More than $1.8 billion dollars in taxes. That is what manufacturers in the U.S. are facing because of nearly 900 days of inaction by the House and Senate on a longstanding program to eliminate outdated tariffs on imported inputs and other products not even made in the U.S. (continue reading…)
Members of Congress, policy experts, economists, and industry leaders gathered at the Newseum in downtown Washington, D.C., yesterday morning for a policy breakfast briefing event to examine an important question: “Is India Open For Business?” after the first year of the Modi government. (continue reading…)
Manufacturers spoke out this morning in support of the U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank, with more than 1,000 businesses and organizations calling on Congress to move on a long-term reauthorization before Ex-Im Bank’s current charter expires on June 30. A few of those companies also appeared at a news conference with NAM President Jay Timmons, urging lawmakers to take up a long-term reauthorization. Executives from Vermeer Corporation, Special Products & MFG. and Click Bond, Inc. joined several House Republican Congressmen to explain how small and medium-sized businesses can grow and expand because of exports supported by Ex-Im Bank financing. (continue reading…)
Trade critics like to decry unfairness in the global economy, trade deficits and more in their fight against Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). But what solution do they provide? Not one.
Manufacturers are in Washington, DC, today as part of the NAM Manufacturing Summit to talk about solutions and ways to grow manufacturing. For those concerned about the lack of a level playing field, TPA is key to solve the status quo disadvantage faced by manufacturers in the U.S.
Consider the status quo for U.S. manufacturers:
- The U.S. has the most open market of any major economy, with more than two-thirds of all manufactured imports entering the U.S. duty-free in 2014. Under our Constitution and laws, the U.S. already accords the basic non-discrimination, fair treatment and private property protections found in our trade agreements to foreign products and investments.
- Except with our 20 free trade agreement partners, U.S. manufacturers face far greater barriers overseas for our exports, products and innovation. According to the well-respected World Economic Forum, U.S. exporters face steeper trade barriers abroad than virtually any other major country, including Mexico, China and European countries largely because those countries have entered into more market-access agreements than the United States.
In the markets where the U.S. is currently negotiating free trade agreements, U.S. manufacturers face substantial barriers. Manufacturers face tariffs as high as 83 percent on automotive products, 70 percent on machinery and capital equipment, and 30 percent or more on chemicals, health and medical equipment and infrastructure products with some of the Trans-Pacific Partnership countries. Manufacturers face tariffs as high as 20 percent on electrical equipment, 15 percent on consumer goods, 14 percent on information technology products and 10 percent on machinery, capital equipment and metal goods in the European Union. Beyond tariffs, manufacturers face a wide range of other discriminatory barriers around the world—from local production requirements and discriminatory regulations and standards to weak protection and enforcement of U.S. property, innovation and inventions.
How do we solve this status quo disadvantage? Certainly not by standing still as TPA critics seem to believe. In fact, TPA is critical to reverse this disadvantage so that the U.S. can negotiate and conclude new market opening trade agreements that will open markets and help make sure other countries treat our manufacturers and goods as we already treat them.
Manufacturers urge Congress to move quickly to pass TPA so that we can grow manufacturing in the United States, not fall farther behind.
Manufacturing production was unchanged in April, slowing from the 0.3 percent gain experienced in March. Overall, output in the sector has been very soft for five straight months. Manufacturers have struggled with a number of significant headwinds in the U.S. and global economies, including challenges in growing exports, residual impacts from the West Coast ports slowdown, regional weather challenges and an anxious consumer. As a result, the year-over-year pace has slowed from 4.5 percent in November to 2.3 percent in April. Similarly, capacity utilization in manufacturing has dropped from 79.8 percent five months ago to 78.2 percent today.
