U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson says manufacturing matters
U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson gave a speech today to the Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA) in which he explained the importance of manufacturing to the wider U.S. economy:
...there is an inextricable link between America’s ability to produce and America’s ability to innovate, compete and create jobs. Everyone here knows the facts. Manufacturing is responsible for 70% of our private sector R&D, 90% of our patents, and 60% of our exports. In addition, the Commerce Department released a report just last week showing that manufacturing workers earn pay and benefits about 17% higher than other workers.
The Secretary also emphasized efforts to help U.S. manufacturing grow and thrive in the 21st Century, including both R&D investment and revisions to tax policy:
Looking forward, the Commerce Department will continue to provide the tools and information that steel manufacturers need to conduct R&D, to innovate, and to make high-quality products...
Through this Office, we are working alongside the private sector to enable and promote strategies and technologies that have the potential to make a big impact. And, even in a time of tight budgets, the President knows that we can’t pull back from key federal investments in manufacturing. That’s why he has called to double the basic research budgets of NIST labs, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Energy Office of Science. That’s also why his 2013 proposed budget includes $2.2 billion in R&D specifically for advanced manufacturing, a 19% increase. And that’s why that 2013 budget would also include $100 million in new funding for NIST overall, a 14% increase...
In addition, we need to give small businesses – our biggest job creators – a tax credit when they hire more people or increase wages. And, yet more fundamentally, it’s time to reform our corporate tax code. Right now, it’s broken. The U.S. has one of the highest statutory corporate tax rates in the world at 35%. It hasn’t changed significantly since the 1980s – except to become more complex. We need to drop the corporate tax rate to 28%, with an effective rate of 25% for manufacturers like you. And, repairing our broken tax code is something that Democrats and Republicans should be able to agree on.
And, reforming the corporate tax code will also help us attract more investment within and to the U.S. Already, both foreign and U.S.-based manufacturers are finding more and more reasons to point right here to America and say, “That’s where I want my next facility to go.” This is due not only to increased domestic demand – but also to America’s powerful R&D base, our deep supply chains, and – of course – our very talented workers. To build on the insourcing trend by U.S. businesses, the President recently called to stop rewarding companies that ship jobs overseas. Instead, we want to start rewarding those who bring jobs back. Specifically, he proposed a 20% tax credit for moving expenses.
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