State of Manufacturing Tour Highlights Need for Critical Infrastructure Funding

By | Infrastructure, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

When NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons visited Tampa today on the State of Manufacturing Tour, he drew attention to one of the most critical pieces of our infrastructure system here in the U.S. – our ports. The Port of Tampa sees over 37 million tons of cargo per year, and is a vital transportation hub for our exports to China, Japan, India and throughout South America. As Florida’s largest cargo port, it supports 80,000 jobs and adds $15 billion to the economy.

And our port system is vital to the success of manufacturers. Manufacturing supports an estimated 18.5 million jobs in the United States and contributes $2.17 trillion to the economy. For every dollar spent in manufacturing, another $1.40 is added to the economy. It’s the highest multiplier effect of any sector of the economy. When manufacturing succeeds, America succeeds. Yet, obstacles such as crumbling infrastructure remain in the way of forging an economy that lives up to our people and the potential we can unleash. Read More

Manufacturers Applaud Needed Highway Solution

By | Infrastructure, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Washington, D.C., December 3, 2015 – National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons and Tenneco Inc. Chairman and CEO and NAM Board Chair Gregg Sherrill issued the following statements after Congress sent a well-funded, long-term highway solution to President Obama:

“This bill is a big step forward and a desperately needed long-term investment in our nation’s infrastructure,” said Timmons. “For years, Congress has debated and delayed, and our nation’s transportation infrastructure has fallen behind for at least the previous decade. It’s been an inexcusable course of action and unacceptable to manufacturers and job creators. Fortunately, Congress has rerouted and redirected its efforts. Finally, we can begin to get back on track and invest in infrastructure to ensure manufacturing competitiveness. Critical infrastructure funding to repair and modernize our bridges, roads and aging transit systems can now move forward. Addressing growing freight needs and improving infrastructure project delivery are important hallmarks of this bipartisan legislation that will help manufacturers in the United States compete and win in the global economy.”

Timmons joined Port of Philadelphia Executive Director James McDermott (at left) and former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (at right) at the Port of Philadelphia to discuss manufacturing infrastructure growth and needs.

Read the full press release.

House Passes Highway Bill Conference Report: Now Debate Moves to Senate

By | Infrastructure, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

highway final passage jay quoteReliable infrastructure and sustained investment is key to manufacturers’ competiveness and today, the House overwhelmingly approved a conference report for a long-term highway bill. This bill, which includes many key priorities for manufacturers, is welcome news after years of short-term extensions.

Before the vote, the NAM issued a Key Vote letter on this legislation that outlined the many manufacturing priorities included in the bill, including a critical multi-year authorization of the Export-Import Bank. Read More

Delaying Infrastructure Permits Comes at a Cost

By | Infrastructure | No Comments

On September 2, Common Good, a nonpartisan coalition promoting government reform, released a new report showing that delays in infrastructure project approvals cost the nation more than twice the initial cost to fix the infrastructure. The report, entitled Two Years, Not Ten Years: Redesigning Infrastructure Approvals, describes how approvals can be delayed a decade or longer and demonstrates that just a six-year delay in starting construction on public projects costs the nation over $3.7 trillion, including the costs of prolonged inefficiencies and unnecessary pollution. That’s more than double the $1.7 trillion needed to repair and update America’s infrastructure over the next decade. Read More

PORTS Act – A Thoughtful Approach

By | Infrastructure | No Comments

Today, Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) introduced the “Protecting Orderly and Responsible Transit of Shipments” (PORTS) Act, which creates an option to avoid economic disruption demonstrated by recent events on the West Coast. The NAM applauds Senator Gardner for introducing this bill which give state governors the option to intervene in labor disputes at seaports to prevent disruptions. Read More

Transportation Can’t Wait!

By | Infrastructure, Transportation | No Comments

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.

Industry Leaders, Mayors and Local Leaders Unite Over Infrastructure Need

By | Infrastructure | No Comments

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. Read More

From the Front Lines of Infrastructure Week

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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. Read More

From the Front Lines of Infrastructure Week

By | Infrastructure | No Comments

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.   Read More

Manufacturing Leader Underscores Importance of Upgraded Infrastructure and MAP- 21 Reauthorization

By | Infrastructure | No Comments

Today, Tom Riordan, National Association of Manufacturers Small and Medium Manufacturers (SMM) Group Chair and President and CEO of Neenah Enterprises, testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing entitled “The Importance of MAP -21 Reauthorization: Perspectives from Owners, Operators, and Users of the System.”

At the hearing, Riordan highlighted the importance of broad-based, job-creating investments in upgrades, expansions and modernization of our nation’s infrastructure systems. Read More