Friends of Manufacturing

Manufacturers Call on New Administration and Congress to Fix Our Nation’s Infrastructure

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Our nation’s infrastructure is in very bad shape. It’s not a new problem, but it’s a serious one impacting manufacturers, employees, and every single American. President-elect Trump has vowed to reinvest in and rebuild our infrastructure, putting millions of Americans to work in the process. The National Association of Manufacturers and Friends of Manufacturing stand behind these efforts to fix America’s infrastructure.

Over the next eleven days, the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) will roll out the ‘Twelve Days of Transition’, policy blueprints to help guide President-elect Trump and Congress to deliver on manufacturing priorities. Today’s policy blueprint, ‘Building to Win,’ outlines the biggest challenges with infrastructure and funding solutions to tackle these problems. 

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Flashback Friday: What Marlin Steel Has to Say about Friends of Manufacturing

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Manufacturing is an enormous part of the American economy. Each year, the manufacturing sector adds trillions of dollars to the U.S.A.’s GDP, and supports millions of job throughout the states.

Yet, the manufacturing industry is constantly subjected to a disproportionate regulatory burden compared to many other industries in the US. All the time, new regulations are passed that can have an enormous negative impact on manufacturers of all sizes, not just the corporate giants that many outside the industry assume make up the majority of manufacturers.

To combat the most obtrusive & invasive regulations that cripple operations, manufacturers and their employees need a voice. Advocacy groups such as the National Association of Manufacturer (NAM) and the National Alliance for Jobs and Innovation (NAJI) give a voice to business owners, but what about the voices of the millions of workers who make their living in the manufacturing industry? Who speaks for the little guy?

This was the question on the minds of the NAM’s leadership when they created a new initiative: The Friends of Manufacturing program.

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Protect U.S. Manufacturing Jobs, Take Action on the Ex-Im Bank!

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The U.S. Export-Import Bank has supported 1.3 million American jobs in the past six years and plays a critical role in ensuring U.S. companies have a fair and level playing field when competing for business overseas.

While Congress reauthorized the Ex-Im Bank a year ago, the Bank is operating at less than full capacity because the Senate has failed to fill the board of director position needed to reach the required quorum. As a result, the Bank is unable to support U.S. manufacturing and supplier jobs and U.S. exporters are at an extreme disadvantage to competitors around the world that have support from their government-backed export credit agencies. 

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Beyond Transportation: Water, Energy and Broadband Infrastructure

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As the need to repair the nation’s crumbling transportation infrastructure becomes more apparent across the country, it’s important to recognize that along with roads, transit and waterways, realistic and tangible solutions are needed to fix other forms of infrastructure that Americans depend on.

From daily necessities such as water infrastructure, to energy production and broadband, these infrastructure systems are equally important to maintaining a competitive and strong manufacturing industry. Unfortunately, they need serious improvements. For instance, failing water infrastructure has resulted in the contamination of public drinking water. Furthermore, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, more than 18 million people were drinking water from community water systems in 2015 that had more lead and copper than what is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. Additionally, there are nearly 240,000 water main leaks annually, leading to property damage. The country will rely on manufacturers to build stronger water infrastructure in order to keep communities safe and healthy. 

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President-elect Trump: Investments in Public Transit Infrastructure Needed!

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For passengers, public transit systems and freight railways are vital to making sure commuters can safely travel between and navigate busy cities. For manufacturers, they are crucial to ensuring goods are transported to their destinations in a timely and safe manner.

With $86 billion needed in investments for public transit infrastructure projects and $52 billion needed in investments in Amtrak, the safety and reliability of our nation’s passenger and freight rail and public transit infrastructure is at risk. Currently, 21 percent of buses are in immediate need of replacement and 32 percent will need to be replaced within the next five years. Additionally, Amtrak desperately needs increased funding to address the backlog of projects. 

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Ports, Waterways and Aviation Infrastructure In Need of Revitalization

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Airports and waterways better connect people to their friends and families, and are also critical in effectively transferring supplies and goods to manufacturers and consumers. For time-sensitive and high-value cargo inside our borders and around the world, manufacturers often rely on planes. Additionally, seaports are the main method of efficiently exporting to foreign nations and are crucial to manufacturers’ competitiveness.

Due to age, congestion and neglect, these vital pieces of infrastructure are in very poor shape. The National Association of Manufacturers estimates overall investment needed to modernize aviation is between $42 and $75 billion, and around $15 billion investment is needed to upgrade ports and inland waterways. 

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We Must Invest in Our Nation’s Highways and Bridges

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Whether it is getting to work safely and on time or transporting goods across the country, Americans depend on transportation infrastructure every day. However, due to neglect and overuse, our country’s highways and bridges are in need of repair.

For example, nearly 65 percent of major roads in the U.S. are rated “in less than good condition” and almost 60,000 bridges are noted as “structurally deficient,” according to a report by the American Society of Civil Engineers. It is clear that the country is faltering when it comes to providing adequate investment in infrastructure. Not only does this result in safety risks, but it also wastes time and money and slows productivity. 

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Weekly Political Update -- November 4, 2017

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President

The new Hillary Clinton email revelation has ushered in a sense of doubt surrounding the final week of this unique presidential campaign.  In fact, the latest four polls taken between the October 30-November 3 period find the race reverting back to within the polling margin of error.

Both Rasmussen Reports (11/1-3; 1,500 US likely voters) and the Investors Business Daily/TIPP poll (10/30-11/3; 898 US likely voters) project a flat tie, 44-44%.  The ABC News/Washington Post rolling tracking survey (10/30-11/2; 1,151 US likely voters) reports a Clinton lead of 47-44%.  Finally, the Lucid/New Orleans Times Picayune (10/31-11/2; 860 US likely voters) forecasts a five-point Clinton spread, 44-39%.  This portends quite a different scene from just one week ago.

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Manufacturing Vote Will Make The Difference On Election Day (http://blog.thomasnet.com)

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If manufacturers have not already begun talking to employees and colleagues about the importance of casting their ballots on November 8, the time is now.

With so many close races from the top of the ticket to the bottom of the ballot, the 12 million manufacturing workers in the U.S. can play a huge role in electing our future leaders. 

There is a great deal of frustration and anger from a majority of voters who feel the U.S is heading in the wrong direction. They are unhappy with the lack of discussion on policy differences and with the negative campaigns being run by candidates. Therefore, it is critical for all manufacturers to encourage voting participation the days before Election Day.

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Key Senate Race Watch – Missouri Manufacturers: Which Senate Candidate Are YOU Voting For in November?

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Senator Roy Blunt, a Republican, has been the junior United States Senator for Missouri since 2011. Previously, he served as the United States Representative for Missouri’s 7th congressional district. He was also the House Majority Whip from 2003-2007. In 2011, he was elected vice-president of the Senate Republican Conference. 

Jason Kander, a Democrat, is a lawyer and veteran. He was elected as Missouri’s Secretary of State in 2012. Previously, he was an intelligence officer in the Army National Guard. 

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