Manufacturers call for federal strategy to transform factories

A group of manufacturing industry representatives—including the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), American National Electrical Manufacturers Association, the Manufacturers Alliance, and Rockwell Automation—has gone on record noting that a federal strategy and support is critical if American manufacturers are to thrive in the post-recession global economy.

10/01/2009


A group of manufacturing industry representatives—including the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), American National Electrical Manufacturers Association, the Manufacturers Alliance, and Rockwell Automation—has gone on record noting that a federal strategy and support is critical if American manufacturers are to thrive in the post-recession global economy.

This transformation to smarter, safer, and more sustainable manufacturing provides an opportunity for the federal government to help develop and make innovations in American plants to keep them competitive and to promote a sustainable U.S. manufacturing employment base, industry representatives said.

“We all are pleased that President Obama has named a manufacturing czar to coordinate federal policy and programs to help U.S. manufacturers,” Keith Nosbusch, Rockwell Automation chairman and CEO said. “Until 1990, federal support for applied research, which is most critical for manufacturing, was equal to federal funding for basic science. But today it is about 30% lower, with nearly a $10 billion gap that needs to be remedied. Congress also needs to expand federal tax credits to apply to investments in smart, safe, and more sustainable manufacturing technologies.”

U.S. manufacturing costs are nearly 18% higher than in America’s nine largest trading partners, putting the 13.8 million U.S. manufacturing jobs at risk. The European Union allocated about $2 billion to encourage its manufacturers to invest in the next generation of technology for energy efficiency and productivity.

Industry leaders request the following federal government actions:

  • Ensure legislative priorities are in line with those of manufacturers and the general public;

  • Double federal funding for manufacturing innovation;

  • Establish a $2 billion public-private partnership program to research and develop a manufacturing “greenprint” for smart, safe, and sustainable manufacturing;

  • Provide federal assistance for public-private partnerships to create demonstration projects that foster manufacturing innovation; and

  • Expand federal tax credits to apply to investments in advanced technologies that automate and modernize factories.





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