Robotic packaging manufacturer JLS Automation received some distinguished visitors earlier this month when Vice President Mike Pence, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta and three members of Congress toured its manufacturing facility in York, Pennsylvania along with JLS CEO Craig Souser, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons and local manufacturing leaders. The event focused on advancing the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which would promote trade between the three countries and is currently being considered in Congress.
At the event, Vice President Pence spoke about the importance of the deal for manufacturers in the United States, noting that Pennsylvania already exports more than $14 billion in goods and services to Canada and Mexico. The vice president also highlighted the impact this deal would have on the more than 2 million American manufacturing jobs that depend on exports to Canada and Mexico—including 42,000 jobs in Pennsylvania, as outlined in the NAM’s own USMCA state fact sheet. One in four Pennsylvania manufacturing firms export to North American partners, as the fact sheet further states, and more than 80 percent of them are small and medium-sized businesses.
Without a free trade agreement, Pennsylvania’s exports to North American free trade partners could face more than $1.5 billion in tariffs.
“It’s absolutely essential we get the USMCA passed by the Congress, and passed by the Congress this summer,” said Vice President Pence. “It’ll finally give American workers and farmers a level playing field that we need to be able to compete and win.”
The NAM has been vocal in its support of the USMCA, standing up for manufacturers like JLS Automation across the country that rely on trade in order to keep their businesses running.
“When we talk about growing international trade, we’re talking about something very, very local: strengthening our communities and supporting our families,” said Jay Timmons, NAM President and CEO. “That’s why JLS and manufacturers across the United States and the more than 12.8 million men and women who make things in America are calling on Congress to ratify the USMCA – and the sooner the better!”
At the event, JLS Automation CEO Craig Souser emphasized the importance of the Canadian market to his business—a family-run operation his father, Joseph L. Souser, founded—and urged lawmakers to pass the deal.
“We need to see our lawmakers in Washington help to expand our ability to penetrate this market with modern trade policies and pass the USMCA,” said Souser. “The administration has kept its promise to negotiate a new North American trade deal. So it’s time for the Congress and the Senate to do its part so that we can focus on what we do best: make world-class machines.”
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