New York City June 22, 2015
Last month I had the opportunity to attend the NAM (North American Manufacturing) Executive Insight Series in New York. This is the sixth event in a series of meetings with top manufacturing executives. The meetings move around the US and are held every few months. The series is a forum that offers an opportunity to participate in a unique conversation with CEOs of the top manufacturing companies in the world today.
The meeting was staged as a luncheon for approximately 100 attendees of manufacturing executives from various companies in the NY area. Introductory remarks were given by Jay Timmons, President of NAM, who set the stage for an open panel discussion by some high powered executives from large manufacturing companies.
Panelists included Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO of General Electric, John Lundgren, Chairman and CEO of Stanley Black & Decker, Kellie Johnson, President and CEO of ACE Clearwater Enterprises, and David Seaton, Chairman and CEO or Fluor Corporation. Most of these panelists are members of NAM and are very dedicated to manufacturing in the US.
The opening discussion focused on legislation to reauthorize Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), and the uncertain fate of the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im), set to expire in a week from the meeting. The conversation centered heavily on just how important trade is to manufacturers in the U.S.
The panelists all agreed that manufacturing is making a comeback— powering the U.S. economy and creating good-paying jobs for American workers. 95 percent of the world’s population lives outside the U.S. US manufacturers need TPA, which would help ensure the best possible outcomes for the U.S. in pending trade negotiations, to access the majority of the world’s consumers.
Likewise, the Ex-Im is a powerful tool for trade that manufacturers of all sizes rely upon to fill in export financing gaps where the private sector cannot. America’s global competitors utilize more than 60 other export credit agencies and, according to a recent NAM study, our major trading partners provide nearly half a trillion dollars in assistance annually to Ex-Im’s modest $27 billion contribution.
If Congress fails to renew the Ex-Im Bank, it shows the rest of the world the U.S. is withdrawing itself from the global marketplace.
In order to continue to promote economic growth and support America’s job creators, Congress must work together to pass TPA and reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. Manufacturers must continue to push for market-opening trade deals and tools that level the playing field and increase global competitiveness
I was very impressed by the openness of the panelists and how engaging they were about the manufacturing discussion. By attending this meeting and hearing the discussions with fellow manufacturing leaders I was encouraged that the future of manufacturing is positive in the United States, and that there is a strong concerted effort to tell our political leaders that manufacturing is essential to the US economy.
Manufacturing means JOBS!
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