Tag: President Obama

Manufacturers Tell President, Congress to Find a Debt Solution

As the government shutdown drags on and the deadline to raise the debt ceiling grows precipitously closer, uncertainty is once again standing in the pathway to economic growth.

Today, in a letter to the President and House and Senate leadership, NAM president and CEO Jay Timmons laid out manufacturers’ concerns and urged our leaders to push past the partisanship that has defined Washington in recent years to “put the nation’s best interests first by addressing the debt limit.”

Timmons made special note that failure to meet the United States financial obligations would “seriously disrupt our fragile economy and have a ripple effect throughout the world.”

Make no mistake about it – the current partisan environment is frustrating to us all. However, the fallout for letting these differences push our nation into default on our debt will be felt for years and every sector of our economy will suffer the consequences.

Manufacturers are hopeful that the President and Congress will find a way to do what is necessary to prevent such an economic catastrophe and the NAM will continue to urge policymakers to arrive at a solution as quickly as possible.

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Economic Status Quo Isn’t Cutting it – Let’s See Some Action

Today at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, President Obama returned his focus to jobs and the economy, launching a series of speeches at the site he first laid out his economic vision as Illinois’ junior senator in 2005. His speech, while cautioning against the hyper-partisan atmosphere in Washington, D.C. these days, incidentally seemed to stoke those flames.

It’s an understatement to say that things aren’t going great right now. Despite President Obama’s comments that the economy is back, the numbers don’t quite share the same optimism. Growth is slower than it should be, manufacturers have seen job loss in four consecutive months, and it’s clear that the current policies aren’t working. The President’s call for sustainable economic growth is laudable, but as Dana Milbank of the Washington Post notes, his address seemed to lack any new ideas or proposals. The status quo just isn’t cutting it right now – and manufacturers have a suggestion.

Adopt the NAM’s Growth Agenda – a blueprint for economic growth. It’s a thoughtful, commonsense approach to reducing the burdens on our manufacturers in the U.S. that would provide the President with the tools he’s seeking to get our economy out of the mud. We agree that economic growth must be Washington’s highest priority – let’s make it so by putting pro-growth policies first. Growing our domestic energy production advantage, including approving the Keystone Pipeline, is one such policy – hopefully we won’t see it under attack yet again with the substitution of politics for policy.

Building up our nation’s infrastructure, improving STEM education and enacting comprehensive immigration reform are fundamentally necessary to ensuring manufacturers in the U.S. can compete and we share the President’s resolve to see those priorities become a reality.

President Obama’s determination to see a thriving manufacturing sector is admirable and we appreciate that manufacturing has been a verbal centerpiece of his plans – but manufacturers need action. We’ll be watching carefully to see if any comes out of this speech tour.

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On Energy Policy We Need to Make the Pie Bigger

Today President Obama urged Congress to establish an “energy security trust” which would take a portion of federal revenues from oil and gas production on federal lands and earmark them for research in advanced vehicle technology which would include cars fueled by electricity, bio cells, natural gas and biofuels.  The goal would be to earmark $2 billion over the next 10 years for research in these areas. Initially the President spoke about his plan during the State of the Union speech in February.

The President visited the Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago for his speech today. This federal lab has been working on advanced vehicle technology since the 1990s with a focus on advanced car batteries. During his visit he again spoke about an “energy security trust.” While much of what he said was positive and good we can’t afford to focus on just a few fuels. We need to continue basic research on all types of fuels. Advance vehicle technology research is critical if we are to continue to increase the efficiency of our cars and trucks. The research of today will reduce vehicle fuel consumption and the impact of vehicles on our environment in the future.

As part of his plan the President said he is looking for a pilot program to remove the “bottle necks” from the permitting process in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale Formation. This is great news,  the White House finally understands that the permitting process is taking far too much time and is the “bottle neck” in the production process.  This should not be a surprise. The energy sector has been talking about these permitting bottle necks for years! We hope the Administration and the President understand that it has been the federal government that has created barriers to production and slowed our exploration efforts.

