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Trade

NAM, UK Manufacturers Seek Greater Collaboration

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Today, Jay Timmons, President and CEO at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and Terry Scouler, CEO at EEF, the UK-based manufacturers’ organisation, signed a Memorandum of Understanding that seeks to promote greater collaboration and partnerships between the two organizations, and to promote the NAM and EEF’s respective missions to strengthen and grow manufacturing in the United States and the UK. The agreement sets forth a number of activities, ranging from information exchanges on policy, economics, business trends and government regulations to potential joint work on international trade, skills development and other issues.

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New NAM Analysis Scrutiny Highlights Need for Strong Action to Address Global IP Challenges That Harm Manufacturing in the United States

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The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) yesterday urged the U.S. government to boost its efforts to protect U.S. manufacturing innovation against the threat of intellectual property (IP) theft globally in a detailed submission to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). Innovation and IP remains the foundation for a globally competitive manufacturing sector in the United States. Yet, global infringement of IP, including patents, trade secrets, trademarks and copyrights, hurts the ability of manufacturers in the United States to not only innovate but also to sustain and create well-paying jobs. The NAM looks forward to working closely with the Trump administration on stepped-up and vigorous efforts to combat IP theft and to protect and secure strong enforcement of IP rights both at home and abroad. Read More

Business Community Unites Around Ross Nomination

By | Communications, Media Relations, Shopfloor Main, Trade | No Comments

Today more than 400 businesses and business organizations sent a letter to the U.S. Senate urging support for the confirmation of Wilbur Ross as secretary of commerce. Spearheaded by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the letter urges swift action on Mr. Ross’ confirmation.

“We believe that Wilbur Ross will bring a unique understanding of what it takes to fuel manufacturing enterprises to this vital role,” the letter reads. “Mr. Ross has a firsthand understanding of the challenges manufacturers face to remain globally competitive in today’s economy.”

Read the full letter here.

NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons also sent a letter yesterday on behalf of the NAM offering his support for Ross’ confirmation.

“Wilbur is a businessman with extensive experience in a wide range of industries who knows firsthand what policies it takes to promote competitiveness, investment, job creation and durable economic growth,” Timmons wrote. “In particular, Wilbur has extensive experience in the manufacturing sector and understands the critical need for pro-growth trade, tax and other economic policies.”

Timmons’ letter is available in its entirety here.

For Manufacturers, Trade Must Be Open and Fair

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A highly interconnected global economy is a fact for manufacturers big and small throughout the United States. Advances in technology and transportation over recent decades have created substantial new opportunities for manufacturers in the United States to reach millions of foreign consumers. That interconnection has also brought increased competition from growing manufacturing sectors around the world, in some cases fueled by market-distorting and discriminatory trade practices that put our manufacturers, workers and communities at an unfair disadvantage.

When markets are open and rules of fairness and equal opportunity are enforced for all, manufacturers in the United States can and do succeed. Consider the following:

  • More than half of the U.S. manufacturing workforce depends on exports for their jobs, and nearly half of all U.S.-manufactured goods exports are sold just to the 20 countries that have eliminated barriers through free trade agreements.
  • Employees in the “most trade-intensive industries” earn an average compensation of nearly $94,000, or more than 56 percent more than those in manufacturing companies that were less engaged in trade.

With the world’s most productive manufacturing sector in the world, but a domestic market that represents only 10 percent of global consumption and growing global competition, manufacturers in the United States need more robust trade policies and agreements to grow. To be part of the solution, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has shared with the Trump transition team our Competing to Win” agenda, which includes a blueprint for a winning trade policy.

The NAM is calling on the new administration to focus on three key elements to ensure an open and fair trading system:

  1. Strong enforcement of global trade rules to crack down on cheating.
  2. Negotiation of new bilateral and other trade agreements to expand market access, raise standards, ensure fairness and equal opportunity and eliminate foreign market-distorting practices.
  3. Adoption of customs, financing, export control and other policies to make manufacturers in the United States more globally competitive.

Manufacturers are committed to working domestically and internationally to tap growth beyond our borders and eliminate foreign trade abuses to continue to expand a highly productive and innovative U.S. manufacturing sector that can continue to sustain and increase good-paying American jobs.

