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David Farr

How Manufacturers Are Making Progress in Washington

By | Media Relations, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

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.

My Meeting with President Trump

By | General, Shopfloor Main | No Comments

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This morning at the White House, President Donald Trump convened a group of business leaders to talk about growing the economy and creating jobs. As Chairman of the Board of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), I told him directly what actions manufacturers want to see from his administration and from Congress.

I outlined many of the solutions that the NAM has already compiled in “Competing to Win.” We talked about tax reform, regulatory reform, infrastructure investment and workforce development. But I really hammered home the point on regulations, perhaps the biggest roadblock for manufacturers right now.

For the average small manufacturer with fewer than 50 employees, regulatory compliance costs almost $35,000 per employee per year. And, according to a recent NAM study, manufacturers face more than 297,000 restrictions on our operations from federal rules and regulations. This burden is crazy, and it’s time for smarter and simpler regulations.

It is encouraging to have an administration that will take the time to sit down with manufacturers and hear what we have to say. He was eager to listen, and in private as in public, his commitment to manufacturing was evident. Manufacturers have the solutions. We just need our leaders to get the work done.

The president knows that other countries are beating us with smarter, fairer tax codes, investments in modern infrastructure and a more sensible, navigable regulatory environment. The world can’t match the productivity and innovation of the U.S. workforce, but without meaningful reform, working families will pay the price for our policy mistakes.

Yesterday, I was honored to help launch the State of Manufacturing Tour at Emerson in Austin, Texas. The tour will share with people across this country the same message I took to the president. And that message is that we all must work together if we are going to achieve the goal of making manufacturing—and America—even greater than ever before.

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