2014 Manufacturing Summit Highlights

 


NAM Members Storm the Hill to Advance the Manufacturing Comeback  

The more than 500 manufacturers of all sizes who attended the NAM's 2014 Manufacturing Summit could not have been clearer: Washington needs to support the policies that will advance the manufacturing comeback.

"Your presence in Washington sends a powerful message to lawmakers," NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons told attendees at the June 10 Summit kickoff. With more than 220 scheduled congressional meetings over the subsequent 24 hours, the need for pro-growth policies that enhance manufacturers' competitiveness was made loud and clear in Washington.

Vice President Biden Praises Manufacturers  

From Capitol Hill to the White House, the efforts of the manufacturing army were widely recognized. Vice President Joe Biden praised the strength and ingenuity of manufacturers in his June 10 address to the Summit . "Innovation is stamped into your DNA," Vice President Biden said. He called for action in three key areas to grow the manufacturing economy and the overall economy: investing in infrastructure, developing a skilled workforce and passing immigration reform.

Citing an NAM-Building America's Future study that showed an overwhelming majority of manufacturers believe that U.S. infrastructure is not improving at a pace to keep up with the needs of business, Vice President Biden advocated vast improvements in infrastructure investment. He also praised manufacturers for their leadership on closing the skills gap and underscored how immigration reform is an integral part of building the highly skilled workforce that manufacturers depend on to succeed. Vice President Biden's remarks at the Summit received coverage in The Hill, Politico and other major news outlets.

Sens. Chris Coons and Mitch McConnell Discuss Critical Policy Issues  

Summit speaker and former NAM member Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) acknowledged the frustration that many manufacturers have with Washington. "A place that has endless manufactured political crises doesn't give you a pathway to growth," he told Summit attendees on June 11. Sen. Coons advocated a bipartisan approach to manufacturing priorities and pointed to existing support for the research and development (R&D) tax incentive, a skilled workforce, the protection of trade secrets and more. Sen. Coons said that one of the bright spots in our economy has been the manufacturing comeback. "We can regain not just our leadership but our dominance in manufacturing," he added.

Later that day, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) similarly demonstrated a commitment to the policies that ensure manufacturers' competitiveness. "There are big things that need to be done for our country," he said, pointing to the need to enact comprehensive tax reform and fix the nearly insolvent Highway Trust Fund. He also underscored the powerful job creation potential of the Keystone XL pipeline.

#WeAreMFG  

During the Summit , a real-time conversation about manufacturing priorities unfolded over social media. On Twitter, members of the NAM, members of Congress, Vice President Biden and more participated under #WeAreMFG and #MFGsummit . The NAM used Facebook to educate members about the facts on the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank of the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) burdensome new greenhouse gas proposal and other top manufacturing issues. Manufacturing Works: Advocacy on the Move, the NAM's online advocacy program, served as a one-stop shop to engage with lawmakers. The reach of these platforms, in addition to widespread media coverage of our manufacturing army, ensured that our message will echo in Washington and beyond long after the Summit ends.

The Impact of Manufacturing    

Manufacturing contributed more than $2 trillion to the economy last year and has the highest multiplier effect of any sector, adding $1.32 to the economy for every dollar invested. "But with all the good news surrounding our sector, we can't let optimism blind us to very real competitive disadvantages manufacturers continue to face in the United States, and we can't let it blind us to the risk that the wrong policy choices could bring the manufacturing comeback to a halt," Timmons said.

"Your efforts this week and throughout the year are making an impact," Timmons told manufacturers. "It may not happen immediately, but Washington is going to start working again. When it does, our advocacy today can ensure that manufacturers have a head start in advancing our agenda."

Take Action from Home  

Even if you were unable to join us at the Summit , you can still help ensure our messages on issues that affect innovation and investment, competitiveness and community are heard loud and clear. Simply click " Take Action " to send a message urging your members of Congress to support key manufacturing issues of the day.

Save the Date for 2015!  

Please mark your calendar for next year's Summit, scheduled for June 2-3, 2015.  Visit www.nam.org/Summit to register.