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Timmons Talks Workforce, Immigration and Tax Reform

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The NAM took its competitiveness agenda on a media tour last week. In appearances on CNBC, Bloomberg and Yahoo! Finance, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons called for policy moves that will benefit manufacturers and the U.S. as a whole.

Immigration and workforce: Timmons noted that despite the addition of 14,000 jobs in November, manufacturing continues to see a workforce gap of about 830,000 every month. But there’s a solution we’ve been overlooking, he continued.

  • “We have 100,000 Ukrainians we invited here,” Timmons told Yahoo! Finance anchor Seana Smith. “We have 100,000 Afghans that we invited here. But we don’t give them the ability to work. We don’t give them a work permit. They’re in line, waiting to get that work permit. That’s just crazy. We have 200,000 people that could work today if we could just get through the bureaucracy.”

Talent: “Right now, things are very good in the sector, and I think it portends for a bright future for the economy,” Timmons told Michael Santoli on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.” However, filling open jobs remains a top priority.

  • “The National Association of Manufacturers and the Manufacturing Institute have a ‘Creators Wanted’ campaign [that’s] trying to inspire that next generation, trying to bring more women into the workforce, trying to bring veterans into the workforce, working on second chance hiring,” Timmons said. “We’re doing everything we can to attract folks into the sector, and I think we’re being successful in doing that.”

Keep the change(s): Timmons also discussed the need to keep in place the tax reforms of 2017, some of which expire at the end of 2022. These changes have enabled many manufacturers to invest in their businesses, raise wages and grow.

  • “We have had four consecutive years of record wage growth in the sector. That has been made possible … by the tax reforms enacted in 2017,” Timmons said on Bloomberg’s “Balance of Power.” “We have had record investment, record job creation and record wage growth because of those reforms that were made.”
  • However, “[i]mmediate expensing, interest deductibility and the research and development tax credit are all coming to an end at the end of this month,” Timmons continued. “We need Congress to renew that to be able to keep those great reforms of 2017 in place.”
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