manufacturing renaissance Archives - Shopfloor

Under Secretary Sanchez Talks Manufacturing, Exports at CMA Meeting

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Yesterday, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Francisco Sanchez spoke at the NAM’s Council of Manufacturing Associations (CMA) winter meeting.

Under Secretary Sanchez reiterated calls that we are at the beginning of a “manufacturing renaissance” and talked about the number of quality jobs created in the industry over the course of the last two years. He highlighted a Department of Commerce report which said that in 2009 alone, manufacturing made up more than 11 percent of GDP.

In order to build off the successes of manufacturing, and to really enter into a manufacturing renaissance, we have released our own four-point plan to guide the process. A Manufacturing Renaissance: Four Goals for Economic Growth addresses both the areas where we are thriving and the areas that need more attention.

Among those issues are exports. The NAM has been a strong supporter of the president’s goal to double exports by 2015. Manufacturers play an imperative role in that effort and Under Secretary Sanchez says “the correlation between jobs, exports and manufacturing is clear.” We agree.

Under Secretary Sanchez also spoke about the New Market Exporter Initiative. This initiative helps U.S. businesses find new markets, opportunities for export training and new contacts with distributors and representatives to expand their business.

The topic of manufacturing has been at the forefront of the Republican presidential debates and recent remarks by President Obama. It is encouraging to see so much attention on the industry that has led our economic recovery and continues to do so.

“U.S. manufacturers are vital to our economy and future growth.  It’s work that I’ve always valued.  My father ran a candy factory.  He had to make payroll.  He had to monitor inventory.  He had to sell and market products.  From his experience, I know how a strong manufacturing sector benefits workers, communities and our nation.” – Under Secretary Sanchez

Presidential Candidates Talk Manufacturing

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With all eyes shifting from Iowa to New Hampshire, the six remaining Republican presidential candidates gathered for two debates in the Granite State this past weekend.

Both debates featured the full ensemble – Speaker Newt Gingrich, Gov. Jon Huntsman, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. Rick Santorum and Gov. Mitt Romney.

Saturday night’s ABC News and Yahoo! News debate encompassed a variety of issues, the obstacles to growing our economy and creating jobs. Sen. Santorum highlighted the NAM’s cost study, which shows that it is 20 percent more expensive to do business in the United States. This figure excludes labor costs. The cost burden rose from a 2008 report which put it at 17.6 percent. The report indicates the increase is due to widening gaps in regards to corporate tax rates and employee benefits.

While we have emerged from the economic recession, we are still facing challenging times. Unemployment remains at 8.5 percent and employers frequently cite “uncertainty” as their reasons for not expanding. This in turn, lowers our competitive edge. These topics were also echoed during Sunday’s NBC News and Facebook debate.

Several other candidates, including Gov. Romney and Gov. Huntsman discussed the need to become more competitive and Speaker Gingrich reiterated his plan to lower the corporate tax rate.

Manufacturing needs to be at the forefront of our economic recovery and it is encouraging to see presidential hopefuls talk about the need for a “manufacturing renaissance.” The National Association of Manufacturers is hopeful that the candidates will continue to discuss their manufacturing plans during the upcoming South Carolina and Florida debates.