NAM Board Chair Lays Out Stakes of Tax Reform at the Economic Club of Minnesota

Says Opponents of Reform Are Blocking Progress and Hurting Manufacturing Workers

Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 12, 2017 – Today, David Farr, chairman and CEO of Emerson and chair of the board of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), will deliver a speech at the Economic Club of Minnesota laying out the stakes of passing tax reform and the need to take on opponents who are standing in the way of progress. The speech can be viewed live at 1:00 p.m. EDT at Below are key excerpts from Farr’s remarks, which will be available in full here at the speech’s conclusion.

“If you are defending the current tax code, then you have to defend a manufacturing worker in Minnesota losing his or her job to a worker overseas. If you are defending the current tax code, you have to defend years and years of mediocre economic growth, stagnant wages and entire communities losing hope for future prosperity. If you are defending the current tax code, you are defending less innovation, fewer technological breakthroughs, less R&D and fewer lifesaving medical discoveries.

“Certain groups have already chosen to take sides, before they even know all the facts. That is so Washington. It is so frustrating. It is why we have not gotten tax reform done in three decades. There are too many people who want to oppose change more than they want to find a way to help our workers and truly support U.S. manufacturing. I understand people may have differences. I happen to think we are moving in the right direction so far. But if you do have disagreements, talk them out before you run to partisan battle lines or ideological corners.

“If someone in D.C. wants to raise an issue or hash out a concern, great! That is the beauty of our American democratic system. But manufacturers have run out of patience with leaders who do not have time to consider the facts—or refuse to see the power of long-term growth. We need action now in 2017! So, if you are an opponent of tax reform, I want you to come to Minnesota or Ohio or Wisconsin and look a manufacturing worker in the eye. Tell her she does not deserve a bigger paycheck. Tell her that her family does not deserve to save for school and retirement. Then, tell an unemployed dad that a worker overseas deserves a job more than he does. Because that is what you are saying if you are defending the status quo and rejecting the chance for reform.

“Our elected leaders have the chance to give them that confidence and to do good for our country by empowering all of us to do well—and support ourselves! We don’t want government handouts; we want to create real wealth! We all want a chance to succeed by ourselves …”


The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12 million men and women, contributes $2.17 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit

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