this is not in any way partisan – is that
more than 2,000 regulations have been
imposed upon manufacturers in the last
30 years,” reported Timmons.
He delivered his message at the Feb-
ruary 7 AtlanticLIVE conference (“Manu-
facturing’s Next Chapter”), held in
Washington DC. The program focused
on all aspects of the manufacturing sec-
tor. Industry and government officials at-
tended. The occasion provided Timmons
(a frequent contributor to Industry Today)
to sound yet another alarm.
Previously, Timmons has warned about:
• The fractured immigration system –
how it’s outdated, inefficient, and an
impediment to US competitiveness,
particularly for manufacturers;
• Gridlock – a plague upon the federal
government. Undivided, the nation
stands; divided the nation’s economy
collapses (current levels of unemploy-
ment should never be considered a
“norm”); and
• Taxes – Draconian tax increases, cou-
pled with severe industry tax cuts,
freeze the major players in their tracks,
Jay Timmons, President and CEO, National
Association of Manufacturers (NAM).
“We’re only on
the verge
[of a manufacturing
Other high-profile people participated in the AtlanticLIVE conference and provided insights
about US manufacturing’s present and future, and how the globe has been reshaped, as
far as leadership, innovation, and forward direction. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), former
US presidential candidate (2008), when asked about the economy, had this to say: “I come
from one of the hardest-hit states, because of the housing situation. At one time, more than
half the homes in Arizona were underwater. We’re seeing recovery. I always said the hous-
ing crisis started this thing and that the housing recovery, in the United States, is a good
sign. Short-term, I am more optimistic than I was a year or so ago, and I still believe that
this is the most entrepreneurial nation in the world for innovation. Now, unfortunately, [things
are] made someplace else, but they were invented here, and [that circumstance] has
changed the world.”
Jeffrey Immelt, CEO and chairman of General Electric (and who was appointed as a mem-
ber of President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board), responded to questions
with his own question: “Is the US manufacturing location more competitive today than it
has been in the past? Yes. And there are numerous drivers. Hi-tech manufacturing material
innovation is happening. There’s a lot of innovation in advanced manufacturing. Materials,
as a percentage of product cost structure, are higher than in the past versus labor. The
energy industry and some of the advantages that could be created are being created by
shale gas. The ability of US companies to sell around the world, and to export into grow-
ing markets that are growing – that represents a chance to be different. Therefore, we’re
probably at our most competitive in my 30 years on a globally relative basis than I’ve seen
at any other time.”
Manufacturing is critical to the country’s
economic growth - Jay Timmons
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