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Infrastructure Archives - Shopfloor

How Manufacturers Are Making Progress in Washington

By | Media Relations, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Three months ago, I joined a group of business leaders in a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House. We had a frank discussion about what businesses in America need to create jobs, compete around the world and grow our economy.

We focused especially on issues like regulatory reform and infrastructure, and since that meeting, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has continued to provide the administration with manufacturers’ perspectives. We sent a report on regulations to the Commerce Department, and we continue to advocate the solutions found in our “Building to Win” agenda.

I shared a similar message in a round of television interviews in New York this week. On CNBC, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons and I talked about manufacturers’ priorities with the “Squawk Box” audience (You can watch parts one and two of the interview here and here.)

The other hot topic for manufacturers right now, of course, is tax reform. Earlier this month, I was on Capitol Hill to testify before Congress about manufacturers’ priorities for tax policy. I discussed the principles laid out in “Competing to Win” and urged our elected leaders to act in a bold way. “We operate in a fiercely competitive global economy, and we need a fiercely competitive tax system to win,” I reminded them.

It can get lost in the news, but manufacturers really are making progress on our big-ticket items. We have an administration who is listening to us and has already acted to ease the regulatory burden. On Capitol Hill, Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) have introduced a bipartisan regulatory reform bill. President Trump released his tax reform blueprint, and Congress is holding hearings to begin the process. In addition, the administration is expected to release an infrastructure plan soon, after previously citing our “Building to Win” blueprint favorably.

If we keep up the hard work and keep speaking out, we can seize this opportunity and get real results for manufacturers—and our whole country.

Manufacturers Continue the Infrastructure Call to Action

By | Infrastructure, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Infrastructure Week 2017 reached record high levels of participation by doubling both the number of events that occurred in 2016 as well as the number of affiliate members that joined in calling on policymakers to invest in infrastructure now. According to first reports, more than 1,500 people contacted their representatives or senators last week alone. Since May 1, Infrastructure Week made 175 million social media impressions. Our collective voice was loud, and it was heard.

To ensure manufacturers hold President Donald Trump to his commitment to make U.S. infrastructure “second to none,” the call to action must continue from diverse, united stakeholders who recognize that infrastructure is the backbone of a strong manufacturing economy. We need every manufacturing employee and company to engage in this call for infrastructure because our work is not done.

Kathryn Karol is the vice president of global government and corporate affairs for Caterpillar Inc. She stated,

At Caterpillar, we believe that every week should be Infrastructure Week. We are pleased that the president and Congress agree that wise investments in infrastructure must be a national priority. Caterpillar and our customers stand ready to deliver on those investments and make infrastructure an engine for economic growth and job creation in the U.S.”

Please keep the momentum of Infrastructure Week going by using the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) infrastructure toolkit to contact members of Congress with emails, phone calls and meetings. The NAM will continue to push for a comprehensive plan to revitalize the nation’s transportation, energy, water and broadband infrastructure. This week, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons furthered the NAM call that now is the time to build with a piece published in the Cincinnati Enquirer, titled Time to act on Brent Spence Bridge and nation’s crumbling infrastructure.

During the fifth-annual Infrastructure Week, the NAM, as a steering committee member, led efforts to unite varied voices behind a broad call for infrastructure investment. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao gave the keynote address at the launch event on Monday, followed by a discussion between Timmons and Laborers’ International Union of North America General President Terry O’Sullivan on how manufacturers depend on infrastructure. C-SPAN covered the event.

Ingersoll-Rand Chairman and CEO and NAM Executive Committee member Michael Lamach represented the NAM in an interview on CNBC. Manitowoc Company President and CEO Barry Pennypacker authored a Shopfloor blog on local infrastructure needs and represented the NAM in a roundtable discussion with congressional leaders, business executives and Department of Transportation special advisers. Also on the NAM Shopfloor blog, Fluor Corporation Chairman and CEO and NAM Board Vice Chair David Seaton explored the benefits of public–private partnerships, and NAM Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Ross Eisenberg outlined manufacturers’ dependence on robust energy infrastructure. The NAM co-hosted an official Infrastructure Week Congressional Reception on Wednesday, May 17, featuring congressional co-chair Reps. Garret Graves (R-LA) and Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY).

The Ports of Indiana and American Association of Port Authorities hosted an infrastructure roundtable in Indianapolis that included participation from NAM members Subaru of Indiana, ArcelorMittal and the Indiana Manufacturers Association. The meeting also included federal officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Department of  Transportation as well as the Indiana Department of Transportation Commissioner. The discussion was about advocating major infrastructure improvements, including the Soo Locks and specifically the Poe Lock in Upper Peninsula Michigan, which every Midwest steel manufacturer relies on. A Shopfloor blog can be found here.

The NAM’s efforts in combination with the efforts of thousands of other Infrastructure Week participants were extraordinary, but we must stay engaged. A comprehensive, pro-manufacturing infrastructure package faces political and philosophical challenges. Despite differences, we must stand united in support of overdue infrastructure revitalization to bolster economic competitiveness here in the United States.