 

This blog is part of the NAM’s 12 Days of Transition” series, an effort to provide the presidential transition team and other Washington policymakers with a roadmap to bolster manufacturing in the United States. Read the other blogs in the series here.

Timmons: Terry Branstad Will Not Settle for Anything Less Than a Level Playing Field

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Iowa Governor Has Been a Longtime Champion of Manufacturing

National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons and the NAM’s former Board Chair and current Chair of the Board of Vermeer Corporation in Iowa, Mary Andringa, released the following statements after the nomination of Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA) to serve as the ambassador to China:

“Terry Branstad is the perfect pick for this important position. Working closely with Gov. Branstad and his outstanding team for many years, I know he is a man true to his word and has been tested over and over again as Iowa’s chief executive,” said Timmons. “From leading his state out of tough economic times to balancing Iowa’s budget, he understands what manufacturers and businesses need to invest and grow—and has a proven record of results.

“The governor’s deep understanding of China, and close relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping, uniquely qualifies him for this vital post. For manufacturers, China stands as one of our largest trade and investment partners, but it is also a major challenge, imposing a range of market-distorting policies and practices that impact manufacturers in the United States,” said Timmons. “I have full confidence that Gov. Branstad will help forge a strong U.S.–China relationship that is based on the principles of fairness, respect and, most importantly, the rule of law. He understands that manufacturers are committed to building meaningful ties with China—but will not settle for anything less than a free and fair competitive landscape where both countries are playing by the same rules.”

“As the leader of an Iowa-based equipment manufacturer, I have worked closely with Gov. Branstad over the course of his many years of service to the state of Iowa,” said Andringa. “The governor is a pragmatic and inclusive leader who knows how to bring people together to solve problems and pursue opportunities. He has more than 30 years of experience working closely with Chinese leaders and has proudly hosted them in Iowa on numerous occasions. The governor knows the importance of a strong and constructive relationship with one of our largest trading partners, and he has the experience needed to represent us effectively in Beijing.”

CONTACT: Jennifer Drogus (202) 637-3090

U.S., China Talk Results in Broad Commitments, Few Concrete Policy Changes on Manufacturing Issues in Final Commercial Dialogue

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The Obama administration closed the book on engagement with China last week with the annual meetings of the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT). These meetings, which ran from November 21 to 23 in Washington, D.C., pushed for full implementation of previous commitments and some new language on manufacturing-relevant issues, such as new commitments on China’s trade secrets and online anti-counterfeiting efforts, industrial policy issues in cybersecurity and competition and specific policy concerns in sectors like semiconductors, medical devices, pharmaceuticals and food processing. However, the session still focused more on statements of broad principle and extended dialogue, such as on overcapacity, versus the types of specific, concrete policy changes that are needed to address significantly the many longstanding issues facing the U.S. manufacturing sector in China.

At the end of the day, manufacturers need to see progress on these issues, and it is that concrete progress that manufacturers view as the benchmark for the U.S. approach to China. China stands as one of the United States’ largest commercial relationships, with more than $560 billion in bilateral trade and $3 billion in bilateral investment. While the third largest market for U.S.-manufactured goods exports, China also persistently ranks as one of the most frequently cited trouble spots for manufacturers in the United States, with a range of market-distorting policies and practices, such as industrial overcapacity, insufficient intellectual property infringement and protectionist industrial policies. All of these policies harm the ability of manufacturers to open new or expand U.S. factories, sell more at home and abroad and provide good-paying manufacturing jobs here in the United States.

Heading into the next administration, the U.S. government must strengthen U.S. efforts, working with the industry and global trading partners, to hold China accountable to both global trading rules and China’s own trade commitments so that China does not continue to advance its domestic industry at the expense of ours. Such efforts must produce smart, practical outcomes that hold China accountable, while also ensuring that manufacturers in the United States and their workers that depend on a rules-based trading relationship with China are not put at risk. Commercial dialogues like the JCCT are an important part of the toolkit to address those barriers alongside other bilateral and multilateral dialogues, work within the World Trade Organization and the robust use of trade enforcement tools both domestic and international as well as trade and investment negotiations that address additional market-distorting activities.

