Manufacturers in the U.S. are united with their counterparts in Ukraine as that country continues to grapple with the destruction caused by Russia’s invasion.
That was the message of “Rebuilding Ukraine: Inaugural Conference of Manufacturers in the U.S. and Ukraine,” an event that took place yesterday thanks to the partnership between the NAM and the Ukrainian League of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.
The background: In March 2022, in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the NAM Board of Directors voted unanimously in support of a resolution denouncing the invasion and supporting the people of Ukraine.
- In addition to affirming shared values of freedom and independence, the resolution expressed support for economic and financial sanctions against Russia, demanded removal of Russia from the World Trade Organization and called for the end of normalized trade between Russia and the U.S.
- In the months since the invasion, the NAM has stood consistently with Ukraine and supported actions against Russia.
The conference: Led by NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons and ULIE President Anatolii Kinakh, the conference included representatives from a diverse range of companies from both countries, who spoke to the challenges ahead and the need to support Ukraine as it rebuilds. The event also featured opening remarks from Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova and other senior Ukrainian government officials.
- Manufacturers in the U.S. described the support they have provided for Ukraine—from financial and technology support to equipment and humanitarian aid—and laid out areas in which they would like to continue to partner with Ukraine. These included R&D and university collaborations and sourcing for products and personnel.
- Ukrainian officials laid out urgent needs for their country, including rebuilding infrastructure, strengthening logistics and supporting areas such as clean energy, education and workforce training.
The result: The NAM and ULIE signed a Memorandum of Understanding that laid out common values and mutual goals.
- The organizations affirmed their shared “commitment to democratic values, the rule of law and the furtherance of democracy, freedom and opportunity for our citizens and other countries around the world.”
- The two groups agreed to create a “framework” to help explore areas of collaboration in business, trade and economic relations.
- The NAM and ULIE identified a series of steps the organizations can take to increase cooperation, from sharing information about each other’s services and activities to promoting visits between representatives and creating additional joint meetings and conferences.
What they’re saying: “Manufacturers have demonstrated their unwavering support for Ukraine and denounced Russian aggression,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “Manufacturers in the U.S. have a long and proud history of standing firm in support of democracy, the rule of law, transparency, freedom and opportunity. We stand with President Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian people as they defend those values today and as they work to rebuild their country in the years ahead.”
Said Kinakh: “This is the first business conference of Ukraine and the U.S. on such a scale. In our view, it will enable our partners in the U.S. to learn about the true situation in Ukraine, the business climate and our priorities. It will be the basis to shape direct ties, common interests and business plans that will boost economic activities of Ukraine.”