A brand new Kenworth T680 76-inch mid-roof sleeper arrived at its final stop this morning after a cross-country tour with precious holiday cargo: the 51st U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. The truck, assembled at Kenworth’s Chillicothe, Ohio Plant, hauled the 74-foot Lutz spruce from Tacoma, WA, over 3,000 miles eastward back to Chillicothe, also the childhood home of NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons and recent host of the 2015 State of Manufacturing Tour, where plant employees and the surrounding community celebrated the truck’s successful journey hauling its arboreal freight. (continue reading…)
The need for competitive infrastructure has never been more apparent, and manufacturers appreciate the bipartisan introduction of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 (STRR). It’s a sign that things in Washington can get back on track, and the work of the Senate over the summer months to advance H.R. 22, the DRIVE Act, provided needed momentum.
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) is ready to forge ahead to a committee mark-up this week with the support of Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR). While Congress is currently holding off on addressing the long-term funding sources to address the imbalances facing the Highway Trust Fund, the STRR offers the opportunity to advance several key issues that will make our transportation and infrastructure systems more competitive. (continue reading…)
The NAM’s Jay Timmons joined leading manufacturing CEOs from Sherwin-Williams, Marlin Steel and Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in Cleveland yesterday as part of the NAM’s Executive Insights series. Panelists discussed the importance of advancing policies and regulations to support manufacturing, and in turn, create jobs and grow the economy in Ohio and across the United States.
Manufacturers’ contribution to the U.S. economy has steadily risen since 2009, reaching $2.09 trillion in 2014. In Ohio alone, manufacturing output was $99.83 billion in 2013, directly employing 682,600 jobs in the state in 2014. However, we need the right public policy and tools to keep America growing –to promote free and fair trade, diverse energy options, immigration reform, tax, health care and legal reform, and improved infrastructure. (continue reading…)
Aviation is an American success story. As a nation, our aerospace and aviation industries are second to none and have helped lead the way in a competitive global marketplace. For over twenty years, the United States has been a driver of aviation market liberalization and achieved Open Skies bilateral aviation agreements with over 100 nations around the world. These agreements enable access to foreign aviation markets that had previously restricted U.S. air carriers and provide the ability to offer new services in overseas markets, increase competition and facilitate global trade. (continue reading…)
NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons today urged Congress to fulfill its well-established responsibility of facilitating commerce in the United States by returning to a fully-funded, multiyear surface transportation authorization.
Testifying before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Timmons highlighted the importance of the nation’s transportation network to manufacturers across the country, “Manufacturers rely on our nation’s vast interconnected network of roads, railways, airports, inland waterways and ports to support and supply every sector of the economy.”
Timmons was joined by a diverse group of panelists all advocating for a new surface transportation bill, including Tom Donohue of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO, Mike Hancock of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and Dr. T. Peter Ruane of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association.
During his testimony, Timmons also highlighted a survey sponsored by the NAM and Building America’s Future that highlights manufacturers’ concerns about America’s roads and bridges, transit and aviation systems and ports. According to the survey of more than 400 manufacturers, a majority believe American infrastructure is in fair or poor shape, while roads in particular are getting worse.
For NAM members, access to a reliable and cost-effective transportation network by land, sea and air is critical to reaching customers here and abroad. To view Timmons’ opening statement, click here. To view the entire hearing, click here.
The President has been a consistent advocate for increased investment in America’s infrastructure and we appreciate the President’s continued attention to the deteriorating condition of our roads, bridges, transit systems, airports, ports and inland waterways. Like the President, manufacturers recognize that America’s infrastructure is resting on a legacy of past investments that have created great economic advantages and it is now time to reverse the deteriorating condition of our nation’s infrastructure.
This is not something that can be accomplished in a year, two years or even with a quick infusion of funding to supplement ongoing infrastructure investments. Manufacturers are eager for Congress and the Administration to work together to develop a long-term investment strategy that will make smart and strategic infrastructure investments designed to enhance our global competitiveness. While the NAM supports the President’s call to streamline environmental reviews and expedite infrastructure project delivery, the proposal to use savings from tax reform as a means to direct additional investments in infrastructure complicates efforts to overhaul our tax code and distracts from the goal of achieving a sustainable stream of funding for our nation’s surface transportation network.
Over the next few months, manufacturers encourage the President to engage in a robust conversation about long-term transportation funding by putting his Administration’s weight behind an effort to return the Highway Trust Fund to solvency and pass a traditional multiyear surface transportation authorization before September 30, 2014 when MAP-21 expires. These are priority issues for manufacturers and the surface transportation authorization currently offers the best and most efficient method for ensuring stable and continuous investments in roads, bridges and transit systems.
Today, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons joined other business leaders at the Infrastructure for the Future Summit, an event sponsored by NAM member company Volvo and the American Highway Users Alliance, which focused on the looming issues facing the nation’s infrastructure and specific challenges that threaten our economy.
