As a new Congress kicks off, and as the new administration takes the reins with stated priorities of boosting manufacturing in the United States, now is the right time to assess the state of the U.S.–India economic relationship. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) joined 21 other trade associations in a letter today to congressional leadership urging them to work to support a robust, reciprocal U.S.–India economic relationship that creates commercial opportunities in both countries and meaningfully addresses outstanding issues impacting manufacturers in the United States. Read More
Today more than 400 businesses and business organizations sent a letter to the U.S. Senate urging support for the confirmation of Wilbur Ross as secretary of commerce. Spearheaded by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the letter urges swift action on Mr. Ross’ confirmation.
“We believe that Wilbur Ross will bring a unique understanding of what it takes to fuel manufacturing enterprises to this vital role,” the letter reads. “Mr. Ross has a firsthand understanding of the challenges manufacturers face to remain globally competitive in today’s economy.”
Read the full letter here.
NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons also sent a letter yesterday on behalf of the NAM offering his support for Ross’ confirmation.
“Wilbur is a businessman with extensive experience in a wide range of industries who knows firsthand what policies it takes to promote competitiveness, investment, job creation and durable economic growth,” Timmons wrote. “In particular, Wilbur has extensive experience in the manufacturing sector and understands the critical need for pro-growth trade, tax and other economic policies.”
Timmons’ letter is available in its entirety here.
A highly interconnected global economy is a fact for manufacturers big and small throughout the United States. Advances in technology and transportation over recent decades have created substantial new opportunities for manufacturers in the United States to reach millions of foreign consumers. That interconnection has also brought increased competition from growing manufacturing sectors around the world, in some cases fueled by market-distorting and discriminatory trade practices that put our manufacturers, workers and communities at an unfair disadvantage.
When markets are open and rules of fairness and equal opportunity are enforced for all, manufacturers in the United States can and do succeed. Consider the following:
- More than half of the U.S. manufacturing workforce depends on exports for their jobs, and nearly half of all U.S.-manufactured goods exports are sold just to the 20 countries that have eliminated barriers through free trade agreements.
- Employees in the “most trade-intensive industries” earn an average compensation of nearly $94,000, or more than 56 percent more than those in manufacturing companies that were less engaged in trade.
With the world’s most productive manufacturing sector in the world, but a domestic market that represents only 10 percent of global consumption and growing global competition, manufacturers in the United States need more robust trade policies and agreements to grow. To be part of the solution, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has shared with the Trump transition team our “Competing to Win” agenda, which includes a blueprint for a winning trade policy.
The NAM is calling on the new administration to focus on three key elements to ensure an open and fair trading system:
- Strong enforcement of global trade rules to crack down on cheating.
- Negotiation of new bilateral and other trade agreements to expand market access, raise standards, ensure fairness and equal opportunity and eliminate foreign market-distorting practices.
- Adoption of customs, financing, export control and other policies to make manufacturers in the United States more globally competitive.
Manufacturers are committed to working domestically and internationally to tap growth beyond our borders and eliminate foreign trade abuses to continue to expand a highly productive and innovative U.S. manufacturing sector that can continue to sustain and increase good-paying American jobs.
This blog is part of the NAM’s “12 Days of Transition” series, an effort to provide the presidential transition team and other Washington policymakers with a roadmap to bolster manufacturing in the United States. Read the other blogs in the series here.
Iowa Governor Has Been a Longtime Champion of Manufacturing
National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons and the NAM’s former Board Chair and current Chair of the Board of Vermeer Corporation in Iowa, Mary Andringa, released the following statements after the nomination of Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA) to serve as the ambassador to China:
“Terry Branstad is the perfect pick for this important position. Working closely with Gov. Branstad and his outstanding team for many years, I know he is a man true to his word and has been tested over and over again as Iowa’s chief executive,” said Timmons. “From leading his state out of tough economic times to balancing Iowa’s budget, he understands what manufacturers and businesses need to invest and grow—and has a proven record of results.
“The governor’s deep understanding of China, and close relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping, uniquely qualifies him for this vital post. For manufacturers, China stands as one of our largest trade and investment partners, but it is also a major challenge, imposing a range of market-distorting policies and practices that impact manufacturers in the United States,” said Timmons. “I have full confidence that Gov. Branstad will help forge a strong U.S.–China relationship that is based on the principles of fairness, respect and, most importantly, the rule of law. He understands that manufacturers are committed to building meaningful ties with China—but will not settle for anything less than a free and fair competitive landscape where both countries are playing by the same rules.”
