Joel Popkin and Kathryn Kobe, National Association of Manufacturers and the NAM Council of Manufacturing Associations (1-19-2010)
As U.S. manufacturers struggle to recover from the recession, a new report finds that manufacturing fuels economic prosperity but requires pro-growth policies to create jobs and remain globally competitive. The report released by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the Council of Manufacturing Associations (CMA) was written by economists Joel Popkin and Kathryn Kobe, noted experts on issues related to prices, wages, productivity and technology
"Policymakers must recognize that a vibrant manufacturing sector is important to our nation's economic recovery and long-term growth and prosperity," said Lori Anderson, chair of the CMA and president and CEO of the International Sign Association. "Manufacturing generates more economic activity per dollar of production than any other business sector in the country. Manufacturing industries perform almost two-thirds of the private sector research and development, driving America's leading edge in innovation and break-through technologies. But manufacturers in America face serious challenges that threaten to undermine their contributions to U.S. prosperity."
"America's capacity to generate wealth and long-term economic growth and jobs depends on the enactment of federal policies that encourage manufacturing innovation, productivity, and competitiveness," stated NAM President John Engler.
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 United States 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.
• Make the commitments now that will guide private sector decisions on 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, for example, by widening the lowest corporate income tax bracket. They are niche suppliers of components and parts for finished goods manufacturers. And they are also important investors in and initiators of high-risk, groundbreaking innovative endeavors.
• Invest in all levels of infrastructure - transportation, communication channels, and the energy grid.