Manufacturers in the United States are committed to building a robust trading relationship with China but will not settle for anything less than a free and fair competitive landscape where both countries are playing by the same rules.

Tear Down Those Walls: NAM Weighs in on Foreign Trade Barriers Around the World

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The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) today urged the U.S. government and other stakeholders to address trade barriers faced by manufacturers in the United States in markets around the world. In its detailed submission to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative for its National Trade Estimate Report (NTE), the NAM described a wide variety of foreign trade barriers that undermine the ability of manufacturers in the U.S. market to compete on a level playing field in international markets, which, in turn, undermines U.S. economic opportunities here at home. Read More

TPP in Real Life: How a Texas Instruments Semiconductor Designed in New Hampshire Can Travel 13,000 Miles and Power the World

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Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) is a Dallas, Texasheadquartered company that designs, manufactures, tests and sells a diverse portfolio of semiconductors and other products used by more than 100,000 of the world’s most innovative companies. TI’s semiconductors in particular are used in products that range from personal electronics and automobiles to industrial automation equipment, medical devices and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

Texas Instruments Wafer Manufacturing Facility in Dallas, Texas. Photo Courtesy: Texas Instruments

TI wafer manufacturing facility in Dallas, Texas. Photo courtesy of TI.

The global supply chain is critical for TI and all U.S. semiconductor companies that, on average, derive more than 80 percent of their total revenue overseas, with Asia representing more than half of that revenue. A semiconductor designed at one of TI’s U.S. facilities and fabricated at U.S. factories may be sent to Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries, such as Malaysia, for additional processing. From there, the semiconductor may then be shipped to a product distribution center in Singapore before being sent to the customer, which incorporates it into an end product and ships it anywhere in the world.

As Paula Collins, TI’s vice president of government relations, said on a recent NAM Trade Podcast, “A TI chip that was designed in Manchester, New Hampshire, may travel 13,000 miles around the world, and eventually end up in any country in the world.”

USB Power Switch Found in PC Notebooks, 3D Printing and Other Devices. Photo Courtesy: Texas Instruments

USB power switch found in PC notebooks, 3D printing and other devices. Photo courtesy of TI.

TI operates multiple manufacturing, design and other facilities in nine states across the United States. This includes semiconductor manufacturing facilities in Texas (Dallas area, Sherman and Richardson) and Maine (South Portland) as well as more than a dozen design facilities in states around the country, including Texas (Dallas area, Austin and Sugar Land), New Hampshire (Manchester) and Arizona (Tucson and Phoenix), just to name a few.

According to Ms. Collins, “The TPP will support jobs in the United States and enhance TI’s ability to compete in the rapidly growing Asia-Pacific region by eliminating tariffs on advanced electronics and establishing new rules of the road, including in areas that have not been addressed in previous trade agreements.” Beyond tariff elimination, TPP benefits for TI include the following:

  • A prohibition on forced technology transfers as a condition of market access or investment
  • A requirement that partner countries accept commercial products with encryption without additional disclosure of confidential intellectual property or source code
  • Strong patentability standards and protection of trade secrets
  • Strong counterfeiting enforcement and penalties, which are critical because counterfeiting costs the U.S. semiconductor industry billions of dollars each year
  • A ban on data localization requirements, critical for manufacturers like TI that support customers around the world, as requirements to store data locally would significantly increase the costs of doing business

On the NAM Trade Podcast, Ms. Collins added that “trade is going to happen with us or without us. I would rather have the United States be at the table, helping to protect U.S. values, helping to protect U.S. workers, helping to protect the U.S. environment, to ensure that we are helping to shape globalization, rather than just responding to it.”

Read more “TPP in Real Life” stories here.

Final U.S.–India Commercial Dialogue Shows Some Areas of Serious Dialogue, Little Concrete Progress on Priority Issues for Manufacturers

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The United States and India concluded the last major bilateral commercial dialogue of the Obama administration today in Delhi, wrapping up a week of workshops and high-level bilateral meetings with a long joint statement on commercial topics. While this year’s dialogue included language that indicates discussion on issues that better reflects manufacturers’ priorities, such as discussions on intellectual property and customs clearance, it still lacked specific, concrete outcomes that manufacturers in the United States sought to be addressed in order to improve significantly U.S. commercial engagement with India.

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