Durable goods production increased 0.1 percent in April, with output for nondurable goods firms off 0.1 percent. There were strong increases for manufacturing production for nonmetallic mineral products (up 1.4 percent), electrical equipment and appliances (up 1.3 percent), motor vehicles and parts (up 1.3 percent) and wood products (up 1.3 percent). However, these were offset by declining output in the machinery (down 0.9 percent), aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment (down 0.6 percent), and food, beverage and tobacco products (down 0.6 percent) sectors, among others. (continue reading…)
Major Manufacturing Industries Call for Quick Passage of TPA to Overcome the Status Quo Disadvantage
Yesterday, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) was joined by 75 industries representing the broad range of manufacturing throughout the United States, to urge passage of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015. As the letter explains:
“At a time when global growth is slowing, manufacturing industries and their employees need the advantages that trade agreements provide now more than ever to compete successfully abroad. The U.S. market is largely open to the world, with the lowest tariffs on manufactured goods of any G20 country. Yet, these same manufacturers face steep trade barriers abroad. Without TPA, manufacturers in the United States risk being locked out and left behind as other countries negotiate dozens of trade agreements that exclude the United States and our nation’s manufacturers.” (continue reading…)
Today, the Office of the United States Trade Representative released its annual Special 301 report which analyzes the state of intellectual property rights (IPR) among U.S. trading partners and also marks the first full review of India’s IPR regime since Prime Minister Modi took office. As in past reports, USTR once again placed India on the Priority Watch List due to ongoing concerns with the country’s lack of protections for innovators.
The report confirms that, despite ongoing dialogues and increasingly strong statements from Prime Minister Modi regarding his commitment to increasing protections for innovators in India, there has been no actual concrete action to improve IP protections. USTR expects ongoing dialogues to “bring about substantive and measurable improvements in India’s IPR regime for the benefit of a broad range of innovative and creative industries” and will “take further action, if necessary.”
As the NAM explained in its Special 301 comments filed in advance of the report, there are many areas where there has been dialogue, but no real improvement to India’s IPR policies including patent and data protection, compulsory licensing, and copyright piracy. This lack of progress and backward action in a number of areas from IPR to localization policies was also detailed just last week in the NAM’s pre pre-hearing statement filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission, which is conducting a second investigation into India’s trade and investment practices and their input on U.S. industries. These policy failures have a significant impact on businesses’ ability to innovate, create jobs, and grow the economy.
But businesses and industry leaders are not the only ones taking notice of India’s lack of progress in IPR and market-opening measures. India’s policies are impacting their global image as a country committed to innovation as reflected in India’s decline in various innovation and other measures. U.S. lawmakers are also taking note of the lack of concrete improvement in IPR in the country.
The NAM is committed to increasing commercial ties through a fair and more open trading relationship with India. To achieve that type of relationship – and for India to grow its economy and become the innovation leader it seeks to be – there must be more than talk and vague promises. It is time for India to take measures to bring its IPR regime up to global standards, to respect private property and innovation and seek to grow its economy through encouraging trade and investment.
As Congress continues to debate the future of Ex-Im Bank, it’s clear that a bipartisan majority supports its reauthorization. Over the past few weeks, various Congressional leaders have expressed their support for reauthorization. Today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said the expiration of the Ex-Im Bank could cost “thousands of jobs.” Manufacturers agree and we urge Congress to move quickly to schedule a vote on a long-term reauthorization of Ex-Im Bank. (continue reading…)
From soccer matches in Europe to Monday Night Football in the United States, referees are a critical component of competitive sports, acting as an impartial party that ensures rules are followed by members of both teams. For small and large manufacturers, Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions fill this this critical role of referee, ensuring that basic rules of due process, non-discrimination, fair treatment and property protection. In short, ISDS ensures fair play in the global economy.
Manufacturers typically make the vast majority of their investments domestically. Yet, just as companies from Europe, Asia, Latin America and beyond invest in America to reach the American consumer, many U.S. manufacturers also need to invest overseas to sell more successfully to the 95 percent of consumers that live outside our borders. By reaching millions of new customers overseas, U.S. investment overseas helps strengthen America’s manufacturing base, spurring approximately 50 percent of U.S. exports and supporting higher-paying American jobs, R&D and capital investment. When companies investment overseas, some 90 percent of their sales stay outside the United States. (continue reading…)
In a letter released this week and coordinated by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and other major trade associations, nearly 300 U.S. state and local organizations urged swift action to renew Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). The organizations that signed the letter represent millions of companies and workers from every sector of the economy, and every state in the country. (continue reading…)