Report: Manufacturing Key To U.S. Prosperity

Manufacturing fuels economic prosperity but requires pro-growth policies to create jobs and remain globally competitive, according to a new NAM, CMA report.

WASHINGTON -- A new report released by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the Council of Manufacturing Associations (CMA) finds that manufacturing fuels economic prosperity but requires pro-growth policies to create jobs and remain globally competitive. The report was written by economists Joel Popkin and Kathryn Kobe, noted experts on issues related to prices, wages, productivity and technology.

 The report offers a number of specific recommendations to create jobs and enhance U.S. manufacturing innovation, productivity and competitiveness including the following:

  • Reduce the corporate income tax rate on profits earned from production in the U.S. to match those of our major trading partners.
  • Make the research and development tax credit permanent to provide more certainty for private sector decisions to undertake R&D.
  • Make the commitments now that will guide private sector decisions on R&D investment for cleaner energy technologies and more varied energy sources.
  • Continue to improve our education system to enhance the pool of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) graduates and support programs of technical training and certification.
  • Assure the health of small businesses by widening the lowest corporate income tax bracket.
  • Invest in all levels of infrastructure -- transportation, communication channels and the energy grid.

Dr. Popkin cited the erosion of America’s leadership in R&D as another major challenge facing U.S. manufacturers. “The United States is still the leader in the absolute number of dollars spent.  Its strong R&D position, however, is being eroded by the impact of the economic downturn and the rapidly expanding R&D programs in other countries. When the data is available, we expect to see the U.S. share of world R&D fell in 2009.”

“America’s future prosperity depends on policies that accelerate and strengthen manufacturing production here in the United States,” noted William E. Gaskin, president of the Precision Metalforming Association and former CMA chair. “To remain strong players in a competitive world, U.S. manufacturers need government policies that encourage continued innovation and productivity gains.  In particular, we need policies that encourage public and private investments to enhance productivity, such as those in R&D, capital goods, worker training and early education that nurtures math and science proficiency.”

The new report, “Manufacturing Resurgence – A Must for U.S. Prosperity,” is available at www.nam.org/popkinreport. It is the third in a series of reports by Dr. Popkin featuring data and analysis about the importance of U.S. manufacturing to the nation’s economy.

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