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NAM: State of the Union: President offers mixed messages for manufacturers

Manufacturers issued a challenge in advance of the State of the Union on Tuesday, calling on President Obama to deliver a federal strategy that can unleash manufacturing and enable our nation’s job creators to accelerate America’s comeback.

“The right policies can allow us to move forward and set the stage for creating more jobs, securing widespread economic growth and perpetuating American exceptionalism long into the future,” wrote NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons in an op-ed for Real Clear Politics, a political news website favored by the media and other key influencers.

In this address, President Obama declared America ready to “turn the page” on years of hardship and economic security in sprawling remarks that offered a muddled vision for manufacturing in the United States. On the positive side, the President strongly advocated pro-trade policies and market-opening agreements long championed by the NAM, which will enhance competitiveness. He focused the spotlight on workforce and infrastructure challenges. Yet, he also proposed a punitive tax plan that threatens to put the brakes on our economic revival.

Immediately following the State of the Union address, the NAM launched a rapid response strategy to write the next chapter of Washington’s agenda. We issued a press statement welcoming the President’s call for swift action on Trade Promotion Authority, which will enable manufacturers of all sizes to better access an $11 trillion global market. And on taxes, we countered with a strong response. “[T]he tax plan the President introduced tonight sends the wrong signal,” Timmons said.

Timmons emphasized that proposed tax increases on investment and small businesses, coupled with increased government spending, are no way to unleash economic growth. In fact, according to a recent NAM study, what the country needs is pro-growth changes to the U.S. tax system that will help workers, their families and the broader economy.

Manufacturers’ comments and response to the President’s State of the Union address were picked up by numerous media outlets, such as Reuters, Fortune and The Hill, and included blog posts and robust activity on Twitter and Facebook.

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