posted by William R. Stott
Published: February 23, 2009
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) today released its Legislative Agenda for Economic Recovery and Job Creation. The NAM agenda focuses on legislative priorities that manufacturers have identified as key to economic recovery.
"The 111th Congress is meeting in a time of tremendous economic challenges," said NAM President and Chief Executive Officer John Engler. "Our nation faces a recession that has spread worldwide, sending a shock wave through the U.S. manufacturing sector.
"The NAM believes that Congress, the Obama Administration and the private sector are in a strong position to respond in a positive and effective way," Engler said. "Manufacturers employ nearly 13 million workers and contribute more than $1.6 trillion to the U.S. economy each year. Manufacturing is the largest driver of economic growth and accounts for the lionís share of private sector research and development."
However, Engler added, the vitality of U.S. manufacturing cannot be taken for granted. "It requires hard work and smart policies to keep U.S. manufacturing competitive in the global marketplace. The basic challenge is to retain and create jobs. A strong manufacturing sector is vital to meeting this challenge.
"On energy and taxes, health care and education, innovation and infrastructure, labor and trade, we need policies that encourage investment and remove the barriers to competition," Engler said. "Global competition will only get more vigorous, so manufacturers in America must always look ahead. We need to lay the groundwork now so we will be in a strengthened position to expand when the economy begins to grow again."
The agenda includes specific suggestions on topics such as pollution, renewable energy and energy efficiency. For example, the agenda urges Congress to "enact alternative energy policies that support research and development and promote a competitive marketplace in these resources."
In the section on energy efficiency, the agenda says:
Manufacturers are directly affected by the energy cost of making products, and the U.S. manufacturing sector is a global leader in energy efficiency and conservation efforts. Accordingly, great strides are being made to become more energy efficient by reducing energy intensity of production. Implementing energy efficiency improvements plays a key role in holding down energy costs. Added benefits come from stretching available energy supplies and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Indeed, this is such a priority with manufacturers that the NAM has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Energy to promote increased industrial energy efficiency among NAM member companies.
The full text of the NAM Agenda for Economic Recovery and Job Creation can be found at: http://www.nam.org/agenda.