today, Senators Inhofe, Boxer, Vitter and Carper introduced a long-term highway reauthorization bill, The Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act, that will provide a funded, multi-year extension that addresses future growth and need for manufacturers. (continue reading…)

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Keep American Opportunities Flying

Aviation is an American success story. As a nation, our aerospace and aviation industries are second to none and have helped lead the way in a competitive global marketplace. For over twenty years, the United States has been a driver of aviation market liberalization and achieved Open Skies bilateral aviation agreements with over 100 nations around the world. These agreements enable access to foreign aviation markets that had previously restricted U.S. air carriers and provide the ability to offer new services in overseas markets, increase competition and facilitate global trade. (continue reading…)

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Transportation Can’t Wait!

Today, the Senate voted to pass H.R. 2353, the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2015. The House passed the measure earlier this week in a 387-13 vote. The NAM sent Key Vote letters to the House and Senate this week in support of the short-term measure that will keep federal highway and transit projects around the nation funded until July 31.

H.R. 2353 is not the solution that manufacturers envisioned when the 114th Congress commenced in January 2015.  This legislation is yet another temporary fix to a problem that has grown in size and scope over the years. Dealing with long-term transportation funding at a later date is not leadership.

With deteriorating roads and bridges, aging transit systems and growing maintenance backlogs across the states, Congress is telling manufacturers, businesses and the American people that transportation can wait.

Transportation can’t wait. Several small and large manufacturers took time away from their shop floors last week and came to Washington to keep making the case for transportation infrastructure before Members of Congress and at the White House.

NAM Member Scott Stevens, President of Dimension Fabricators in Schenectady, New York fabricates reinforced steel. He came to Washington last week from New York to articulate the importance of a well-funded, multi-year highway bill and explain the real-world impacts when states pull back infrastructure funding due to the long-term uncertainty of a federal transportation authorization. Scott was joined by NAM Member Stephen Roy, President of Mack Trucks in Greensboro, NC, a subsidiary of the Volvo Group. Scott Stevens has several Mack Trucks in his fleet and when he does well and grows, he buys more Mack Trucks.  Scott and Stephen also met NAM Member Ron Dickerson, a Vice President and General Manager at Nucor Steel Indiana in Crawfordsville, IN. Dimension Fabricators and Mack are also Nucor customers. The customer and supplier relationship unfolded during meetings on the Hill and this what happens when manufacturers tell a powerful story.

While assurances have been made that the surface transportation authorization is critically important in this Congress, this week’s transportation vote was not a win for manufacturers. It’s simply another day to keep things moving and avoids the embarrassing spectacle of a shutdown.

For NAM Member Astec Industries whose President and CEO Ben Brock also traveled to Washington last week, the temporary move is yet another disappointment and represents the frustration manufacturers feel about Washington. Over the past few weeks, Astec has worked to mobilize its employees and the communities where it manufactures and it will continue efforts.

Manufacturers can’t wait. Congress must act.

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Industry Leaders, Mayors and Local Leaders Unite Over Infrastructure Need

Today, as a part of the third annual Infrastructure Week, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons and Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) General President Terry O’Sullivan participated in a press event with mayors from around the country and Former Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

Participants at the event highlighted the need for updated infrastructure and a reauthorization of the Highway Trust Fund. Leaders from business, labor, and mayors of cities around America also kicked where advocates will meet with nearly 300 Members of Congress and their offices throughout the day and week. (continue reading…)

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From the Front Lines of Infrastructure Week

As Infrastructure Week enters its third year, the effort has grown and gone national, transforming from a handful of events planned by a small group of organizations into a nationwide initiative. This week, more than 80 affiliated organizations will host over 40 events from Alaska to Washington, DC. It is safe to declare that no infrastructure policy issue will be left unaddressed this week.

On Tuesday, the NAM joined legal reform expert Philip Howard and his non-profit Common Good, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) and the law firm Covington & Burling LLP for an expert-led discussion on Rethinking Infrastructure Approvals. (continue reading…)

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From the Front Lines of Infrastructure Week

As the May 31st deadline for the current surface transportation authorization, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) fast approaches, Congress appears poised to make a move that has become all too familiar in the transportation world – just extend it.

Today, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons helped kick-off Infrastructure Week here in Washington and highlighted the extension habit at a morning event hosted by Bloomberg Government featuring leading government, labor and business community leaders – Vice President Joe Biden, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Siemens USA President and CEO Eric Spiegel and the Chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Schnitzer Steel Industries President and CEO Tamara Lundgren.   (continue reading…)

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Manufacturers Echo Call from Halls of Congress to Conclude Negotiations and Keep Commerce Moving

Manufacturers are encouraged that Members of Congress continue to weigh-in and urge a “swift resolution between the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU)” as the two parties continue to negotiate a new labor contract under contentious circumstances.

Today’s bipartisan press conference sheds further light on the impacts different sectors of the economy experience as each day passes without a new labor agreement and West Coast port productivity continues in a free fall.  (continue reading…)

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Time to Restart Trucking Hours of Service Rules

As Congress works to wrap-up its legislative business this week, the House has an important opportunity to improve road safety and correct a very flawed trucking regulation that the Obama Administration implemented last year.

Manufacturers strongly support bipartisan language approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee to be included in the FY 2015 omnibus appropriations conference package that would require further study of the 34-hour trucking Hours of Service restart provision and provide a one-year pause of significantly burdensome requirements to determine whether changes are necessary. (continue reading…)

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West Coast Port Slowdowns Are Hurting Manufacturers

Contract negotiations over West Coast ports labor contracts are quickly deteriorating without a clear solution and manufacturers are growing increasingly concerned about both domestic and global impacts of a possible shutdown. (continue reading…)

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