State of the Union Archives - Shopfloor

Manufacturers to Congress: Act Now to Pass Trade Promotion Authority

By | Trade | No Comments

Manufacturers applaud President Obama’s call for swift action on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) in tonight’s State of the Union address.

Quickly renewing this proven partnership between Congress and the Executive branch is essential to ensure America continues to lead to negotiating new trade agreements that eliminate barriers and open overseas markets for manufacturers and workers. Read More

Manufacturing Resurgence Won’t Come from Limiting Manufacturers’ Global Power

By | Taxation | No Comments

Manufacturers appreciated the highlight of the industry from the President last night. And, as long-time advocates for pro-growth tax reform, we were glad to hear the President calling for “comprehensive” reform, that is an effort that includes both corporate and individual tax reform.

While many larger manufacturers operate in corporate firm, about two-thirds of manufacturers—mostly small and medium-size companies—operate as a “flow through” and are taxed as individuals. Unfortunately, the good news on taxes stopped there.

The President made clear that he looks at tax reform as a way to help “bring down the deficit.”  The NAM, on the other hand, doesn’t view tax reform as a revenue raiser, but as an engine for much-needed economic growth and competitiveness.

Speaking of competitiveness, we were dismayed to hear the Administration again bring up the illusory “tax breaks for companies to ship jobs overseas.” Manufacturers in the United States know firsthand the challenges of competing in a global marketplace under our outdated world-wide tax system.  Making the current system worse—as the President suggested—is going to make manufacturers in America even less competitive. In order to promote competitiveness, we need to move to a territorial tax system, similar to systems in most industrial countries, structured to enhance U.S. competitiveness, not raise additional revenue.

Dorothy Coleman is vice president of  tax and domestic economic policy, National Association of Manufacturers.

Senator Rubio Talks Free Enterprise, Energy in Republican Response

By | General | No Comments

Following President Obama’s State of the Union address Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) delivered the Republican address. Senator Rubio talked about the importance of the free enterprise economy to our nation’s prosperity and to the middle class. His remarks also addressed the concern that growing the size of government will increase taxes on many small businesses that will cost jobs and hurt economic growth.

Senator Rubio raised the concerns shared by many manufacturers of the need for reforms to our nation’s entitlement programs. The deal to avert the fiscal cliff in January failed to address these costly programs. If we are going to get our fiscal house in order these programs must be addressed.

Our nation’s growing energy sector represents a tremendous opportunity for manufacturers. According to Senator Rubio’s remarks, One of the best ways to encourage growth is through our energy industry. Of course solar and wind energy should be a part of our energy portfolio. But God also blessed America with abundant coal, oil and natural gas.” Manufacturers use one-third of our nation’s energy supply and access to low cost sources of energy is critically important to our nation’s competitiveness. The continued development of shale gas can create one million manufacturing jobs by 2025.

Manufacturers throughout the country continue to struggle to find qualified and skilled workers. Senator Rubio addressed the need for a 21st century workforce. We must also tackle comprehensive immigration reform. Manufacturers must have access to the best workers at all skill levels in order to compete.

Finally, Senator Rubio called on Republicans and Democrats to come together to for the health of the nation and our economy. Manufacturers agree that we need bipartisan solutions. In fact, earlier today we released A Growth Agenda: Four Goals of a Manufacturing Resurgence in America which outlines the right policies that will transform our economy and help manufacturers create jobs. Manufacturing makes America strong, and we are committed to reducing the 20 percent cost differential to manufacture in the U.S. We hope to see concrete action from the Administration and Congress, the futures of the 12 million men and women in manufacturing are depending on it.


Journeyman Machinist a Guest of First Lady at Tonight’s Address

By | Education and Training | No Comments

Tonight Bradley Henning, a 23 year old journeyman machinist at NAM member Atlas Machine and Supply, Inc., was a guest of the First Lady at the State of the Union address. Mr. Henning has been training since high school for his job at Atlas and is a graduate of the company’s apprenticeship program. In July of last year he completed all of his necessary training and coursework to receive his journeyman’s card.

Bradley Henning of Atlas Machine and Supply, Inc.

Mr. Henning represents the thousands of students in apprentice programs and schools throughout the country gaining the necessary skills for long-term careers in today’s manufacturing. This isn’t your grandfather’s manufacturing, the jobs of today and tomorrow require advanced skills and job training.

Manufacturers throughout the country are struggling to find workers with the necessary skills for today’s jobs. Today, approximately 600,000 manufacturing jobs are unfilled due to the skills gap.

In order for manufacturers to compete in the growing global marketplace the workforce must have the necessary skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). We must continue to work to promote STEM education so students like Bradley can benefit from great careers in manufacturing and greatly enhance our nation’s competitiveness.


President Obama Continues Discussing Manufacturing

By | General, State of the Union | No Comments

Fresh off his third State of the Union Address, where he discussed the need for growing manufacturing, President Obama will be touring Intel’s Ocotillo Campus in Chandler, Arizona. The Intel facility in Chandler employs nearly 10,000 people and builds high tech processors. The President is expected to continue to discuss manufacturing and job creation.

Intel is a leading innovator in high-tech manufacturing and is currently expanding their operations in Arizona. The company is building the world’s most advanced, high volume chip fabrication plant in Arizona. The plant is scheduled to be completed in 2013. This is great news for manufacturing in the United States.

