Labor & Employment

Policy and Legal

Timmons Lays Out Manufacturing Priorities

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NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons is on a barnstorming tour of the U.S., to raise more support among leaders for addressing supply chain challenges, creating more manufacturing jobs and making the country more resilient. He brought this message to the 2022 Arizona Manufacturing Summit in Phoenix, Arizona, yesterday.

Manufacturing’s strength: “I’m pleased to report that manufacturers are shattering expectations across the United States,” said Timmons. “Here’s one encouraging fact: manufacturers have now recovered all the jobs the industry lost at the start of the pandemic—and then some. There are more than 12.8 million people working in manufacturing… And that’s because we’re doing what we’ve always done. We’re solving problems, we’re innovating and leading into the future.”

Challenges ahead: “Inflation has reached the highest level in decades,” said Timmons. “Supply chains are still strained, making it harder to move resources and products. Global instability—especially Russia’s war on Ukraine—shows us it’s more important than ever that we secure domestic energy supplies.”

  • “We’re facing a workforce crisis, with less than six job seekers for every ten jobs in America. And almost 70% of Americans today say the country is on the wrong track. Now, we’ve seen some moments of historic bipartisan action in Washington … But there is so much more to be done.”

Competing to Win: Timmons pointed to the NAM’s policy roadmap, “Competing to Win,” which offers an agenda for manufacturing competitiveness on issues including the following:

  • Taxes: “We need U.S. tax policy to keep up and encourage more industrial investment here,” said Timmons. “So, we’re calling for making the 20% deduction for pass-through income permanent—and expanding it. The small and medium-sized businesses here deserve confidence that they won’t lose that all-important tool. And we need to fix provisions of the tax law that are making R&D and capital investment more expensive starting this tax year.”
  • Trade: “While we’re working on tax policy here at home, we also need to expand opportunities to sell our products overseas,” said Timmons. “Exports are part of our industry’s lifeblood. That means policymakers should hold countries accountable for practices that harm manufacturers in the U.S. We should continue pursuing cutting-edge trade deals, while ensuring that the agreements already in place are delivering for our industry. And we should reject policies at international bodies like the World Trade Organization that would take away intellectual property rights.”
  • Immigration: “We need Congress to fix the broken, unreliable immigration system,” said Timmons. “Clearly, we need border security, and we need more avenues for people to come legally and work. It’s critical to our economic competitiveness—and consistent with our values.”

The way forward: “It can be disheartening to know that so many Americans don’t believe the country is on the right track,” said Timmons. “But a focus on policy—getting things done, rather than blaming each other—can change that. And manufacturers are positioned to lead. The work we do to create jobs and to improve the quality of life is essential, and we can’t let up. We won’t let up.”

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