This strategy is a blueprint for competitiveness that will unleash the economy and manufacturing’s outsized multiplier effect. Importantly, manufacturers’ aspirations—the four goals laid out in the pages that follow—are ones that all Americans who want to maintain our country’s economic advantage can rally around.
Manufacturing Leaders Gather to Discuss Trade at Congressional Forum
A Robust Trade Policy Is Vital to Growing Pennsylvania’s Economy
Lancaster, Pa., 05/23/14 - Leaders from Washington, D.C., and across Pennsylvania took part in a congressional forum today at the Alcoa Mill Products facility in Lancaster to discuss the importance of a robust trade policy to growing the state’s economy.
Alcoa executives Pete Velotas, Plant Manager for the Lancaster facility, and Michelle O’Neill, Vice President of Government Relations and Trade Policy; William E. Craft, Jr., Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs at the State Department; and Linda Dempsey, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Vice President of International Economic Affairs, participated in the forum alongside Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA-16), who delivered remarks on the importance of manufacturing and trade to Pennsylvania.
“Lancaster’s history of industry dates back to the heart of the Industrial Revolution,” said Rep. Pitts. “Here in Pennsylvania, more than a half million workers are employed in manufacturing. Compensation in manufacturing is well above the median. Manufacturing worker pay is on average $23,000 more a year. Exports are critical to these good jobs, and further free trade agreements are critical to increasing exports.”
“Alcoa Lancaster Works is very pleased to host this important discussion,” said Velotas. “We welcome the opportunity to discuss how exports and trade affect our community.”
“Exports necessarily connect producers in one country with consumers in another and have the effect of helping both simultaneously,” said O’Neill. “The government has an important role in ensuring a level playing field for all in the global marketplace.”
“The State Department is committed to negotiating international trade agreements that strengthen our economies and bring about jobs and economic growth for the American people,” said Craft. “As Secretary of State John Kerry has said many times, for about a 1 percent investment of the federal budget, the State Department yields a large return for the American people by advancing U.S. national security, promoting our economic interests, providing services and reaffirming our country’s exceptional role in the world.”
“Whether they sell to customers down the street, across the country or around the world, manufacturers big and small compete in a highly competitive global economy,” said Dempsey. “A robust trade policy that opens markets, strengthens manufacturing competitiveness and ensures that trade rules are fully enforced is vital to growing manufacturing in Pennsylvania and across the country. Last year, America’s 20 existing trade agreement partners purchased nearly 50 percent of all Pennsylvania manufactured goods exports and contributed nearly $37 billion to the state’s economy. Manufacturers need new, robust trade agreements and new customers around the world. We urge President Obama and Congress to reauthorize both Trade Promotion Authority and the Export-Import Bank to enable manufacturers to win new sales abroad and create jobs here at home, while also working together to ensure that our trading partners play by the global rules of trade.”
Overall, according to the State Department, international trade supports more than 1.6 million Pennsylvania jobs with customers in 221 countries and territories buying Pennsylvania-grown and -manufactured goods and services. This resulted in $38.7 billion in total goods exports (2012) and $15.3 billion in service exports (2011).
In October, the NAM Board of Directors passed a resolution calling on the Obama Administration and Congress to act quickly to restore Trade Promotion Authority so the United States can continue to open overseas markets and pursue the kind of robust trade policies and agreements that will help grow manufacturing. Every President since Franklin Roosevelt has had authority from Congress to strike trade deals that open overseas markets for manufacturers and workers. In addition, according to recent polling data, an overwhelming majority of voters support such collaboration between the President and Congress.
To see more about the NAM’s trade priorities and how manufacturers in every state are benefitting from trade, visit our website.
About Alcoa Lancaster Works
Alcoa’s Lancaster Works specializes in aluminum sheet and cast plate and offers a variety of products. Alcoa Lancaster’s products are found in an assortment of end products, such as truck cabs, cookware and construction materials. The plant also produces brazing sheet used by auto manufacturers to make evaporator and condenser components. Another capability is the production of machined cast plate used in a number of diverse products, ranging from robotics to medical instruments. Alcoa’s Lancaster facility contributes $5 million per month to the local economy and is an active participant in the community, having contributed more than $1 million to Lancaster County nonprofits over the past five years. Alcoa Lancaster’s 850 employees volunteer about 3,000 hours of their own time each year, and their generosity to the United Way campaign has earned the location the United Way of Lancaster County Circle of Honor Award.