Infrastructure: But How Do We Pay for It?

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

Written by Fluor Chairman and CEO/NAM Board of Directors Vice Chair David Seaton.

There is widespread consensus that America’s infrastructure needs help. It ranks 11th in the world, and the American Society of Civil Engineers has repeatedly graded it a D+.

As noted in the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) Building to Wininfrastructure plan, “Without immediate action on the infrastructure crisis, the United States will lose more than 2.5 million jobs by 2025 and more than 5.8 million by 2040.” We have a big job ahead of us; the estimated funding needs exceed $1 trillion. So how do we pay for it? Read More

Manufacturers Are Only as Strong as American Infrastructure

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

Blog written by Barry Pennypacker, President and CEO of The Manitowoc Company, Inc.

At Manitowoc’s crane manufacturing facility in Shady Gove, Pennsylvania, countless truckloads of material come in and out our facility every day. Interstate I-81 is a central outlet for those trucks, and any problem with that highway is a problem for our business, our customers and our workers.

And I-81 has problems. Read More

Manufacturers Need Policymakers to Advance Infrastructure; It’s Time for Real Solutions

By | Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Manufacturers appreciate President Donald Trump’s commitment to deliver an infrastructure proposal in two to three weeks and his consideration of a range of funding sources, from tax credits to the gas tax. We could not agree more that there is no one solution to fund a significant $1 trillion infrastructure investment, and it is time to be bold and meaningful. Moreover, it’s time for Congress and the administration to unify under a “Building to Win” strategy as outlined by the National Association of Manufacturers. Read More

FCC Moves to Increase Broadband Infrastructure Investment

By | Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Ajit Pai, announced today that the agency intends to repeal the 1930s-era regulations known as “Title II” that have been imposed on the internet since 2014. This move will benefit all manufacturers that increasingly depend on connected technology and the robust broadband infrastructure needed for it to succeed.  Read More

America’s Infrastructure Stuck with a D+ Grade

By | Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Today, the American Society of Civil Engineers released the “Infrastructure Report Card.” Unfortunately, America’s infrastructure again receives a D+ rating. Marlin Steel Wire Products President and Owner and National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Small and Medium Manufacturers Group Chair Drew Greenblatt described the impact our aging infrastructure system has on manufacturers. Greenblatt also authored an article, titled “Five Keys to Infrastructure Investment & Why It’s Critical for U.S. Manufacturing.”                                                                                                             Read More

The NAM Builds Bipartisan Approach to Advance Infrastructure

By | Infrastructure, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

We all agree that America’s infrastructure must be updated and brought into the 21st century. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has been leading efforts to build consensus on how to fund, build and deliver infrastructure that will improve manufacturers’ global competitiveness. Today, the NAM—in partner with leading industry and labor groups—released four principles for Congress and the administration to use as they draft an infrastructure bill. The four principles are as follows: Read More

Manufacturers Deliver a United Call to Invest in Infrastructure Now

By | Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Republicans and Democrats unified today to advance an infrastructure agenda in the 115th Congress. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) began the hearing “Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America” by referencing a letter to President Donald Trump from nearly 400 manufacturing, labor, business, construction and policy groups urging for a broad infrastructure bill that addresses all types of infrastructure and includes a solution to make the Highway Trust Fund solvent. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) worked with a broad business coalition to secure support for the effort from national organizations as well as local and state groups from every state in the country.

Committee members heard a united message about the immediate need to upgrade transportation and infrastructure systems to ensure U.S. global competitiveness. Testimony came from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and four NAM members:

  • Frederick Smith, chairman and CEO of FedEx Corporation
  • David MacLennan, chairman and CEO of Cargill, Incorporated
  • Ludwig Willisch, president and CEO of BMW of North America
  • Mary Andringa, chair of the board of Vermeer Corporation

Andringa shared Vermeer’s Lean journey and the steps taken to reduce waste and increase efficiency in the manufacturing process.

“If ports are clogged, trucks are delayed, power is down or the internet has a lapse, productivity and customer service are impacted,” said Andringa. This is not just my story. Across the manufacturing sector, transportation logistics matter, and congestion—whether at a port or on a crowded highway—is waste that drives the consumer’s cost up like a hidden tax.”

To read more of Andringa’s testimony, click here. To watch the hearing, click here.

The NAM will continue to educate new members of the 115th Congress about the central role infrastructure plays on the shop floor and will continue to lead advocacy efforts supporting a 21st-century infrastructure system. In Building to Win, the NAM described the immediate need to update our roads, bridges, transit systems, ports, inland waterways, broadband and telecommunications networks, airports and runways, pipelines, energy infrastructure, drinking water and wastewater systems and railways. The blueprint includes solutions, such as possible funding and financing mechanisms, as well as good governance policy reforms, such as streamlining permitting.

While manufacturers were encouraged by President Trump’s campaign promise to rebuild American infrastructure and make it “second to none,” accomplishing this will require continued advocacy and education efforts to gather the bipartisan support to encourage a significant change from the status quo.