Just one day after President Joe Biden took credit for growth in the manufacturing industry during his State of the Union address on Tuesday, the nation’s most influential manufacturing association gave the credit for the industry’s strong performance to former President Donald Trump.
During his speech, Biden noted that the United States has created nearly 800,000 manufacturing positions over the past two years, which fits with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and marks the fastest job growth in four decades for the sector. Biden claimed that legislative packages such as the CHIPS and Science Act were the factors most responsible for the growth.
“Where is it written that America can’t lead the world in manufacturing again? For too many decades, we imported products and exported jobs,” Biden asserted. “Now, thanks to all we’ve done, we’re exporting American products and creating American jobs.”
However, National Association of Manufacturers CEO Jay Timmons responded to the emphasis on the industry, saying that he supported the Biden administration’s legislative agenda but said that he disagreed with the president for not supporting the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was signed by Trump at the beginning of his administration.
Timmons, whose trade association represents nearly 80% of Fortune 100 manufacturers, said the reforms established the foundation for the robust state of the sector.
“The President should be commended for the historic, bipartisan accomplishments of the past two years,” Timmons said in a statement. “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.”
Timmons added that lawmakers “should immediately reinstate critical tax deductions for the costs of research, machinery purchases and key business investments.”
Analysts have noted the end of one provision in the federal tax code, which allowed companies to immediately deduct research and development expenses, may lead to decreased innovation over time. Lawmakers failed to extend the provision into the new tax year.
“Restoring these tools is essential to keep up the pace of manufacturing job creation and to out-innovate and outcompete China,” Timmons said. “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.”
Timmons cited the “broken immigration system” which has served to create a “border crisis,” suggesting that embracing immigration reform would aid manufacturers with filling empty positions.
At present, there are two open positions for every one unemployed individual, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a phenomenon that has contributed to inflationary pressures, as wages increase, just as prices do.
In the two years of the Biden administration, as many as 5.5 million migrants have crossed into the United States, according to data from the Federation for American Immigration Reform. Biden has pressed lawmakers to approve legislation that would create a pathway to citizenship for some of these immigrants.
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