How Manufacturers Are Making Progress in Washington

Three months ago, I joined a group of business leaders in a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House. We had a frank discussion about what businesses in America need to create jobs, compete around the world and grow our economy.

We focused especially on issues like regulatory reform and infrastructure, and since that meeting, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has continued to provide the administration with manufacturers’ perspectives. We sent a report on regulations to the Commerce Department, and we continue to advocate the solutions found in our “Building to Win” agenda.

I shared a similar message in a round of television interviews in New York this week. On CNBC, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons and I talked about manufacturers’ priorities with the “Squawk Box” audience (You can watch parts one and two of the interview here and here.)

The other hot topic for manufacturers right now, of course, is tax reform. Earlier this month, I was on Capitol Hill to testify before Congress about manufacturers’ priorities for tax policy. I discussed the principles laid out in “Competing to Win” and urged our elected leaders to act in a bold way. “We operate in a fiercely competitive global economy, and we need a fiercely competitive tax system to win,” I reminded them.

It can get lost in the news, but manufacturers really are making progress on our big-ticket items. We have an administration who is listening to us and has already acted to ease the regulatory burden. On Capitol Hill, Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) have introduced a bipartisan regulatory reform bill. President Trump released his tax reform blueprint, and Congress is holding hearings to begin the process. In addition, the administration is expected to release an infrastructure plan soon, after previously citing our “Building to Win” blueprint favorably.

If we keep up the hard work and keep speaking out, we can seize this opportunity and get real results for manufacturers—and our whole country.

David Farr

NAM Board Chair and Chairman and CEO at Emerson
During David Farr’s 16-plus years leading Emerson, the company has steadily transformed from a diversified manufacturing conglomerate into a highly focused global enterprise that provides innovative technology and service solutions for customers in industrial, commercial, and residential markets. Such was the case in 2016 as Farr led a number of strategic initiatives that again reshaped the company for the future. Its two key business platforms, Automation Solutions and Commercial and Residential Solutions, delivered global sales of more than $14.5 billion in 2016, with international sales representing 52 percent of that total.

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