“As the leader of an Iowa-based equipment manufacturer, I have worked closely with Gov. Branstad over the course of his many years of service to the state of Iowa,” said Andringa. “The governor is a pragmatic and inclusive leader who knows how to bring people together to solve problems and pursue opportunities. He has more than 30 years of experience working closely with Chinese leaders and has proudly hosted them in Iowa on numerous occasions. The governor knows the importance of a strong and constructive relationship with one of our largest trading partners, and he has the experience needed to represent us effectively in Beijing.”
CONTACT: Jennifer Drogus (202) 637-3090
NAM Tells Congress to Put Politics Aside and Restore Bank to Full Functionality
National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons issued the following statement calling on Congress to use the lame-duck session to restore the U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank to full functionality:
“As long as the Ex-Im Bank cannot fully operate, America will lose manufacturing jobs to other countries, which are winning new sales and manufacturing while our hands are tied. It’s time for Congress to show some backbone—and real leadership—to make the agency work again for hardworking Americans across the country. Jobs and livelihoods cannot be sacrificed to score a political point. A supermajority of Congress has already settled the question of Ex-Im reauthorization. Voters just reaffirmed the importance they place on strengthening manufacturing, and manufacturers need a fully functional Ex-Im Bank to compete and win again in the global economy. Anything less means manufacturers in the United States will lose. In fact, our foreign competitors would love to see the Ex-Im Bank remain hobbled.”
CONTACT: Jennifer Drogus, (202) 637-3090
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) today urged the U.S. government and other stakeholders to address trade barriers faced by manufacturers in the United States in markets around the world. In its detailed submission to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative for its National Trade Estimate Report (NTE), the NAM described a wide variety of foreign trade barriers that undermine the ability of manufacturers in the U.S. market to compete on a level playing field in international markets, which, in turn, undermines U.S. economic opportunities here at home. Read More
Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) is a Dallas, Texas–headquartered company that designs, manufactures, tests and sells a diverse portfolio of semiconductors and other products used by more than 100,000 of the world’s most innovative companies. TI’s semiconductors in particular are used in products that range from personal electronics and automobiles to industrial automation equipment, medical devices and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
The global supply chain is critical for TI and all U.S. semiconductor companies that, on average, derive more than 80 percent of their total revenue overseas, with Asia representing more than half of that revenue. A semiconductor designed at one of TI’s U.S. facilities and fabricated at U.S. factories may be sent to Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries, such as Malaysia, for additional processing. From there, the semiconductor may then be shipped to a product distribution center in Singapore before being sent to the customer, which incorporates it into an end product and ships it anywhere in the world.
As Paula Collins, TI’s vice president of government relations, said on a recent NAM Trade Podcast, “A TI chip that was designed in Manchester, New Hampshire, may travel 13,000 miles around the world, and eventually end up in any country in the world.”
TI operates multiple manufacturing, design and other facilities in nine states across the United States. This includes semiconductor manufacturing facilities in Texas (Dallas area, Sherman and Richardson) and Maine (South Portland) as well as more than a dozen design facilities in states around the country, including Texas (Dallas area, Austin and Sugar Land), New Hampshire (Manchester) and Arizona (Tucson and Phoenix), just to name a few.
According to Ms. Collins, “The TPP will support jobs in the United States and enhance TI’s ability to compete in the rapidly growing Asia-Pacific region by eliminating tariffs on advanced electronics and establishing new rules of the road, including in areas that have not been addressed in previous trade agreements.” Beyond tariff elimination, TPP benefits for TI include the following:
- A prohibition on forced technology transfers as a condition of market access or investment
- A requirement that partner countries accept commercial products with encryption without additional disclosure of confidential intellectual property or source code
- Strong patentability standards and protection of trade secrets
- Strong counterfeiting enforcement and penalties, which are critical because counterfeiting costs the U.S. semiconductor industry billions of dollars each year
- A ban on data localization requirements, critical for manufacturers like TI that support customers around the world, as requirements to store data locally would significantly increase the costs of doing business
On the NAM Trade Podcast, Ms. Collins added that “trade is going to happen with us or without us. I would rather have the United States be at the table, helping to protect U.S. values, helping to protect U.S. workers, helping to protect the U.S. environment, to ensure that we are helping to shape globalization, rather than just responding to it.”
