Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement in response to President Biden’s 2023 State of the Union address:
“President Biden rightly celebrated the significant growth and job creation that manufacturers have achieved in these past two years. Indeed, more manufacturing jobs have been created in the first two years of the Biden administration than at any point since the Reagan administration. Like his recent predecessors, he recognizes manufacturing’s vital role in our economy and our country. America’s success and leadership depend on a strong, competitive manufacturing industry.
“The President should be commended for the historic, bipartisan accomplishments of the past two years—including the infrastructure law and the CHIPS and Science Act. These measures are already making life better and spurring new manufacturing jobs. We agree with President Biden that there is now an urgent need to build on that progress by tackling immigration reform in a smart, bipartisan way. There are millions of people ready to work in the U.S., and manufacturers have hundreds of thousands of unfilled jobs. Not only is the broken immigration system creating a border crisis, but it is also standing in the way of a stronger economy for every American.
“However, the President misses the mark in not recognizing that the historic tax reforms of 2017 and the previous administration’s efforts to promote regulatory certainty helped lay the foundation for the recent success in creating jobs, increasing investment and raising wages. Instead of the Biden administration’s misguided suggestions for restrictions on pharmaceutical innovation and for destructive tax increases, Congress should immediately reinstate critical tax deductions for the costs of research, machinery purchases and key business investments. Restoring these tools is essential to keep up the pace of manufacturing job creation and to out-innovate and outcompete China. And to truly unleash manufacturing investment, fully realize the potential of the infrastructure law and achieve energy security in America, we need a smarter, balanced approach to regulations and significant permitting reform so that projects don’t languish for years in a bureaucratic mess just waiting for government approvals. After all, manufacturers are already making great strides in reducing emissions. Now is not the time to add top-down air regulations that will cost us jobs and snarl supply chains.
“The State of the Union address is one of the sacred traditions of our democracy. And as we approach the one-year mark of Russia’s war on Ukraine, we are reminded just how precious those traditions and our institutions are. Democracy is the foundation of the values that keep our industry strong and have made America exceptional—free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity. And that is why manufacturers stand firm in our belief that democracy must be respected, protected and defended at home and abroad.”
Background: The NAM’s “Competing to Win” policy agenda for manufacturing competitiveness can be found here. Its in-depth proposal for immigration reform, “A Way Forward,” is available here. In the NAM’s most recent Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey, two-thirds of manufacturers said that immigration reform should be a priority for the 118th Congress.
The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs nearly 13 million men and women, contributes $2.81 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 55% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.