During a panel discussion with leaders from the American Association of State Highway & Transportation, the National Retail Federation, and Cowan Systems, Timmons highlighted the importance of infrastructure to manufacturers’ ability to grow and compete, noting that “infrastructure matters to manufacturers. I hear concerns about the state of our infrastructure from NAM members constantly and consistently, regardless of their size or sector. From the world’s largest multinationals to family businesses up and down Main Streets all across America, everyone recognizes that our aging infrastructure is a competitiveness problem.”
Timmons also highlighted the importance of the federal government’s role in funding the national infrastructure, noting a recent NAM poll of manufacturing that found that 67 percent of manufacturers say that infrastructure is so important that all options to fund it should be on the table, and over 66 percent doubt that it is positioned to respond to the competitive demands of a growing economy.
Timmons concluded by reiterating the NAM’s intention to push for a return to a “fully funded, multiyear reauthorization that, offers certainty and support for infrastructure projects that improve safety, facilitate trade and create jobs. The road ahead is long, but manufactures are confident we will succeed.”
The recent passage of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) of 2013 (H.R. 3080) marked a significant victory for manufacturers. The long-overdue reauthorization invested in our nation’s 12,000 miles of inland and coastal waterways, which are responsible for transporting products and commodities valued at $185 billion per year. With WRRDA completed, our attention is focused on what is poised to be a significant year ahead for transportation policy.
Federal funding for highway and transit programs is set to expire Sept. 30, 2014. Congress passed the current authorization—the two-year, $105 billion Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21)—after three years and ten short-term extensions of the previous funding bill. The NAM is working to ensure a robust, multi-year surface transportation reauthorization that builds on the bipartisan success of WRRDA. Manufacturers cannot afford the uncertainty that results from patchwork legislation.
Any transportation funding bill must, of course, address imminent Highway Trust Fund shortfalls. This could prove to be the biggest challenge in the reauthorization. Current predictions place the Highway Trust Fund on a path to insolvency sometime in 2015. The vast amount of investment needed for functional highway and transit programs is not something that states can shoulder on their own. If funding ceases, the entire manufacturing supply chain would be at risk. The Highway Trust Fund operates on user fees, and the NAM urges members of Congress to maintain that model as they negotiate a long-term fix.
Manufacturers are in agreement that their competitiveness hinges on sound infrastructure. A majority of manufacturers participating in a joint NAM/Building America’s Future survey said that U.S. infrastructure is in fair or poor shape, while roads in particular are getting even worse. U.S. infrastructure is not positioned to respond to the competitive demands of a growing economy. The NAM is hoping to change that through the next transportation bill. An investment in infrastructure is an investment in manufacturing.
Robyn Boerstling is the director of transportation and infrastructure policy at the National Association of Manufacturers.
The state of U.S. infrastructure is pretty dismal. But you don’t need an expert to tell you that. You are already paying the cost of congestion in lost time and fuel every single day when your roads and bridges are clogged, or your train is late, or even if your plane has been idling on the tarmac for far too long. What if you could let your member of Congress know when you’re stuck?
Building America’s Future (BAF) wants commuters to have a say about infrastructure through a new app that connects them with members of Congress. “Usually commuters think traffic is like weather – it is something that happens to them and they have no control over it. But that isn’t the case at all,” BAF Co-chair and former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell Pennsylvania Governor said. The app has been downloaded nearly 10,000 times in the few short weeks since its release and opened a necessary – and ongoing – dialogue with representatives and senators.
Earlier this year, BAF partnered with the NAM on a survey that only underscored our nation’s infrastructure deficiencies. We cannot allow this trend to continue for any longer. Manufacturers depend on sound infrastructure to keep making their products in the United States. BAF’s app is called “I’m Stuck,” but it’s time to get moving. “The truth is America is stuck until Washington takes action,” Rendell said. Download the app here.
Today the Senate passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2013 by a vote of 83 to 14. This legislation will ensure the continued investment in our coastal and inland waterways.
It’s no secret that our nation’s aging system of inland waterways and ports are in need of modernization. The lack of investment is catching up to us. Our inland waterways system averages 52 service disruptions per day throughout the system. Manufacturers rely on these waterways to move commodities, finished products and inputs vital to their supply chains. Continued disruptions in the system drive up costs and makes manufacturers less competitive.
The WRDA bill passed by the Senate includes important reforms to improve project delivery and streamline the environmental review process for infrastructure projects sponsored by the Army Corps of Engineers. The legislation also includes a Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) pilot program which will help to leverage investments in critical water infrastructure projects. And importantly the bill assesses the critical issue of under-investment in our ports and harbors by increasing authorized funding from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for harbor maintenance dredging.
The National Association of Manufacturers sent a Key Vote letter to Senators yesterday urging them to support this important bill. We strongly urge the House to take up and pass a WRDA bill as soon as possible. America’s infrastructure is in great need of investment and WRDA provides us an opportunity to start making investments no in our waterways and ports.