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NAM Supports Legislation Providing Permanent Pension Nondiscrimination Testing Relief

NAM joined several organizations today writing to the House and Senate in support of legislation to provide permanent relief from certain pension nondiscrimination testing rules. In the House, Congressmen Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Richard Neal (D-MA) introduced a bill (H.R. 5381) to do just that, and last month, Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced a similar measure (S. 2855).

The nondiscrimination fix would give manufacturers the flexibility to continue the transition from traditional defined benefit (DB) to defined contribution plans without fear of tripping IRS nondiscrimination testing rules over time. (continue reading…)

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Manufacturing Leaders Deliver Recommendations to Obama Administration

Today, manufacturing thought-leaders, including many NAM-member company CEOs, delivered the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership 2.0 report to the Obama Administration. The report includes recommendations that recognize the importance of advanced technology to manufacturing products and processes as well as the necessity of a skilled workforce to sustain the manufacturing comeback. (continue reading…)

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Leadership Road Show Heads to North Carolina

As the election grows nearer and nearer, the issues facing manufacturers – and the American economy – continue to grow in importance. This week, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina to discuss with local manufacturing leaders the question of what’s at stake in the upcoming midterm elections, and to consider the role of the Tar Heel State in our nation’s ongoing manufacturing comeback. (continue reading…)

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ACC Map Shows New Ozone Regulations Threaten Manufacturing Growth

Last week the American Chemistry Council (ACC) released a new interactive map and analysis showing that over one hundred billion dollars of investments in new manufacturing plants and other expansions could be at risk because of new ozone regulations. (continue reading…)

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Congress Needs to Renew TRIA ASAP

With so little getting done in Washington these days, manufacturers are encouraged that leaders in the House of Representatives believe they will vote on reauthorizing the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) when Congress returns after the election. First passed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, TRIA provides a federal backstop for the insurance market in the event of a catastrophic terrorism attack, with a mechanism to recoup any federal outlays from policyholders overtime. (continue reading…)

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Monday Economic Report – October 27, 2014

Here is the summary for this week’s Monday Economic Report:

What a difference a week makes. After a volatile week in financial markets amid worldwide economic worries, things calmed down last week. While the Dow Jones Industrial Average remains 2.7 percent below its all-time high on September 19, it gained 425 points last week, or 2.6percent. Attitudes shifted to a more positive stance on decent earnings reports and on news that firms remain mostly upbeat in their outlook. (continue reading…)

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Somewhat Better Manufacturing Data in China and Europe for October, But Weaknesses Persist

The HSBC Flash China PMI rose to its highest level in three months, up from 50.2 in September to 50.4 in October. It was the fifth consecutive monthly expansion in manufacturing activity in China, an improvement from the contracting activity levels experienced in the first five months of 2014. Yet, despite the better headline figure, many of the underlying data points reflect some easing in growth rates for the month, including new orders (down from 51.5 to 51.4), exports (down from 54.5 to 52.8) and output (down from 51.3 to 50.7). Hiring continued to decline but at a slower rate (up from 47.5 to 48.6).

As such, Chinese manufacturers are expanding but not by as much as we might prefer. This finding is consistent with the deceleration in other Chinese data, including real GDP, which slowed from 7.5 percent year-over-year growth in the second quarter to 7.3 percent in the third quarter. Fixed real investment (down from 16.5 percent year-over-year in August to 16.1 percent in September) and retail sales (down from 11.9 percent year-over-year to 11.6 percent) also declined. On the positive side, industrial production picked up, increasing from the year-over-year rate of 6.9 percent in August to 8.0 percent in September; yet, that remained lower than July’s 9.0 percent pace.

Meanwhile, the Markit Flash Eurozone Manufacturing PMI increased from 50.3 to 50.7. That is good news, as the September figure had been the lowest level since July 2013, when Europe first emerged from its recession. October’s reading was higher largely due to a pickup in output (up from 51.0 to 51.9) and employment (up from 50.1 to 50.6). Still, new orders (unchanged at 49.3) contracted for the second straight month, with exports (down from 51.6 to 50.5) easing. The Eurozone continues to face challenges in manufacturing, especially in terms of falling sales. The results also vary by country, with Germany (up from 49.9 to 51.8) improving somewhat, while French manufacturers  (down 48.4 to 47.6) continue to report weakness.

