Manufacturers Outline How to Compete and Win

Boldly looking into a future that promises a business renaissance, the National Association of Manufacturers is setting a new agenda that will overcome many of the policy decisions of the last eight years that have been extraordinarily difficult for manufacturers.

“It’s up to us to #BeTheSolution. After all, it was manufacturers who, in big numbers, decided this election,” the NAM said.

NAM has been engaged with elected officials and candidates of both parties, including the Trump team, on our “Competing to Win” policy agenda. Now NAM has released detailed policy blueprints to provide the next administration and Congress with roadmaps to make manufacturing in America stronger.

ENERGY: Today, manufacturers utilize and benefit from all forms of energy-oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear and renewables-while making smart investments to become more energy efficient.

ENVIRONMENT: Manufacturers have demonstrated a commitment to protecting the environment through greater sustainability, increased energy efficiency, and reduced emissions.

HEALTH CARE: Escalating health care costs continues to be a top concern to manufacturers … added costs are making critical health care services and treatments even more expensive for employees of manufacturers.

IMMIGRATION: Comprehensive immigration reform holds the power to transform not only manufacturing but also our nation and economy to new heights.

LABOR: The United States will not maintain its mantle of economic leadership unless all labor stakeholders work together to ensure the best and most productive workplaces. Labor law and workplace regulations do not reflect the changing dynamics of modern manufacturing and instead were designed for a previous era.

REGULATORY AND LEGAL REFORM: A more competitive economy demands a reform of the nation’s broken legal and regulatory systems … our legal and regulatory structures have become barriers to economic growth, hindering innovation, and slowing productivity.

RESEARCH, INNOVATION, AND TECHNOLOGY: Manufacturers in the United States have created an innovation engine that has delivered new technologies and processes that have brought us energy independence, new lifesaving medicines and medical devices, more efficient automobiles, and countless other everyday products that make lives better and secure our nation’s global leadership position in manufacturing.

TAXES: In 2016 and beyond, policymakers must be committed to enacting pro-growth, pro-competitive, pro-manufacturing comprehensive tax reform, and that effort must begin as soon as possible.

TRADE: To grow and thrive in today’s competitive global markets, manufacturers must increasingly reach new customers and seize new opportunities overseas.

TRANSPORTATION: Manufacturers need competitive infrastructure to thrive in today’s global economy … the nation’s infrastructure is outdated and resting on a legacy built by previous generations.

WORKFORCE: The skills-gap is widening, and over the next decade, 3.4 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled. The severe shortage of manufacturing skills in the United States has the potential to impede the trend of steady growth in our nation’s manufacturing.

The Business Council of Alabama is the NAM’s exclusive representative in Alabama.


GOP Lawmakers Huddle on Tax Reform
The Hill (Jagoda 12/14) – “Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee met in Washington on Wednesday to further their efforts to overhaul the tax code in 2017. The lawmakers held the meeting, after Congress adjourned for the year, to ‘take the broad outlines of our [tax-reform] blueprint, begin filling in the specific provisions, identifying a path forward, so for the first time in 30 years, Americans can finally have hope that we will fix this broken tax code’, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said at a press conference.

“Brady said committee members are ‘rolling up our sleeves’ and are working with President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team. Brady said that the transition team and incoming administration is identifying a number of different approaches on tax reform and that decisions on timing haven’t been made yet.

“Brady said that the committee is looking at a number of transition rules that would ‘accelerate the growth aspects’ of the tax-reform plan and would ‘also acknowledge these are major changes’. ‘We need to work closely with our businesses in America to make sure we found the right path,” Brady said. “‘And that’s why we’re listening very closely to businesses about all of these issues. All of them affect different businesses differently’.”

(Editor’s Note: The 115th Congress takes office Jan. 3, 2017.)


EPA Confirms that Source of America’s Energy Boom Doesn’t Threaten Drinking Water
U.S. Chamber of Commerce (Hackbarth 12/14) “Two million wells have been #fracked over the decades, unleashing a U.S. energy boom. You may see ‘Keep it in the ground’ folks and other anti-energy activists pounce on a new EPA report in an attempt to stop fracking. But the truth is fracking–using water, sand, and a small amount of chemicals to break up shale rock thousands of feet below the surface to free oil and natural gas-isn’t a threat to drinking water.

“Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final results of its long awaited groundwater study. While the agency made some wording changes to its previous topline finding, the data have not changed. This study took five years to complete, and in that time EPA found nothing to suggest that fracking is a serious risk to groundwater. Because of this, the report only reinforces what EPA found previously – that ‘hydraulic fracturing activities have not led to widespread, systemic impacts to drinking water resources’.

“If fracking were a major threat to drinking water supplies, the data gathered by EPA would show it – but they don’t. If fracking were contaminating water on a widespread level, the evidence would also have been found in the dozens and dozens of peer-reviewed studies that have been conducted over the past decade. Think of it like airplanes. Thousands of times a day, they take off and land with rarely any mishaps. Based on that, we call flying, ‘safe’. The same logic applies to fracking.”

The BCA is the exclusive Alabama representative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.