The “slam dunk” tax reform bill is leading to big bonuses, new jobs and a huge nationwide investment says the team at Wilmington, North Carolina’s, Atlantic Packaging.
The 75-year-old family-owned business specializes in commercial packaging for some of the biggest companies in the country. Thanks to tax reform, they’re making sure to pass along the savings to their employees, who Wes Carter, president of Atlantic Packaging, describes as their “number-one asset.”
Immediately after tax reform passed, “we decided to hand out bonuses right away,” said Carter. “We knew this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. The culture of our company is all about our people. We think that the quality of our people is what differentiates us in the marketplace and makes us a unique supplier. For us, handing out bonuses was an investment in our most valuable resource: our people. Companies create culture by having happy, dedicated employees, who want to have a long-term career at a quality organization. Giving bonuses didn’t even take any debate—we all knew it was the right thing to do.”
As a result of tax reform, Atlantic Packaging employees will be joined by many new coworkers—because tax reform has allowed the company to add jobs, grow the number of facilities and take their company nationwide.
“Tax dollars will help us grow our business,” Carter said. “Atlantic is positioned to become a national company, enhancing our ability to service our clients across North America. Tax reform will help us open new facilities and hire new employees nationwide.”
That’s exactly what Atlantic Packaging is doing. A new $10 million packaging center in Charlotte opened last fall and is now the most advanced package testing facility in the world. Carter also plans to invest in new equipment that will increase productivity and efficiency, including new printing presses and die-cutters for Atlantic’s manufacturing operations.
“All of that takes cash,” said Carter. “We’re able to make these investments, in part, because of tax reform.”
The increased number of facilities means that Atlantic Packaging plans to add up to 20 to 30 jobs a year for the foreseeable future as demand continues to increase. In 2018 alone, the company already has created 25 new jobs and completed a strategic acquisition in the Northeast.
Carter told the National Association of Manufacturers, “We’ve hired sales and sales support people in Kansas City, in Los Angeles, Dallas, Texas and in Portland, Oregon. We opened a new facility in Memphis, Tennessee and in Greenville, South Carolina. Certainly, tax reform has given us the additional confidence to push ahead with these strategic moves.”
“I know tax reform became a partisan issue in Washington, but to me, it was pretty plain and simple,” said Carter. “Because we are all operating in a global economy, U.S. companies need a fair and competitive tax code to remain healthy and vibrant. To me, tax reform was a slam dunk. It’s already proving itself by bringing jobs and major corporate investment back to the United States. The future for American manufacturing is really bright, and that’s the first time in my career I can say that. I’ve never seen so much confidence in the marketplace.”
On the six-month anniversary of the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Congress’ top tax writer praised the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and President and CEO Jay Timmons in a Capitol press conference for the organization’s advocacy.
“Thank you to Jay for your leadership of America’s manufacturers,” said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) as Timmons, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin looked on. “This pro-growth tax reform would not have occurred but for your leadership.”
Earlier that day, the NAM released its latest quarterly Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey in conjunction with the anniversary. The results were eye-popping: more than 95 percent of manufacturers surveyed were optimistic about their business outlook—the highest rating in all of the survey’s 20-year history.
Speaker Ryan and Chairman Brady echoed the record-setting results.
“Today there is record optimism among our nation’s manufacturers,” said Ryan. “Tax reform, to be blunt, is the game-changer our economy needed.”
“Our manufacturers are now armed with one of the most pro-growth tax codes in the world. And since tax reform was signed into law, over 70 percent of manufacturers have increased hiring and their workers’ wages due to tax reform,” said Brady.
Marlin Steel Wire Products President and Owner Drew Greenblatt and Jamison Door President and CEO John Williams, both NAM members, also participated in the press conference, along with workers from each company’s shop floor. The full event can be viewed here.
Conducted by NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray, the Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey has surveyed the association’s membership of 14,000 large and small manufacturers on a quarterly basis for the past 20 years to gain insight into their economic outlook, hiring and investment decisions and business concerns.
The NAM releases these results to the public each quarter. Further information on the survey is available here.
As expected, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) ended its June 12–13 meeting by hiking short-term rates by 25 basis points. This action—the second increase so far in 2018—was widely expected, with markets already pricing it in. More importantly, the Federal Reserve’s economic projections signal that there could be four hikes in the federal funds rate this year, up from a consensus estimate of around three. With the Federal Reserve’s action, the target range for the federal funds rate is now 1.75 to 2 percent. The projections show that range rising to 2.4 percent by the end of 2018 and 3.1 percent in 2019. The latter would indicate three hikes next year. With that said, the FOMC will hinge future interest rate increases on incoming data. Read More
“We can see a material rebalance of our investment activities in favor of the U.S as a direct consequence tax reform.”