US manufacturers call for action before midterm elections

US manufacturers, plagued by supply chain issues and near-record inflation, are calling for action from politicians as the midterm elections quickly approach.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) on September 13 released its “Compete to Win” agenda, calling for action on it. Tax policy, workforce development and other areas To enhance the manufacturing competitiveness of the United States. NAM CEO Jay Timmons and board members also discussed the call to action plan in a call on Monday afternoon.

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“Solving problems is what manufacturers do, but we need additional solutions from policy makers to ensure we are competitive and become more competitive, especially with the potential for a recession looming,” Chuck Witherington, president of BTE Technology, said during the call on Monday.

Employees work on an assembly line at the Dakota Integrated Systems manufacturing facility in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., Thursday, May 5, 2022. Dakota Integrated Systems Corporation is a Native American, women-owned company that manufactures the instrument panel (Photo: Jeff Kowalski/Bloomberg via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Gross domestic product declined in the first two quarters of 2022. Wholesale inflation remained high in August, with the annual figure rising 8.7% from a year ago, according to Labor Department data.

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One area in which the Non-Aligned Movement has called on elected leaders to take action is workforce development. On Monday, Witherington said a shortage of workers in the manufacturing sector was a “long-term problem”.

Witherington and Green Tweed, vice president of operations Fernando Torres, said manufacturers are “upskilling” existing workers and attracting new workers.

To meet sector-wide workforce challenges, NAM has called for the expansion of Pell Grant programs “to include short-term or accelerated education models” and investment in apprenticeships and “earn and learn”. The group argued in its plan that the amount of tax-free educational assistance that employers can provide to workers should be raised to $11,000 annually.

The NAM also said immigration reform could help address workforce challenges, calling on politicians to increase employment-based immigration as a percentage of green cards and change nonimmigrant visas and temporary worker programs.

Goods bear

A worker operates a forklift transporting bulk rolled steel at Liberty Safe & Security Products Inc.’s manufacturing facility. In Payson, Utah, US, on Wednesday, August 29, 2018. The US Census Bureau is expected to issue orders for durable goods (Photo: George Frey/Bloomberg via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, the union said new tax incentives and other tax provisions would also help encourage manufacturing competitiveness and investment in the United States.

For example, one board member noted provisions in the CHIPS and Science Act, which allocates more than $52 billion to domestic semiconductor research, development, manufacturing, and workplace development, and provides tax credits to encourage investments in chip manufacturing.

Timmons said during the call that three areas of tax policy that are important to manufacturers are the research and development (R&D) tax credit, the ability to spend R&D and capital investments and the deduction of business interest.

Manufacturing in the United States

PAYSON, UT – MARCH 22: A worker grinds welding on a safe being manufactured at the Liberty Safe Company on March 22, 2022 in Payson, Utah. Liberty Safe has struggled with supply restrictions and price increases for materials used in manufacturing (Photo by George Fry/Getty Images)/Getty Images)

In addition, the NAM advocated broadening and making permanent tax rebates on business income earned “through a pass-through entity” and to keep profit tax rates “low and competitive.”

Kitchee president and owner Courtney Silver said lawmakers making changes to tax policy could help prevent small manufacturers from feeling “stuck between a rock and a hard place” when making decisions about the company’s investments.

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“It’s very important that we take action to broaden and stabilize this pass-through deduction, increase those incentives around research and development and protect those provisions around the full expense and interest deduction,” she said.

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