Kirk, Coons introduce Bill to boost American manufacturing competitiveness

American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act spurs job growth, improves global competitiveness of US manufacturers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) today introduced the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2013, a bill that would bolster the competitiveness of the manufacturing industry in the United States. The bill would require the development of a national manufacturing strategy, boosting traditional and high-tech manufacturers that employ nearly 12 million Americans.

“The United States is a worldwide leader in manufacturing, and keeping this industry competitive is crucial to maintaining our economic edge in the global marketplace,” Senator Kirk said. “Manufacturers in Illinois employ more than half a million workers with quality jobs and account for 13.3 percent of the total state economic output. Our bill will ensure that the United States manufacturing industry remains competitive and creates new high quality jobs for generations to come.”

“Manufacturing has enormous power to create jobs and drive America’s economic recovery,” Senator Coons said. “Right now, the federal government does not have a coordinated strategy for supporting America’s manufacturers. We need a national strategy that looks at skills training, R&D, trade, and the wealth of factors that contribute to our manufacturers’ success. This is a common-sense, bipartisan bill that will ensure the federal government is doing everything it can to create the conditions necessary to help America’s manufacturers grow and create jobs.”

Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) are also cosponsors of the bill. Congressman Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.-3) introduced companion legislation in the House (HR 2447) earlier this year.

“Our Manufacturing Competitiveness Act has always been about bringing all sides together, from both sides of the aisle, as well as the public and private sectors, to develop a set of coordinated policies that will boost American manufacturing and help create good-paying, middle-class jobs here at home,” Rep. Lipinski said. “This legislation will help give our manufacturers a fairer shot at competing in the global marketplace and provide American workers with the opportunity to thrive in the 21st century. I thank Sens. Kirk and Coons for their leadership on this bill and their commitment to manufacturing.”

The manufacturing industry contributes $1.8 trillion to the US economy each year, and on its own would rank as the world’s tenth largest economy. Current federal programs and incentives support conditions for growth in the industry, yet there is no overarching national strategy. The American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act sets goals for a US manufacturing strategy and requires the Administration to analyze every four years what impacts manufacturing competitiveness.

The bipartisan legislation does not increase government spending or create new programs. Last year, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5865, legislation similar to the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act, by a vote of 339-77. The bill is supported by the following organizations:

Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM)
American Iron and Steel Institute
American Small Manufacturers Coalition
AMT – The Association for Manufacturing Technology
The Dow Chemical Company
International Association of Machinists
NACFAM – National Council for Advanced Manufacturing
National Defense Industry Association
National Tooling and Machining Association
North American Die Casting Association
Precision Machined Products Association
Precision Metalforming Association
United Steelworkers
United Auto Workers