Manufacturers are hopeful President Obama will adopt the policies manufacturers have laid out in A Manufacturing Renaissance: Four Goals for Economic Growth. By instituting pro-growth policies companies like Intel will be able to better compete, expand and create good high-paying jobs.

State of the Union Address Live Blog

By | State of the Union | No Comments

Throughout the night we will be updating the blog with live updates and reaction from President Obama’s State of the Union. So stay tuned for updates.

Update: President Obama has begun his third State of the Union Address by thanking all the troops who have served in Iraq and discussing the war in Afghanistan.

Update: President Obama calls for Congress to work together to create, “An America that attracts a new generation of high-tech manufacturing and high-paying jobs.”

Right now we are at a pivitol time for manufacturers in this country. Now is the time to reduce the regulations and burdens that face manufacturers.

Update: President says he wants to lay out a blueprint for an economy that is build to last. Our hope is they will adopt the policies that are laid out in our Manufacturing Renaissance: Four Goals for Economic Growth.

Update: President Obama discussing effort to double exports by 2014. In order to reach this goal we need more trade agreements, export control reforms, and the reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank.

Update: President Obama mentions one of the First Lady’s Guests, Jackie Bray, a process operator at Siemens Charlotte Energy Hub. She participated in a community college retraining program to learn the skills necessary for her new job. Training programs such as this are essential to the competitiveness.

Update: President Obama says he is directing his Administration to open more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources. Calls for an “All of the Above” strategy. Manufacturers believe that strategy should include the Keystone XL pipeline that he rejected just last week. A mistake that will cost us jobs.

He also called for the development of natural gas development. It’s essential that the EPA does not overreach and continue to allow for shale development. A PwC/NAM study shows that shale development will create 1 million manufacturing jobs.

Update: President Obama calls for an effort to rebuilt our infrastruture. An improved and efficient infrastructure is important to manufacturers competitiveness.

Update: Increas

State of the Union Night

By | State of the Union | No Comments

At 9:00 p.m. EST tonight President Obama will deliver the State of the Union Address. We expect manufacturing to be one of the main topics of the speech.

Several manufacturers have been invited as guests of the First Lady tonight. These guests include Alicia Boler-Davis, a plant manager at General Motors Orion Assembly and Jackie Bray, a process operator at Siemens Charlotte Energy Hub.

Jackie Bray is an example of how important community college training programs are for workers. In June of 2011 President Obama endorsed the Manufacturing Institute’s Skills Certifcation Program which is designed to help retrain workers for careers in manufacturing.

Be sure to stay tuned to Shopfloor tonight and to our twitter feed at @shopfloor for live reaction to the address.

On Energy, Talking Points That Damage Competitiveness

By | Energy, Taxation | One Comment

In his State of the Union address Thursday, the President again repeated his familiar talking points dismissing the oil industry.

We need to get behind this innovation. And to help pay for it, I’m asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies. (Applause.) I don’t know if — I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they’re doing just fine on their own. (Laughter.) So instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrow’s.

Yesterday’s energy? That’s not a serious comment that should be included in any serious address to the American people. Oil and natural gas provide more than 60 percent of the America’s energy. It’s TODAY’s energy, and TOMORROW’s energy, and investment in it should be encouraged, not disparaged.

The American Petroleum Institute issued a statement from its president and CEO, Jack Gerard, in response. Excerpt:

Tonight was a missed opportunity. The president focused on job growth through federal spending, but was silent on one of the best ways to create jobs: allow more energy development. Natural gas and renewables are important components of our energy mix, but we will need our nation’s vast oil resources for decades to come. The oil and natural gas industry is a key driver of new jobs and economic prosperity Producing more oil and gas at home, which most Americans want, could create hundreds of thousands of jobs, reduce our deficit by billions, and enhance our energy security. Even better, the government wouldn’t have to invest a single taxpayer dollar – just give industry a green light to invest its own money.

The U.S. oil and natural gas industry also pays taxes at effective rates far higher than most other industries, and does not receive payments from the government to support oil and gas development. The tax deductions it does receive are similar to those enjoyed by other industries to encourage energy production and new jobs. We need policies that help the 9.2 million hardworking men and women in the industry, not hurt them.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin on the State of the Union

By | Infrastructure, Innovation, Taxation | No Comments

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the former director of the Congressional Budget Office and an economic advisor to Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign, dissects the President’s address in a blog post at The Corner. Very astute.

[We] got mostly a series of broad, sweeping vision statements followed by narrow, more-of-the-same policy prescriptions. Take for example innovation. The president praised the government’s widely recognized role in funding basic research. But in the next paragraph, he switched to “research and development” (not the same) and targeted on vague progressive agenda items like clean energy, information technology, and biomedical research. Why those, when the president acknowledged that “none of us can predict … what the next big industry will be”?

Why should 80 percent of electricity come from “clean energy”? How do we get there? Why should 80 percent of Americans have access to high-speed rail? These are proposals, but not a vision of any sort.

And …

To be fair, most of these addresses disappoint. And there were nuggets of promise in the emphasis on education, and the acknowledgment that corporate profits are not a bad thing and that corporate tax reform is desirable. But there was little in specifics and it was countered by the pro forma attacks on oil companies and banks, and the stone-walling of fixing the health-care mistake.

In the end, this speech did little to change the landscape.