Policy and Legal

NAM, Rep. Stauber Talk R&D, Workforce

Permanent restoration of R&D expensing is a top priority for manufacturers in Minnesota and the U.S. in general. That’s why Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN) plans to sign onto the American Innovation and R&D Competitiveness Act as a cosponsor, he recently told the NAM.

What’s going on: Rep. Stauber discussed the importance of competitive R&D tax policy, along with the regulatory onslaught targeting manufacturers and the need for permitting reform, during a recent NAM-organized facility tour of Clow Stamping Co. in Merrifield, Minnesota.

  • “Full expensing for R&D costs in the year in which they are incurred is essential for innovation and competition,” Rep. Stauber told the group, which included Pequot Tool & Manufacturing CEO Karlo Goerges in addition to NAM representatives and Clow Stamping leadership. “It’s imperative that it be reinstated as soon as possible.”
  • The American Innovation and R&D Competitiveness Act would restore immediate R&D expensing permanently for small businesses.
  • “Full R&D expensing was instrumental in our growth until the law changed last year,” said Clow Stamping owner Reg Clow. “It’s definitely having an impact on us. Our expenses have gone way up.”

Workforce woes: Clow is nearing the end of a $20 million facility expansion that will add 107,000 square feet of floor space and at least 60 jobs—but finding enough workers to fill those jobs won’t be easy.

  • By implementing automation in its shipping and receiving departments, the company will be able to both increase its shipping output without additional workers and channel its current hiring efforts toward filling open positions with the production departments, Clow said.
  • This is a short-term solution, however, and manufacturers like Clow Stamping need policymakers’ help to ensure the industry has enough skilled workers for the decades to come.
  • During the facility visit, the group discussed the importance of educating younger generations about the many opportunities available in manufacturing, via initiatives like Creators Wanted. This award-winning perception campaign undertaken by the NAM and its 501(c)3 workforce development and education affiliate, the Manufacturing Institute, aims to recruit 600,000 new manufacturing workers by 2025.

The last word: “Manufacturers account for more than 55% of all private-sector R&D spending in the United States,” said NAM Managing Vice President of Policy Chris Netram.

  • “Policies that encourage this innovation will allow the industry to continue to drive our economy forward. The NAM thanks Rep. Stauber for his support of the American Innovation and R&D Competitiveness Act and calls on Congress to swiftly pass this bill.”
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