Timmons Talks Trade, Economy and Jobs
Solid international relationships will see us through any crisis, and artificial intelligence will add jobs to manufacturing, not remove them. Those were just two of the messages driven home by NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons during a Yahoo! Finance interview this week.
- Timmons gave the interview after a busy few days in London as part of the Competing to Win Tour in Europe, where he met with U.K. leaders and the U.S. ambassador to discuss strengthening the U.S.–U.K. alliance.
Trade deal needed: To ensure future manufacturing competitiveness, the U.S. needs a “robust agenda” from the Biden administration—now, said Timmons.
- “We haven’t seen a trade deal negotiated in our country or with our country for four presidencies,” continued Timmons. “We’re growing manufacturing in the United States thanks to the 2017 tax reforms, thanks to the infrastructure investment legislation, thanks to the CHIPS and Science Act.”
- “But … 95% of the world’s customers live outside of the United States. And we can strengthen our supply chains and we can also sell our products if we have the right trade agreements in place.”
Uniting to solve problems: Reinvigorating historic alliances is crucial to overcoming “any obstacle,” said Timmons.
- “[W]e want to make sure that our allies are … able to work together to solve some of these big macroeconomic issues, whether it’s a banking crisis or whether it’s increasing trade opportunities,” Timmons said.
AI: Meanwhile, AI will only expand and improve workers’ jobs, not replace human beings, Timmons said.
- AI is “going to [have] an incredibly positive impact on the sector because it is going to enhance manufacturing capability and output and it’s going to be a supplement to jobs all across the world,” Timmons said.
- “Think about all the technological advances we’ve had over the course of the last few decades, but especially the last five to 10 years. All of these advances have given additional capabilities to the workers.”
Filling jobs: Also needed is a strong workforce. Timmons discussed some of the findings of the NAM’s test Manufacturers Survey, in which nearly 75% of manufacturers cited attracting and retaining quality employees as a top challenge.
- He touched on some of the many initiatives of the Manufacturing Institute, the NAM’s 501(c)3 workforce development and education affiliate, to shore up labor force participation. These include second chance hiring, Creators Wanted—which seeks to inspire tomorrow’s workforce—and more.
The last word: “And that takes this full circle,” Timmons said. “Young people are learning new skills when it comes to technology. Robotics, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, all of those things are what modern manufacturing is all about. And the next generation are the ones that are going to deliver for us.”
Manufacturers Unveil Competitiveness Agenda Ahead of Midterm Elections
“Competing to Win” offers a path for bringing the country together around policies, shared values and a unified purpose
Washington, D.C. – Ahead of the midterm elections, the National Association of Manufacturers released its policy roadmap, “Competing to Win,” a comprehensive blueprint featuring immediate solutions for bolstering manufacturers’ competitiveness. It is also a roadmap for policymakers on the laws and regulations needed to strengthen the manufacturing industry in the months and years ahead.
With the country facing rising prices, snarled supply chains and geopolitical turmoil, manufacturers are outlining an actionable competitiveness agenda that Americans across the political spectrum can support. “Competing to Win” includes the policies manufacturers in America will need in place to continue driving the country forward.
“‘Competing to Win’ offers a path for bringing our country together around policies, shared values and a unified purpose,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “The NAM is putting forward a plan filled with ideas that policymakers could pursue immediately, including solutions to urgent problems, such as energy security, immigration reform, supply chain disruptions, the ongoing workforce shortage and more. Manufacturers have shown incredible resilience through difficult times, employing more workers now than before the pandemic, but continued resilience is not guaranteed without the policies that are critical to the state of manufacturing in America.”
The NAM and its members will leverage “Competing to Win” to shape policy debates ahead of the midterm elections, in the remainder of the 117th Congress and at the start of the 118th Congress—including in direct engagement with lawmakers, for grassroots activity, across traditional and digital media and through events in key states and districts as we did following the initial rollout of the roadmap in 2016.
The document focuses on 12 areas of action, and all policies are rooted in the values that have made America exceptional and keep manufacturing strong: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity.
Learn more about how manufacturers are leading and about the industry’s competitiveness agenda at nam.org/competing-to-win.
The National Association of Manufacturers 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 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.77 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 58% 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 NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org