Capitol Report: National Manufacturing Month
Each October, America celebrates National Manufacturing Month. This is an opportunity to reflect upon the rich history of American manufacturing and look at where it is headed.
Two hundred years ago, immigrants from all over the world moved to America to work in factories during the Industrial Revolution, and today, American manufacturing is still a world leader. According to the Manufacturing Institute, “The U.S. manufacturing sector is so huge that if it were its own country, it would rank as the eighth-largest world economy.” Here in Missouri, manufacturing jobs employ 250,000 people, and make up more than 9 percent of the state’s private sector workforce (not including farming).
The impact of American manufacturing is enormous, and every step of the manufacturing process is represented here in our area. From metal production at aluminum smelters, to manufacturing engines big and small, to making the parts required for high-tech marvels like cell phones and fighter planes, to our thriving wood products industry that makes timber, flooring, barrels, and other products, the eighth congressional district makes many of the products we use every day. In total, manufacturing accounts for nearly 90 percent of Missouri’s exports and is vital in the effort to create new jobs.
Manufacturing jobs are not just the jobs of the past – they are the jobs of the future. I have visited many companies seeking highly skilled laborers needed to make these products. This week I toured the new Brewer Science Expansion in Vichy, which specializes in advanced manufacturing technology and making microelectronic devices smaller, thinner, lighter, and more powerful. In these conversations with manufacturing small businesses I hear over and over that regulatory reform is needed to create jobs and grow the economy.
The American Dream is still within reach, but becoming more and more difficult to achieve. Taxes and regulations continue to threaten jobs, businesses, and the economic recovery. Just last week we received word that manufacturer Invensys is moving about 400 jobs from West Plains to Mexico to “enhance its competitiveness.” Businesses like Invensys will continue to find more cooperative locations to do business until America ends irrational regulations and lowers the corporate taxes that are smothering growth.
The Manufacturing Institute found that “complying with federal regulations costs Americans $2.028 trillion in lost economic growth” each year, and the United States has the highest corporate tax rate of any industrialized nation. That’s money that could be used to add new jobs, expand plants, and grow small businesses – it is why I am working in Washington to cut red-tape for businesses and end regulatory overreach.
My mother worked in a factory, and I could not be more proud of the hardworking people who manufacture the products the world needs to prosper. Now, we just need to get regulation out of the way so that businesses can innovate and expand.