Manufacturing the Comeback for the American Economy

NAM President’s Manufacturing Speech Calls for Policies That Help Seize Opportunities, Not Hold Us Back

National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons delivered the annual State of Manufacturing address today in Houston, Texas, one of the manufacturing community’s most vibrant economic centers. Speaking at the Greater Houston Partnership’s Thought Leader Series, Timmons discussed the unique opportunities and challenges facing the manufacturing economy and the solutions that will bolster the manufacturing industry’s economic strength nationwide and throughout the world.

Timmons attributed manufacturing’s comeback to its dynamic workforce, innovation and game-changing energy resources. However, he noted the critical need to implement policies supporting manufacturing to eliminate the stifling effect that overregulation, high taxes, rising health care costs and a lack of trade agreements have on manufacturers’ competitiveness.

“…Today, I’m pleased to report to you that manufacturing in America is making a comeback. That’s a tribute to the hardworking men and women who produce the goods and generate the ideas that power the U.S. economy as well as the global economy.”

“…The question we confront is, ‘How do we ensure that manufacturing in the United States is robust, dynamic and ready to meet the needs of our economy and our workers?’ Consider this finding from the Manufacturers Alliance: Manufacturing employment can grow by more than 300,000 jobs every year, and the economy can grow by an additional $1.5 trillion.… So what do we need to do to achieve this goal? It all comes down to a focus on three specific areas: products, people and policy.”

“…The scope of policies that impact manufacturing—and the people who work in manufacturing—is incredibly broad and incredibly impactful. While there are many reasons to be optimistic about the future of American manufacturing, government overreach poses the single biggest threat.… One entire industry—energy—is at risk of suffocation by regulation. It seems like all we hear from this Administration and its allies in Congress is that they want to put a stop to the use of oil, gas and coal, when the focus should be on developing and maintaining secure and affordable energy.”

“…It’s a long list. But let’s be clear—for America to maintain our mantle of economic leadership, we need policies at the federal level that help manufacturers seize the opportunities before us, not policies that hold us back.”

The NAM’s A Growth Agenda: Four Goals for a Manufacturing Resurgence in America sets a roadmap for economic growth and enhanced competitiveness for manufacturers. This plan is a benchmark for policymakers and a proven, achievable list of goals that will get the U.S. economy moving again.

Click here to read Timmons’ full remarks, as prepared for delivery.

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