Revitalizing American Manufacturing
Protecting our economy and putting citizens back to work is one of my top priorities as a Member of Congress. We need to take an innovative approach to legislation that will grow the economy, reward businesses that keep jobs in the United States, reduce the deficit, and create a level playing field for American workers in the global market.
It is essential we do all we can to strengthen and protect manufacturing, a vital American industry and the foundation of our economy. When manufacturers are given the tools they need to compete in a global marketplace, Americans prosper and our nation becomes stronger. Manufacturing employs 662,000 Ohioans and contributes $99.8 billion to our state’s economy. In our district alone, we have more than 600 manufacturing companies employing nearly 37,000 workers. Most recently, manufacturers have lost on average 74,000 jobs per month, good-paying jobs that pay an average of 20 percent more than typical service sector jobs.
As Co-Chair of both the House Manufacturing Caucus and the House Maker Caucus, I am dedicated to promoting and expanding American manufacturing. I have introduced legislation to establish the position of U.S. Chief Manufacturing Officer in the Executive Office of the President. The U.S. Chief Manufacturing Officer (CMO) will be responsible for coordinating manufacturing-related policies and activities across agencies. The CMO will also develop a national strategy to revitalize the manufacturing sector, spur economic growth, and increase our competitiveness around the globe. Manufacturing is the stabilizing force behind our local and national economy. Without a strong domestic manufacturing base, we will not have a strong economic recovery.
Fair and Balanced Trade
Each and every day, I hear stories from constituents who have been negatively impacted by free trade agreements that ship manufacturing jobs overseas. When plants are closed and friends and family lose a reliable source of income, it has a profound rippling effect that impacts every part of our community. All workers ask for is a level playing field so they can compete on a global scale. However, past trade agreements have not lived up to those standards, and I have consistently opposed them while in Congress. That is why I voted against the Panama, Colombia, and South Korea free trade agreements and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Furthermore, I have testified before the International Trade Commission to voice my concern about predatory behavior of countries such as China that continues to dump steel and aluminum products on our shores at government subsidized below-market prices. It is my belief that hardworking Americans deserve better when it comes to our country’s trade policy.
Future of manufacturing rests with our ability to innovate. We must invest in innovation in manufacturing, so new industries and jobs can flourish. In 2012, a landmark $85 million public-private investment was made in Northeast Ohio. The joint venture, America Makes, was the first major investment to help revitalize American manufacturing by investing in “additive manufacturing” which relies on 3D printers to build components layer-by-layer rather than subtractive processes like milling. More than 20 collaborative research projects are under way and Northeast Ohio is already seeing the benefits with companies coming to Youngstown, Akron, and Cleveland. This investment is helping the U.S. grow its capabilities in additive manufacturing; but unfortunately, experts estimate that American spending only amounts to about one-third of what China is investing in in the same industry.
Education and Workforce Development
There is no doubt we must do more to help educate the next generation for careers in manufacturing. Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education helps drive our nation’s economic train and ensures our children will be prepared to lead the world in innovation and entrepreneurship. That is why I have introduced the 21st Century Shop Class Act, which promotes maker education and will help gives students the skills they will need to participate in the exciting jobs that require knowledge of new tools, such as computer programming, engineering analysis, 3-D printing, and robotics. I have also cosponsored the Stepping up to STEM Education Act and the Women and Minorities in STEM Booster Act to help expand and increase the participation in STEM programs. As Americans we have always valued education, and we have had a strong appetite for innovation and entrepreneurship. This is even more important today as the competition for manufacturing and jobs has truly become global. We need educated citizens that will be ready to build a better and brighter future for the United States of America.
More on Manufacturing
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) urged the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies to fund the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan Program in the FY2020 Energy and Water appropriations bill. In a letter to Chairwoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-9), Congressman Ryan also requested the committee direct DOE to move expeditiously in evaluating and awarding loan applications. This program was zeroed out in President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2020 Budget.
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) issued the following statement regarding a proposed deal by General Motors (GM) to sell the Lordstown plant to a newly-formed entity led by the founder and former CEO of Ohio company Workhorse. This afternoon, Congressman Ryan spoke with GM CEO Mary Barra as well as the CEO of Workhorse, Duane Hughes and Steve Burns, founder of a newly-created company which intends to purchase the plant.
Washington, DC – Congressmen Tim Ryan (OH-13) and Mike Kelly (PA-16) today introduced legislation (H.R. 2525) that would designate Mahoning, Trumbull, Mercer, and Lawrence counties in Ohio and Pennsylvania as the Steel Valley National Heritage Area. National Heritage Areas tell nationally important stories that celebrate our nation’s diverse heritage. The bill would establish a commission of Ohioans and Pennsylvanians with knowledge of historic preservation, natural resources conservation, economic development and tourism, organized labor, the arts, and local communities.
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) urged President Trump on Thursday to request funding for the Department of Energy’s Domestic Manufacturing Conversion Grant Program in his upcoming Fiscal Year 2020 Presidential Budget. General Motors’ Lordstown facility would be a prime candidate to use the funding. The program would provide grants and loan guarantees to automobile manufacturers who are interested in producing efficient hybrid, plug-in electric hybrid, and advanced diesel vehicles.
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) issued the following statement regarding President Trump’s executive order, “Strengthening Buy-American Preferences for Infrastructure Projects.” The executive order asks federal agencies to encourage government contractors who receive federal money for infrastructure projects to use American-made materials and products, including iron, steel, aluminum, and concrete.