Timmons: Wilbur Ross Will Bring Unique Understanding of Manufacturing to Commerce

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Former NAM Member Knows Challenges Manufacturers Face

National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement after the nomination of Wilbur Ross to serve as secretary of commerce:

“Wilbur Ross will bring a unique understanding of what it takes to fuel manufacturing enterprises into this vital role. As one of the savviest investors in the world who was once a member of the NAM while leading International Steel Group, Mr. Ross has a firsthand understanding of the challenges manufacturers face to remain globally competitive in today’s economy.

“To raise wages, put more people to work and out-innovate the rest of the world, manufacturers in America need fairer taxes and sane regulations as well as expanded trade and strong trade enforcement. We’re encouraged by Mr. Ross’ advocacy on many of these fronts and his extensive business experience. We look forward to working closely with him and the Trump administration to make manufacturing in our country stronger.”

CONTACT: Jennifer Drogus (202) 637-3090

Timmons: Elaine Chao a Proven Leader, Will Help Revitalize Nation’s Infrastructure

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National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement after the nomination of Elaine Chao as secretary of transportation:

“Elaine Chao is a friend and proven leader with the necessary experience and policy insights to helm the Department of Transportation during this critical time. As manufacturers have laid out in our ‘Building to Win’ infrastructure blueprint, now is the time for a bold and serious investment in our nation’s highways and bridges, railways and airports, seaports and pipelines. 

“To secure our economic leadership in the world, we need a dramatic renewal of our nation’s ailing infrastructure. Our inaction is costing us jobs and opportunity, while threatening lives and livelihoods. President-elect Donald Trump understands the urgency of this need and has called for infrastructure investment, and his team has drawn from ‘Building to Win’ in outlining his vision for a path forward. We are encouraged that this will be a top issue for the incoming administration.

“The NAM looks forward to working with Elaine when she takes on her new role. Voters have made clear that manufacturing is a priority for this country, and manufacturing’s success depends on revitalizing our infrastructure.”

CONTACT: Jennifer Drogus (202) 637-3090

Impeding the development of life-saving products is what’s really “dangerous”

By | Health Care, Innovation, Presidents Blog, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

If you’re following debates in the Senate, you may have heard Sen. Elizabeth Warren and others refer to one important piece of pending legislation, the 21st Century Cures Act, as “corrupt” and “dangerous.”

Well she certainly got my attention. But what is really alarming is that Sen. Warren’s attack is baseless. In fact, the effort to derail the 21st Century Cures Act is what is really dangerous—and alarming.

Here’s why:

Manufacturers of medical devices and pharmaceuticals save lives and improve the human condition. Their breakthroughs in scientific advances and technological innovations create jobs for scientists and researchers as well as machinists and those on the manufacturing line.

Their work is essential to both the health of our families and our economy.

Unfortunately, due to an outdated federal device and drug approval process, manufacturers in the U.S. face burdensome costs and unnecessary delays in the development of innovative life-saving products.

The 21st Century Cures legislation works to address these challenges. It will modernize our approach to the discovery, development, and delivery of medical innovations in order to ensure that the United States maintains its rightful position of leadership in the global economy – at a time when foreign competitors are catching up.

This bill, which represents a bipartisan negotiation in the House and Senate, has been significantly debated over the past two years. The Act focuses on important investments in basic research that will lead to further advancement in the development of treatments and products, helps fight diseases and other chronic conditions, and allows for small business flexibility to provide health care options to employees.

In addition, the legislation also includes a fix to the Affordable Care Act that will allow small businesses to use Health Reimbursement Arrangements to provide health care options for their employees, a practice that is currently heavily fined by the Internal Revenue Service.

Attempts to call this effort “corrupt” and “dangerous” are baseless and more about making points based on political rhetoric, completely ignoring the positive and much needed provisions of the legislation.

Too much progress is at stake. Americans should hold Senator Warren accountable for attempting to hold up these much needed medical advances – all to score political points.

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Strong Consumer Spending Revised Real GDP Growth Higher, Up 3.2% in the Third Quarter

By | Economy, Shopfloor Economics, Shopfloor Main | No Comments

The Bureau of Economic Analysis said that strong consumer spending helped push real GDP growth higher, with real GDP growth revised up to 3.2 percent in the third quarter. It was originally estimated to be 2.9 percent growth, and both figures were the fastest quarterly growth rate in two years. Overall, this report was good news. With the U.S. economy expanding by only 1.1 percent at the annual rate in the first half of 2016, the third quarter numbers were entirely welcome, especially for consumer spending and net exports. Business investment remains a concern, but hopefully recovers moving forward with improvement confidence. In the end, real GDP will grow by 1.6 percent in 2016, but I expect stronger activity next year, with the current forecast being 2.5 percent growth. Read More

An Outlook on Infrastructure

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

“We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals,” Donald Trump said. “We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it.”  