Read more “TPP in Real Life” stories here.
Founded in 1968 and once known as the “king of the bagel baskets,” Marlin Steel Wire Products LLC is a Baltimore, Md., small business that has transformed and grown its manufacturing footprint to become a major supplier to industrial companies throughout the United States and globally, while saving and growing jobs in Baltimore.
Originally based in Brooklyn, N.Y., Marlin Steel moved to Baltimore when it was acquired by current President and Owner Drew Greenblatt in 1998. As demand for bagels declined and bagel basket imports flooded the U.S. market, Mr. Greenblatt recognized that Marlin Steel needed to shift the focus of its business to ensure continued growth.
In the early 2000s, Marlin Steel invested in automated manufacturing robots, which expanded productivity and allowed the company to focus on highly engineered products, such as wire baskets, mesh baskets, material handling baskets and steel racks and baskets, which are in demand by many other industrial sectors ranging from automotive and aerospace to machinery and pharmaceuticals. Employing 24 steelworkers at its Baltimore facility, small Marlin Steel is a supplier to many large industrial companies, including Boeing, Caterpillar, Cummins, Ford, General Electric, General Motors, Honda, Lockheed Martin, Merck and Toyota.
Marlin Steel exports to 39 countries, and 25 percent of the company’s sales and jobs depend on exports. Mr. Greenblatt says that “free trade agreements level the playing field for U.S. goods and open markets for ‘Made in the USA’ exports by eliminating anti-manufacturing taxes and other barriers. If we could get rid of tariffs through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Marlin Steel could hire unemployed Baltimore steelworkers for jobs that pay $25 per hour—that is, if Congress passes this critical agreement.”
The TPP would eliminate all tariffs on products manufactured by Marlin Steel, including the 5 percent tariff charged on Marlin Steel’s exports to New Zealand and tariffs levied on these products by Vietnam (20 percent) and Malaysia (5 percent).
As Mr. Greenblatt underscored in a recent Fox News “The Deciders” segment, “If you want to grow jobs, if you want to grow our country, we need more clients; we need new markets. America only has 4 percent of the world’s population. We need to export like crazy, and that’s how we’re going to grow, and that’s how we’re going to hire unemployed steelworkers.”
Read more TPP in Real Life stories here.
Manufacturers throughout the United States rely on a host of services companies to help assemble, package and deliver their products domestically and around the world.
One such company is ALOM, the global contract assembly, packaging and supply chain leader headquartered in the Silicon Valley city of Fremont, Calif. ALOM operates out of three U.S. locations that cover the North American market, and the company also provides services from 17 locations globally.
ALOM procures, produces, configures and ships products for technology-rich companies in the automotive, medical, telecommunications, technology, energy/utility and other regulated industries. ALOM’s customers include Fortune 100 companies, and it is part of a $750 billion ecosystem. On the supplier side, the ecosystem includes numerous small suppliers, including many veteran- and women-owned businesses, such as Container Consulting Service Inc., which provides customized packaging containers, and Superior Group, which provides contract labor.
While ALOM’s customers successfully manufacture and sell products within the United States, many also export to markets around the world. ALOM and its customers benefit from trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers, set strong rules that prohibit government restrictions on the movement of data and the localization of information technology infrastructure and make it easier to ship products due to more transparent and streamlined customs rules.
ALOM President and CEO Hannah Kain says that “TPP will aid ALOM in expanding our business into more TPP countries—beyond our growing businesses in places like Australia, Canada and Mexico—in turn enabling ALOM to support more jobs here in the United States.”
Ms. Kain adds that “without quick access to high-quality, competitively priced components, and the ability of our customers to access markets overseas, ALOM would have a hard time competing.” Ratification of trade agreements like the TPP will be critical as companies like ALOM seek to grow and expand their manufacturing-supporting businesses in the years ahead.
The United States and India concluded the last major bilateral commercial dialogue of the Obama administration today in Delhi, wrapping up a week of workshops and high-level bilateral meetings with a long joint statement on commercial topics. While this year’s dialogue included language that indicates discussion on issues that better reflects manufacturers’ priorities, such as discussions on intellectual property and customs clearance, it still lacked specific, concrete outcomes that manufacturers in the United States sought to be addressed in order to improve significantly U.S. commercial engagement with India.