Second, I found it interesting that the President would pick the Bakkens for a pilot project given that most of the production in the Bakken Shale Formation is taking place on private lands where the federal permitting process is not an issue. The fact is that for the last 6 years most all of the new production has taken place on private lands. Most of the shale gas development is on private lands. If we had to rely solely on federal lands for oil and gas development we would still be building import facilities for LNG! (continue reading…)

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Time for Washington to Listen to Manufacturers and Let us Lead

When the President says that the private sector is doing fine, as he did today during a press conference from the White House, manufacturers across the country must respectfully disagree.  We remind the President that it is 20 percent more expensive to do business in the United States when compared to our largest trading partners.

We remind the President that we have the highest corporate tax rate in the world.  We remind the President that the United States is party to only one trade agreement when currently there are over 200 such agreements being negotiated in the global marketplace. We remind the President that he rejected the Keystone XL pipeline that would provide a consistent and affordable energy source and create 138,000 jobs.  And we remind the President that our country has unnecessary regulation after regulation that drives up the cost of business in a sector that is poised for growth.

Because manufacturers – the real people in the real world – understand that things in our country aren’t necessarily as “fine” as the President might believe, nearly 400 of them spent the last two days in Washington, D.C., meeting with policymakers for the NAM’s annual Manufacturing Summit.

These men and women traveled to Capitol Hill from every corner of the country to share their stories with our elected leaders. They discussed the need for comprehensive business tax reform that will lower tax rates and provide certainty for all businesses, for an “all of the above” energy strategy that stops placing our resources off-limits, and for real support of manufacturers’ efforts to create jobs and address the challenges they face finding workers with the skills required in modern manufacturing.

It’s time for Washington to listen to manufacturers because they have the know-how and ability to lead our economic recovery.

Jay Timmons is president and CEO, National Association of Manufacturers.  

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VP Biden Talks Manufacturing in Michigan

Today Vice President Joe Biden was in Grand Rapids, MI talking about manufacturing and following up on the proposals laid out last week by President Obama in the State of the Union.

We are happy to see the President and Vice President are continuing to talk about manufacturing and realize how important it is to the economy and job creation. However, manufacturers need the right policies to grow and create jobs.

Manufacturers are looking for the “All-of-the-Above” energy policy that includes the Keystone XL pipeline. If they Administration wants to create manufacturing jobs, the perfect project was right before them. Keystone XL will create 20,000 construction and manufacturing jobs and more than 118,000 spin-off jobs.

As the discussion continues about manufacturing and how to create jobs we hope that both Congress and the Administration will move forward with policies to let manufacturers lead the economic recovery and create quality, high-paying jobs.

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President Obama Announces Plan to Reorganize Trade Agencies

Today we heard from President Obama about his plan to reorganize several federal agencies – many of which are critical to manufacturers and their ability to create and retain jobs.

Changes would include combining the Small Business Administration, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency into a single department in an effort to improve government efficiency and to help promote business. The key question in reviewing this proposal is will it help manufacturers compete, export, invest and create jobs?

Any changes that are considered must focus on improving intellectual property protection, opening markets for exports, improving market access, and more. Additionally, while manufacturers have done well in leaning their processes to improve their competitiveness and would vigorously support the federal government doing the same in this difficult debt and deficit environment, the agencies affected must continue to have the necessary resources to meet their missions.

If the streamlining and efficiency undertaken in this proposed combination of agencies will mean that manufacturers will have less intellectual property protection, for example, it would be a devastating mistake. If, on the other hand, this leaning process will mean doing more with less, it would be a great step forward.

As policymakers respond to the President’s proposals today, we are hopeful that the discussion centers on the key question for manufacturers – will they be better able to compete, export, invest and create jobs as a result? With a 20 percent cost disadvantage already, manufacturers will deeply care about the impact these proposals will have on their ability to compete.

