Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) president Dennis Slater sent an open letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) today urging her to meet with AEM regarding a new strategy she is creating for U.S. manufacturing.
“Dear Speaker Pelosi:
Earlier this week, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) released details of a non-partisan nationwide survey about voter attitudes on the economy, manufacturing jobs and infrastructure. Results show nearly 9 out of 10 voters agree that the nation needs to “dramatically increase manufacturing jobs” so our economy can compete with other countries.
So I was encouraged to read news reports that you recently shared with President Obama a new strategy for U.S. manufacturing, called “Making it in America.”
I applaud your focus on this initiative, and strongly urge that such a plan being developed by the congressional leadership include input from AEM, to hear what our 800 member companies throughout the country believe will lead to a successful manufacturing strategy and substantial job growth.
It is abundantly clear that the American people are not satisfied with current policies to keep manufacturing jobs in this country. According to our survey of voters nationwide, strong majorities believe investing in infrastructure would make America a more desirable place to live and work and would create a significant number of new jobs. Heavy majorities also believe policies on expanding exports and keeping white-collar and manufacturing jobs in this country are either not working well or are having no impact. These public viewpoints capture an important strain of economic discontent that now runs throughout the country.
There is an urgent need for job creation. State and local governments face serious budget troubles. The national debt rises. People struggle to make ends meet. America’s manufacturing base – the backbone of a strong economy – keeps shrinking. All the while, foreign countries fiercely compete for our jobs.
America needs a new manufacturing policy that creates jobs in the U.S. by doing two fundamental things:
- Generate economic activity by rebuilding and modernizing America’s infrastructure – roads, bridges, sewer, clean water and flood control systems.
- Help our farmers and manufacturers create more jobs in the U.S. by exporting their products to new markets around the world. One very direct way to do this is by passing the pending free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia.
Until some vigorous leadership is exercised to ensure these things are done, America’s economy will suffer and our competitive position in the world will be threatened.
Now is the time, Madam Speaker, for a meaningful manufacturing strategy that will put equipment manufacturers back in business and create jobs across America. AEM and our member companies are committed to working with you and other Members of Congress to craft a national manufacturing policy that reduces unemployment, increases American exports and builds a healthier economy for all our people.
That is how you make it in America.
I look forward to discussing your proposal in greater depth at your convenience.
President, Association of Equipment Manufacturers