world, but if you bring it back here, you
are going to have to pay an extra tax.”
Thus, the subsequent question: so
why would a manufacturer want to bring
it back here?
“That’s why we have $2 trillion dollars
made around the world; it’s what we call
‘trapped off shore,’” described Engler.
He, like many others, thinks it’s a good
idea to bring it back home, and constantly.
As far as a manufacturing renaissance, En-
gler believes the US is moving in that di-
rection. “There are opportunities,” he said.
“We are seeing significant investments,
with energy sectors leading the way.”
Also, in sector throughout sector, we
are seeing American leadership. “You
want that kind of environment,” he said.
Crunch the Numbers
Despite the sizeable skills gap, other
countries still perceive the US as an in-
vestment that will pay off. To capitalize on
this, Timmons said that new rules of the
game need to be followed:
• Hire people who possess a valued
14 INDUSTRY TODAY
FOCUS
MANUFACTURING
The ability of US companies to export into
growing markets represents a chance to
be different – Jeffrey Immelt;
left: Jeffrey Immelt, CEO and Chairman,
General Electric.
photo courtesy of GE
skill set;
• Move facilities closer to customers (or
establish plants on American soil); and
• Make energy consumption an impor-
tant part of the equation (indeed, envi-
ronmental stewardship has proven to
increase market value).
In following the rules of the “modern”
game, the United States must consider
what it can accomplish on shore, said
Timmons. That would mean engaging in
the control of the US tax policy (with its
highest corporate tax rate in the world).
“Let’s admit that we have the highest
rate,” said Timmons, as it impacts the
nation’s global competitiveness.
That’s a good idea. Ill-defined ideas
and policies led to this disturbing obser-
vation: More than 55 percent of compa-
nies wouldn’t have started here if they
knew then what they know now – lack of
policies, lack of direction, lack of a de-
fined tax structure.
“This is what the US Government must
address,” averred Timmons. “We have to
change the mindset.”
What the nation must do, he recom-
mended, is control what can be con-
trolled at home: the 20-percent tax
differential and regulation.
“That is a good starting point,” he
concluded. “But Washington must be
equally candid.”
One can only hope.
What the US lacks is a comprehensive
commitment to a growth strategy, said
Engler, echoing Timmons’ sentiments.
INDUSTRY TODAY 15
FOCUS
MANUFACTURING
“Regulation and energy policy are the things
that should be easy to get right. Congress
and administration should be out front.”
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