Aric Newhouse is senior vice president for policy and government relations, National Association of Manufacturers.

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Keystone XL Construction Will Create 7,000 Manufacturing Jobs

New details were released by TransCanada today on the potential job creation that awaits once the Keystone XL pipeline is approved. The data shows that the pipeline will create 20,000 jobs – 7,000 specific to manufacturing.

December’s employment report showed a lower unemployment rate of 8.5 percent. While this is good news, it does not restore the certainty that Americans need. The Keystone XL pipeline is the key to a national energy plan that strives for affordable, reliable and secure energy.

TransCanada boasts the residual effect of the pipeline.

“Hundreds of jobs will be created through requirements for fuel, coating materials, welding supplies, concrete materials, geo-textile materials, pipeline weights, native seed materials for reclamation, cathodic protection materials, crushed rock, sediment barrier materials, valve and pigging assemblies, field trailer manufacturing, construction mats, power facility materials, aggregate manufacturing, road construction materials, water and waste facility manufacturing, fencing materials, communication infrastructure, bridge construction materials and many others.”

The ball is now in President Obama’s court. Congress gave President Obama 60 days to deny that the Keystone XL pipeline is in our nation’s best interest. Manufacturers, who are excited about this opportunity to invest and expand, remain waiting on the sidelines.

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President Obama Highlights Manufacturing in Iowa

President Obama joined manufacturers this afternoon at Alcoa Davenport Works in Bettendorf, Iowa. NAM Board Chair and Vermeer Corporation President CEO Mary Andringa greeted the President before his tour of the facility and attended his speech.

Los Angeles Times,Obama highlights manufacturing revival, jobs in Iowa
BusinessWeek, “Obama Turns to Alcoa as Backdrop for Manufacturing Message

The President discussed several of the initiatives he announced earlier this month, including his endorsement of the Manufacturing Institute’s Skills Certification System and the formation of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership of which Alcoa is a partner. 

We are encouraged to hear President Obama continue to discuss the importance of manufacturing to the economy and to job growth. Yet manufacturers continue to face burdensome regulations, higher taxes and energy costs and increased global competition.

If manufacturers are going to continue to lead our economic recovery and create quality, high-paying jobs we need policies that give business owners certainty and the tools to grow. The NAM has a blueprint of policies that will help us remain competitive. Our Manufacturing Strategy for Jobs and a Competitive America has three very simple goals:

  • To make the U.S. the best country in the world to headquarter a company and for direct foreign investment.
  • To make the U.S. the best country to innovate and perform the bulk of a company’s research and development.
  • To make the U.S. a great place to manufacture and serve as an export platform for the world.

It is my hope that we can continue to work with President Obama, his Administration and Congress on advancing policies that keep the United States the number one manufacturing economy in the world.

Jay Timmons is president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers.

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President Obama to Visit Factory in Iowa Today

This afternoon President Obama will be touring and speaking at Alcoa Davenport Works in Bettendorf, Iowa. The President is expected to continue to speak about the importance of manufacturing to our nation’s economy.

Politico reports on today’s event:

The all-important political state of Iowa will host President Obama on Tuesday as he goes to Bettendorf to tour a factory and talk about manufacturing and the economy. “Manufacturing serves as the backbone of communities across our country and the continued revitalization of the manufacturing sector is critical to America’s success as we compete in a 21st century global economy,” the White House noted in guidance to reporters.

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President Obama to Host Event on Improving the Manufacturing Workforce

This morning at 11:30 President Obama will speak an event at Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria to announce an industry led initiative to improve partnerships with community colleges to help develop a better skilled workforce for today’s manufacturing jobs. The President will highlight the Manufacturing Institute’s NAM-Endorsed Skills Certification System as a solution to meeting the goal of credentialing 500,000 community college students in the next five years.

The event will be streamed live online at nam.org.

Read the statement from NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons and from Manufacturing Institute President Emily DeRocco.

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