National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons issued this statement in response to President Obama’s State of the Union address tonight:
“Manufacturers powered the American resurgence the President hailed tonight. Manufacturing in the United States is back. But instead of firmly pressing the accelerator to strengthen the dreamers, makers and builders of America, the President offered the country mixed messages. While some are positive, others threaten to put the brakes on our economic revival.
“Manufacturers stand ready, as we always have, to work with the President and Congress to deliver policy solutions that will drive the recovery, spur growth and create prosperity in the United States. Manufacturers have long made the case for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and applaud the President’s call for swift action on TPA, which will enable manufacturers of all sizes to better access an $11 trillion global market. This proven congressional–executive branch partnership enables America to lead in striking new trade deals that eliminate overseas barriers and open new export opportunities with the 95 percent of consumers living outside our borders. Other solutions the President proposed, such as addressing our workforce issues and skills gap and ensuring we have a long-term solution to our infrastructure needs, are critical to sustain the manufacturing comeback and allow manufacturers in the United States to innovate, create jobs and thrive.
“However, to meet the challenges of a global economy, policymakers will have to address many difficult issues, and unfortunately, the tax plan the President introduced tonight sends the wrong signal. We’re just beginning to come out of the depths of the recession. We need more policies that encourage investment, entrepreneurship and success, not less. Punitive tax increases on investment and small businesses, coupled with increased government spending, are no way to unleash economic growth. In contrast, according to a recent NAM study, pro-growth changes to the U.S. tax system to make it simpler, fairer, permanent and more competitive will help workers, their families and the broader economy.
“Sustaining the manufacturing comeback that Americans have sought for years will take more than a pledge. It will take action on the right policies from the President and Congress.”