U.S. manufacturers call for action ahead of midterm elections

U.S. manufacturers call for action ahead of midterm elections

U.S. manufacturers, plagued by supply chain issues and near-record inflation, are demanding action from politicians as the midterm elections loom quickly.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) released its “Competition to Win” agenda on September 13, calling for Tax policy, workforce development and other areas To improve the competitiveness of American manufacturing. NAM CEO Jay Timmons and board members also discussed the call for action plans during a conference call Monday afternoon.

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Chuck Wetherington, president of BTE Technology, said on Monday’s conference call: “It is the manufacturer’s job to solve problems, but we need additional solutions from policymakers to ensure that we can remain competitive and become more competitive, especially It’s with the possibility of a recession looming.”

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

Gross domestic product (GDP) fell in the first two quarters of 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Wholesale inflation remained high in August, up 8.7% year-on-year for the year.

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One area where the Non-Aligned Movement is calling for action from elected leaders is workforce development. Weatherington said Monday that the manufacturing labor shortage is a “long-term problem.”

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 industry-wide workforce challenges, NAM is calling for the expansion of the Pell Grant program to “include short-term or accelerated education models” and to invest in apprenticeships and “earn and learn” programs. The group argues in its plan that the amount of tax-free educational assistance that employers can provide workers should be raised to $11,000 a year.

NAM also said immigration reform could help address workforce challenges, calling on politicians to increase the share of employment-based immigration on green cards and change the nonimmigrant visa and temporary worker programs.

durable goods

A worker operates a forklift to move bulk steel at the Liberty Safe & Security Products Inc. manufacturing facility in Payson, Utah, U.S., Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018.U.S. Census Bureau expected to release durable goods orders (Photographer: George Frey/Bloomberg via Getty Images/Getty Images)

At the same time, the association said new tax incentives and other tax rules will also help encourage competitiveness and investment in U.S. manufacturing.

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

Three areas of tax policy that are important to manufacturers are the research and development (R&D) tax credit, R&D expenses and capital investment, and the ability to deduct business interest, Timmons said on the conference call.

made in America

Payson, Utah – March 22: A worker grinds welds on a safe made by Liberty Safe Company on March 22, 2022 in Payson, Utah. Liberty Safe has been grappling with supply constraints and price increases for materials used in manufacturing ((Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)/Getty Images)

In addition, the Non-Aligned Movement has called for the expansion and permanent implementation of tax breaks for business income earned “through pass-through entities” and for keeping tax rates on profits “low and competitive”.

Courtney Silver, president and owner of Ketchie, said lawmakers’ changes to the tax policy could help prevent small manufacturers from feeling a “dilemma” when making corporate investment decisions.

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“It’s very important that we take action to expand and lock the pass-through deduction, increase incentives around research and development, and protect those around the full fee and interest deduction,” she said.

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