US manufacturers call for action ahead of midterms

US manufacturers call for action ahead of midterms

US manufacturers, plagued by supply chain problems and near-record inflation, are demanding that politicians take action as the midterm elections fast approach.

On September 13, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) released its “Compete to Win” agenda, calling for action on fiscal policy, workforce development and other areas to boost the competitiveness of American manufacturing. NAM CEO Jay Timmons and board members also discussed the call-to-action plan in a call Monday afternoon.

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“Solving problems is what manufacturers do, but we need additional solutions from legislators to ensure we can remain competitive and become more competitive, especially with the potential for a recession looming,” said Chuck Wetherington, president of BTE Technology, during the call on Monday.

Employees work on the assembly line at the Dakkota Integrated Systems manufacturing facility in Detroit, Michigan, USA, on Thursday, May 5, 2022. Dakkota Integrated Systems is a Native American woman-owned company that makes panels of instruments (Photographer: Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Gross domestic product fell the first two quarters of 2022. Wholesale inflation remained high in August, rising 8.7% year-on-year from a year earlier, according to Labor Department data.

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One area where the NAM has called on elected leaders to take action is workforce development. Labor shortages in the manufacturing sector are a “long-term problem,” Wetherington said Monday.

Both Wetherington and Greene Tweed, Vice President of Operations Fernando Torres, said manufacturers have been working to “upskill” existing workers and attract new ones.

To address workforce challenges across the sector, the NAM has called for Pell Grant programs to be expanded to “include short-term or accelerated models of education” and to invest in apprenticeship and “earn and learn” programs. . The amount of tax-exempt educational assistance employers can offer workers should be increased to $11,000 a year, the group argued in its plan.

The NAM has also said that immigration reform can help address workforce challenges, calling on politicians to increase employment-based immigration as a percentage of green cards and to change nonimmigrant visas and immigration programs. of temporary workers.

durable products

A worker operates a forklift to move bulk rolled steel at Liberty Safe & Security Products Inc. Manufacturing Facility in Payson, Utah, USA, on Wednesday, August 29, 2018. The Census Bureau is expected to US Post Durable Goods Orders (Photographer: George Frey/Bloomberg via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, the association has said the new tax incentives and other tax provisions would also help foster competitiveness and investment in US manufacturing.

As an example, one board member pointed to the provisions of the CHIPS and Science Act, which allocates more than $52 billion for domestic semiconductor research, development, manufacturing, and workplace development and provides tax credits for encourage investment in chip manufacturing.

Three areas of tax policy that are important to manufacturers are the research and development (R&D) tax credit, the ability to spend on R&D, and capital investments and business interest deductions, Timmons said during the call.

Made in the USA

PAYSON, UT – MARCH 22: A worker grinds a weld on a safe being manufactured at the Liberty Safe Company on March 22, 2022 in Payson, Utah. Liberty Safe has struggled with supply limitations and price increases on its materials used in manufacturing. ((Photo by George Frey/Getty Images) / Getty Images)

In addition, the NAM has called for the tax deduction for business income earned “through a pass-through entity” to be expanded and made permanent and for “low and competitive” profit tax rates to be maintained.

Ketchie’s president and owner, Courtney Silver, said lawmakers making tax policy changes could help prevent small manufacturers from feeling “caught between a rock and a hard place” when making decisions about the company’s investments.

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“It’s very important that we take steps to expand and secure that pass-through deduction, increase those incentives around research and development, and protect those provisions around full expense and interest deduction,” he said.

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