MRO Magazine

PTDA joins three manufacturing coalitions

Chicago, IL -- PTDA has joined three U.S. public policy endeavors that are being spearheaded by the National Associ...


Industry

March 22, 2004
By MRO Magazine

Chicago, IL — PTDA has joined three U.S. public policy endeavors that are being spearheaded by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).

The association’s board of directors agreed unanimously to become more active in public policy because a sound manufacturing base is critical to the health of domestic PTDA distributor and manufacturer member firms.

PTDA has joined the Coalition for the Future of Manufacturing, a group of businesses and industry associations dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of a strong manufacturing base to U.S. prosperity and the challenges facing U.S. manufacturing today.

PTDA also has joined the Coalition for a Sound Dollar, and the Fair Currency Alliance. Both groups focus on raising awareness of the impact of currency manipulation among Asian trading partners, as well as the need for policy changes to address these practices.

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The association’s active public policy agenda is based on the importance of manufacturing as an engine of growth. The Coalition is seeking pro-growth public policy changes that will ensure a vibrant U.S. manufacturing base in the future. These include:

* Leveling the international playing field by making sure foreign countries reduce trade rules and allow markets to determine exchange rates.

* Reducing production costs in the U.S. through healthcare cost containment, enacting legal reforms, ensuring adequate and affordable energy supplies, and reforming the regulatory process to more effectively assess costs, benefits and their impact on industry.

* Promoting innovation, investment and productivity through tax reforms that encourage investment and R&D, strengthened government R&D programs, and domestic and international tax rules that keep U.S. manufacturers competitive and promote inward investment.

* Ensuring the adequate supply of skilled workers through greater emphasis on technical education (including engineering and science), strengthened implementation of the Workforce Investment Act, expanded business-government partnerships, and restructuring federal programs to better assist displaced workers.

* Improving the policy making infrastructure to advance the manufacturing agenda. This includes: ensuring the new Commerce Department assistant secretary for manufacturing has adequate resources and staff; establishing a senior-level position in the White House Economic Council staff to help drive the interagency policy process; and forming a Presidential Council on Manufacturing to make recommendations to the President and issue an annual report on the manufacturing agenda.

PTDA is working actively to support the goals of the Coalition by:

* Encouraging members to host plant tours for government representatives, attend a manufacturing forum in Washington, D.C., and join the Coalition directly.

* Inviting NAM’s senior vice-president of external affairs, Patrick Cleary, to speak at the association’s recent Annual Convention.

* Initiating a program to address the industry’s need for workforce development, under the aegis of the PTDA Educational & Scholastic Foundation. By partnering with community colleges, the Foundation is working to create local pools of qualified potential employees and affordable training programs for industrial distributors and manufacturers.

Largely through the Coalition’s efforts, the U.S. Department of Commerce hosted a series of over 20 roundtables with representatives from small, medium and large companies from a broad range of industries in 2003. Based on this input, in January the Secretary of Commerce released the longawaited administration report, Manufacturing in America: A Comprehensive Strategy to Address the Challenges to U.S. Manufacturers.

The report cited the unsatisfactory state of manufacturing in the United States and external costs imposed upon U.S. manufacturers that far exceed those faced by firms in other nations. Recommendations include specific steps to reduce these costs and establishment of an organization to maintain a government-wide focus on policies that affect U.S. manufacturers. The report also contained statements stressing that currency values must be market-driven and reflect market fundamentals.

PTDA will continue to provide updates on its efforts to represent its members’ interest in the public policy arena through Transmissions and other vehicles.

To learn more about the Coalition for the Future of Manufacturing, Coalition for a Sound Dollar and the Fair Currency Alliance, visit www.nam.org.