Closer to home, the Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI dropped slightly, down from 57.5 to 56.2. The pace of activity was down across-the-board, including new orders (down from 59.8 to 57.1), output (down from 59.6 to 58.0), hiring (down from 56.4 to 56.2) and exports (down from 54.1 to 51.9). While the index for new orders was at its lowest level since January’s 53.9 reading, it is hard to get too worked up over October’s decline for these indicators. After all, demand, production and employment continue to grow at decent rates, and manufacturers are reporting higher activity levels than earlier in the year.

Still, we would like to see better results to begin the fourth quarter, particularly for exports. Given the softness in worldwide markets, however, this weakness should not be a surprise.

Chad Moutray is the chief economist, National Association of Manufacturers. 

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GlobalFoundries Taking Steps to Drive Future Innovation

GlobalFoundries is bringing computer chip design in-house, opening the doors for new business and growth. Acquiring the business from IBM’s Vermont and New York locations is a boon for GlobalFoundries innovation – gaining customers and, importantly, the institutional expertise of 5,000 researchers and engineers. This partnership between IBM and GlobalFoundries will not only preserve these manufacturing jobs, but will leverage IBM’s commitment to R&D and GlobalFoundries’ ability to develop and enable technologies

Driving the next generation of innovation and game-changing products is a critical to maintaining manufacturers’ in the U.S. mantle of leadership. Manufacturing today is sleek, advanced, and technological. The ability to stay ahead of the competition and innovating at every turn will define the future of manufacturing and it’s great to see GlobalFoundries, like many others, is taking pro-active steps to ensure future growth. Manufacturing is making a comeback and we can’t wait to see what’s around the corner.

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NAM Leadership Road Show Heads to the Steel City

With Election Day now less than three weeks away, the NAM continued its Leadership Engagement Series today with a stop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Numerous manufacturing leaders including Gerald MacCleary, President of Bayer MaterialScience; Marc Skalla, President of SASCO Chemical Group, Inc.; Richard Harshman, Chairman, President and CEO of Allegheny Technologies Incorporated; and Nicholas Pinchuk, Chairman and CEO of Snap-on Inc. met with NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons to discuss the future of the manufacturing sector and both the opportunities and the obstacles that lie on the horizon.

What better place, after all, to talk about the vital role of manufacturers and the policies that impact them than the Steel City?

Pittsburgh has long been at the forefront of the manufacturing sector. Today, while heavy manufacturing and industry remains a mainstay of Pittsburgh’s economy, the city is also helping to drive the development of advanced manufacturing techniques and technologies that will help the United States to remain a world leader in manufacturing. In Pittsburgh’s back yard, the Marcellus Shale is providing the ample, affordable energy needed to sustain the current manufacturing renaissance, and continue to lure producers back to the United States.

The conditions in Pittsburgh – strong R&D, affordable energy, and a legacy built on manufacturing – are emblematic of what’s helped the American manufacturing sector to grow in recent years. We can sustain these conditions nationwide against the right policy backdrop. Unfortunately, Washington seems bent on policies that would work contrary to these goals. The Environmental Protection Agency continues to advance air regulations that would cripple our energy sector and devastate our economy. Congress remains idle on reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. Our tax code remains a burdensome relic.

The NAM’s Leadership Roadshow is focused on helping manufacturers to present a unified voice in the face of such threats. With just a few short days until the votes are tallied, doing so has rarely been more important. To get involved in the upcoming election, visit the NAM’s Election Center.

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Manufacturers Gather in Seattle for NAM’s Leadership Engagement Series

Leading manufacturers gathered in Seattle today to spark a conversation about America’s manufacturing comeback and the important role manufacturers must play to ensure America’s competitiveness in the 21st Century economy.  The economic situation in Washington is better than the rest of the nation. The unemployment rate is lower than the national average, median incomes are higher and we can credit a lot of this to the manufacturing industry here.

Manufacturing employs nearly 10 percent of Washington’s workforce, almost 300,000 jobs. Manufacturers’ ability to compete is significantly affected by decisions made in Washington, D.C. and it’s absolutely critical that they engage in important policy discussions. That’s why NAM is hosting a Leadership Engagement Series, traveling to major cities across the nation to discuss top manufacturing concerns and urge manufacturers to engage in the political process.

From overburdening energy regulations to increasing healthcare premiums and taxes and the need to open the doors to more free trade agreements with Trade Promotion Authority, Congress is preventing the manufacturing industry from reaching its full potential. But as a top employer, manufacturers have a powerful voice in the November elections and it’s time we take action and push for more substantive federal policies that benefit, not punish, job creators.

Follow NAM on Twitter (@ShopFloorNAM) for more information on NAM’s Leadership Engagement Series and visit the NAM’s Election Center for more information on how you can get involved.

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