The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is all in on tax reform. The legislative framework unveiled by the “Big Six” presents a tremendous opportunity for America’s manufacturers to grow, hire new workers and increase wages and benefits. Following robust engagement at the national level, capped by hosting President Donald Trump for a major address on tax reform at our board meeting and joining the president for an Oval Office proclamation signing on National Manufacturing Day, the NAM’s leadership hit the road this week to make the case for tax reform in key manufacturing states. As NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons told National Journal for its Q&A feature this week, “We’re going to make sure manufacturing workers know how important [tax reform] is to their own livelihood back in their districts.”
That effort began in earnest on Tuesday with a forum at the City Club of Chicago, where Timmons and Illinois Manufacturers’ Association President and CEO Greg Baise discussed the importance of passing tax reform with local business leaders. Timmons also traveled to Milwaukee, where he led a panel focused on tax reform with local business leaders and gave an interview to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
“… [T]he tax code desperately needs an overhaul, Timmons said in an interview. ‘I am really optimistic about getting tax reform yet this year. There’s a focus in Washington like I have not seen on any issue for many, many years,’ he said. It’s been more than 30 years since the last major tax code overhaul, according to Timmons … Reforms of taxes and regulations, and infrastructure investments, are the trade group’s top priorities, Timmons said. ‘Those all add to the cost of doing business in this country,’ he said. Should Trump’s plans succeed: ‘What I can tell you is what my manufacturers are actually saying and how they are planning,’ Timmons said. ‘They are planning for growth of their own facilities, and they’re planning to hire new workers.’”
Manufacturing leaders, including Timmons and Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association President David Taylor, also rallied around the president’s tax reform address in Harrisburg. As the Allentown Morning Call reported:
“Standing in a Harrisburg airplane hangar before big-rig Volvo trucks and American flags, President Donald Trump touted the Republican plan to overhaul the federal tax code as a proposal that will benefit Pennsylvania truckers and an American economy he sees as strengthening …‘If he can deliver on all or even most of what he’s offering, it is going to be a real shot in the arm for American competitiveness,’ said David Taylor, president of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association.”
The NAM finished off the week strong with an address by Emerson Chairman and CEO and NAM Board Chair David Farr at the Economic Club of Minnesota, where he put opponents of tax reform on notice. As the Washington Examiner reported:
“Critics such as Farr counter that the current tax rate has resulted in the offshoring of jobs because it is often cheaper for companies to move operations overseas. ‘If you’re an opponent of tax reform, I want you to come to Minnesota or Ohio or Wisconsin and look a manufacturing worker in the eye. Tell her she doesn’t deserve a bigger paycheck. Tell her that her family doesn’t deserve to save for school and retirement. Then, tell an unemployed dad that a worker overseas deserves a job more than he does,’ he said.”
As the effort to reform our outdated tax system moves forward, the NAM and manufacturers across America will continue drive the discussion both at the grassroots level and with leaders in Washington.