NAM Confident on Manufacturing Expansion; Lauds Video Franchising Reform

Businesses see economy gaining momentum, but high energy prices could dampen outlook; franchising reform will restore U.S. as leader in global communications

NAM Welcomes Strong Durable Goods Orders Report

The National Association of  Manufacturers (NAM) Chief Economist,  David Huether, sees the economy gaining momentum, as he commented on the strong durable goods orders report.                        

“Today’s report, from the Department of Commerce, that new orders for durable manufactured goods soared by 6.1% in March, the biggest monthly rise since last May, is very good news and shows that the manufacturing expansion is continuing to gain momentum heading into the second quarter,” said Huether.

Huether noted that two-thirds of the rise in orders came from a 71% surge in non-defense aircraft and parts. “Even so, excluding the volatile transportation sector, new orders rose a solid 2.8% in March,” he said.  “This is the fourth rise in the past five months and, with increases in virtually every sector, it was the single strongest monthly increase in half a year.

“Today’s report indicates that businesses remain confident in the economic outlook and are committing to significant capital investments,” Huether said.  “However, the recent rise in energy prices could begin to dampen this outlook, especially if sustained high gasoline prices begin to eat into consumer spending.” 

NAM Hails 41-12 Vote on Franchising Reform

The National Association of Manufacturers hailed the 41-12 vote by the House Energy and Commerce Committee on legislation to replace the existing local video franchise negotiations with a standardized national process.

“Video is an important driver for broadband deployment,” said Dorothy Coleman, NAM Vice President for Tax and Domestic Economic Policy.  “By removing redundant regulatory barriers, the Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement Act would expedite investment in new broadband network capable of carrying a wide range of digital communications services.”

"Manufacturers rely on high-speed connectivity not only for financial transactions and inventory management but also for collaborative design," she added.

According to the International Telecommunication Union, the United States now stands sixteenth worldwide in broadband penetration.  “The bill will help restore the Untied States as a leader in global communications,” Coleman said.

“The NAM also was pleased to see that the Committee declined to adopt new build-out requirements and to change the original meaning of net neutrality,” Coleman continued.  “Fundamentally, this legislation needs to be a strong pro-investment vehicle, and adding on burdensome features will undercut its principal purpose. 

The NAM praised Chairman Joe Barton (R-TX-6) for building a bipartisan consensus on final passage, “We are most encouraged at indications that this bill could come to the floor as early as next week,” Coleman added. “This bill is needed for the United States to reverse its slide in the international broadband rankings.  We encourage the House to approve the Committee’s bill as soon as possible and send the bill over to the Senate.”


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