There’s reason to be optimistic.  The President-elect made a number of strong campaign promises to the American people, one in particular caught our attention: his commitment to a sizable increase in our country’s infrastructure investment.  Throughout his campaign, President-elect Donald Trump proposed spending up to $1 trillion during the next decade to make America’s infrastructure “second to none” and even repeated the promise earlier this month in his victory speech. Members of Congress have also shown a willingness to prioritize America’s infrastructure – in ways that bring greater economic returns than the stimulus plan six years ago.

This commitment is shared by manufacturers across the country.  The NAM’s Building to Win blueprint for the new Administration and Congress estimates that addressing our ten-year funding gap will cost more than one trillion dollars.  Additionally, the new Administration and Congress must improve regulatory and fiscal policies to incentivize increased levels of private investment in modernizing water and energy pipelines, railways and electricity systems. Read More

#SmallBizSaturday: Help Family Owned Manufacturers Succeed

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

Coming on the heels of Thanksgiving and “Black Friday”, Small Business Saturday is a perfect opportunity for Americans to pause and contemplate the critical role small businesses play in our nation’s economy. Many small businesses are family-owned and are responsible for 62 percent of the country’s employment and $5.9 trillion of the nation’s GDP. Often with deep roots, these family-owned businesses play critical roles in the philanthropic and the economic heart of local communities. Read More

ShopTalk Podcast: A Holiday Economic Outlook

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During this upcoming holiday season, should we be jolly about the economy? Are consumers opening their pocket books? How has the election impacted the US economy? What can consumers expect in 2017? The National Association of Manufacturers’ chief economist Chad Moutray, the National Retail Federation’s Jack Kleinhenz and the Consumer Technology Association’s Shawn DuBravac try to answer these questions and more in the latest Shopfloor podcast.

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New Durable Goods Orders Jumped 4.8% in October

By | Economy, Shopfloor Economics, Shopfloor Main | No Comments

The Census Bureau said that new durable goods orders jumped 4.8 percent in October. New orders rose from an upwardly revised $228.4 billion in September to $239.4 billion in October. On a year-over-year basis, sales have increased 2.1 percent since October 2015, up from $234.5 billion. However, the data have been skewed by volatility in the transportation equipment segment. In October, transportation equipment orders soared 12.0 percent higher on strong sales for defense and nondefense aircraft and parts. Excluding transportation, new orders for durable goods increased 1.0 percent in October, but over the past 12 months, growth in activity has been more minimal, up just 0.3 percent.

Therefore, even with the healthy gains in demand seen in October, new orders growth for durable goods continue to be quite weak on a year-over-year basis, highlighting lingering challenges in the sector. Along those lines, core capital goods orders (or nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft) increased 0.4 percent in October, but have fallen 4.0 percent over the past 12 months. Read More

Five Facts about How Energy Connects Us

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

From Keystone XL to the most recent Dakota Access, debates over pipelines seem to have sprung up overnight. The pipes that connect us and deliver opportunity used to unite us, but lately the political agenda of a relative few has caused a riff. At a time when our country needs to come together more than ever, it’s dangerous is that much of the debate ignores the facts. Read More

Manufacturers: Help Wanted!

By | Communications, Shopfloor Main | No Comments

Manufacturing and jobs were central issues in the presidential election, but what many Americans don’t realize is that manufacturers are looking for skilled workers right now. What’s more, we are expected to have many more job openings over the next decade. As many as 2 million jobs could go unfilled if we don’t start equipping people with the high-tech skills that manufacturing demands.

National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons outlined the stakes and the path forward in a recent Fortune op-ed.

America is failing our youth if we do not equip them with the skills required for innovative manufacturing. Manufacturing careers pay about $15,000 more than the rest of the private sector, and manufacturing can provide job security and upward mobility like no other industry.

This is good news for working families at a time when some have lost faith in the American dream and are questioning our very system of free enterprise. But we should not give up; we should not lose hope. Strategic investment in education and training will carry us toward our goal.

It’s going to take all of us to forge the path forward, and many manufacturing companies are rising to the challenge. Check out this video, the third episode of FutureWork, featuring Dennis Parker, the founder of Toyota’s Advanced Manufacturing Technician Program, as he visits shop floors and explains the importance of, and opportunities available in, manufacturing careers.