NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons is blogging from the Republican National Convention in Tampa this week.
The Republican National Convention kicked off in earnest last night. The atmosphere in the Tampa Bay Times Forum was electric.
For me, the highlight of the evening was the speech of Nikki Haley, the governor of South Carolina. The Palmetto State is a great place to manufacture, and the industry has had a significant, positive impact on the state’s economy. As Governor Haley said, “We build things in the Palmetto State. We build planes. We build cars.”
But it’s not always easy. As the Governor pointed out in no uncertain terms, in recent years, the federal government has put up obstacles to growth in the state.
When the Boeing Company expanded into South Carolina, it was a great opportunity. Boeing’s billion-dollar investment meant 1,000 new jobs, and it meant that the state would be at the forefront of aerospace innovation, building the new 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
The National Labor Relations Board, however, stepped in and said the investment violated our labor laws, an action that threatened to wipe out Boeing’s investment and the new jobs. Ultimately, Boeing prevailed, and today the South Carolina facility is up and running.
Governor Haley told this story well last night and offered an incisive perspective about the consequences of government overreach and its impact on a state and its citizens
I’m looking forward to hearing more about manufacturing from the speakers tonight. In the meantime, the NAM continues to ensure manufacturing remains on everyone’s radar in Tampa.
This morning, I had a conversation with Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who was a manufacturer before coming to the Senate in 2011. We talked about the devastating impact the fiscal abyss would have on the economy and about the need for Congress to act quickly to avert this threat.
The fiscal abyss is a common theme in Tampa. The issue has come up repeatedly in my conversations with members of the press and media, and given the dire predictions that inaction by Congress could plunge the nation back into a recession, it’s no surprise why.