Executive Outlook 2013: Help The U.S. Government Ensure U.S. Competitiveness

0813eorockwellThe United States enjoys a proud tradition as a global leader in the manufacturing sector. This leadership has been fueled by bright ideas, a progressive approach to technology and a spirit of pride and entrepreneurship. Our national and economic security—our ability to create wealth and new jobs—depends on a robust advanced manufacturing infrastructure that supports the production of high-value goods and services for U.S. and global markets. 

The U.S. will be the best place in the world to manufacture and attract foreign direct investment, but our government needs to support a tax climate that promotes manufacturing in America and enhances global competitiveness here. It needs to provide for a strong and permanent R&D tax credit and ensure credits are balanced between technology and applied or process research. It also needs to ensure and independently verify that benefits of new regulations justify their cost to manufacturers. And, lastly, common sense and fair legal reform must be implemented to reduce direct tort costs to U.S. manufacturers. 

One way we’re working to help achieve these initiatives is through the Manufacturing Council, established in April 2004, as the result of an International Trade Administration report calling for enhanced U.S. government focus on manufacturing competitiveness. The Council works to identify and recommend ways the U.S. government can respond to challenges facing U.S. manufacturers and ensure our competitiveness at home and abroad. Council members, representing a diversity of American manufacturing-industry sectors, provide a unique perspective toward developing actionable, measurable recommendations on policies and programs submitted for the Secretary of Commerce’s consideration. 

Recently, the Council identified four key priorities: (1) Workforce and Public Perception of Manufacturing will determine what can be done to increase the number of skilled workers in the U.S., and identify working strategies to prepare for long-term workforce needs. (2) Innovation, Research and Development examines ways to encourage research, development and commercialization of innovation in manufacturing, and works to strengthen, encourage and promote research and innovation vis-a-vis public-private partnerships and policies that reward innovation. (3) Tax Policy and Export Growth identifies ways to ensure that trade and investment policies don’t hinder U.S. manufacturers, and consider trade and investment policies that assist them, such as proper enforcement of international trade law, current tax policies and reforms. (4) Manufacturing Energy Policy considers the many aspects of energy that impact manufacturing, including costs, sustainability regulations and long-term energy independence, and identifies solutions to help manufacturers stay competitive and allow for industry growth while examining energy and environmental sustainability regulations that help U.S. manufacturers

As manufacturers, we understand the crucial link between manufacturing and innovation and the indisputable link between innovation and economic power. The Manufacturing Council will work with the Commerce Department to ensure our competitiveness by responding to the challenges facing U.S. manufacturers at home and abroad. MT

More Executive Outlooks:


Enrique Santacana, President & CEO, ABB North America


William J. Stevens, President & CEO, Motion Industries


Steven P. Richman, President, Milwaukee Tool Corporation


Poul Jeppesen, President and CEO, SKF USA Inc.


Ralf Kraemer, CEO, Klüber Lubrication North America


Mike Laszkiewicz, Vice President & General Manager, Power Control Business, Rockwell Automation, and Chair, Manufacturing Council


Jay A. Burnette, President, Waukesha Bearings Corporation


Rich Heppe, President, Industrial Motors, Nidec Motor Corporation


Steve Sonnenberg, President, Emerson Process Management


Wes Pringle, President, Fluke Corporation 



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