Congressman Tim Ryan Introduces Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation to Establish a U.S. Chief Manufacturing Officer

Feb 15, 2017 Issues: Helping Working Families

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan was joined by Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Steve Daines (R-MT) as well as Representatives Tom Reed (R-NY) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL) today to introduce legislation to establish the position of U.S. Chief Manufacturing Officer in the Executive Office of the President. Ryan and Reed are Co-Chairs of the bipartisan House Manufacturing Caucus.

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 manufacturing strategy to revitalize the manufacturing sector, spur economic growth, and expand United States competitiveness.

“Manufacturing is the lifeblood of our economy, and the backbone of the middle class. Our manufacturing sector employs 9% of the United States workforce and makes up 12% of our GDP. Its importance cannot be overstated, manufacturing plays a critical role in almost every part of our economy, stretching from construction to pharmaceuticals; transportation to agriculture. Nearly 5 million manufacturing jobs have been lost since 2000, mostly due to automation, trade deals and off-shoring. We introduced this legislation to ensure that we are looking at the big picture, and doing everything in our power to give American manufacturing the tools it needs to grow and thrive,” said Rep. Ryan.  

“Manufacturing is critical to innovation and entrepreneurship in the United States.” said Senator Coons.  "Across many federal agencies, the U.S. Government makes decisions every day that impact this important sector. It’s critical that we make sure federal efforts are effective, coordinated and informed by an overall strategy. That’s why I’m proud to introduce the Chief Manufacturing Officer Act — bipartisan, bicameral legislation that will ensure federal policy helps manufacturers grow and create jobs." 

“Manufacturing has long been a source of good–paying, stable jobs for many in Maine and across our nation,” said Senator Collins.  “The establishment of a United States Chief Manufacturing Officer would help develop a national strategy and coordinate federal policies to grow and enhance the competitiveness of our manufacturing sector.  By focusing our efforts to revitalize this important industry, we can protect high-quality manufacturing jobs and create new economic opportunities in the years to come.” 

“Domestic manufacturing plays an integral role in supporting hardworking families and nearly 3,000 small businesses across our state,” Senator Daines stated. “Manufacturing jobs pay an average of 17 percent higher wages than non-manufacturing jobs and we need policies in place that enable small businesses to be globally competitive and help create more of these high-paying jobs.”   

 “I care about creating and sustaining manufacturing jobs not only in my district, but across the nation. Manufacturing is a vital industry that creates family-sustaining jobs.  We must make a deliberate effort to encourage domestic manufacturing growth and develop fair public policies that will put this industry at the forefront of our economic gains. I’m glad to work in a bipartisan manner with Manufacturing Caucus co-chair Tim Ryan on this issue,” stated Rep. Reed.

"I applaud Rep. Tim Ryan on the introduction of this legislation, which establishes a new position that will help coordinate federal policy that impacts American manufacturers and workers, the linchpin of our economy and the foundation of our middle class.  My American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act ‒ which was passed into law ‒ requires that the Trump Administration issue a national strategy to promote manufacturing early next year.  A Chief Manufacturing Officer in the White House would be helpful in the development and implementation of next year's strategic plan and subsequent plans that will follow every four years,” said Rep. Lipinski.

On average, each manufacturing job creates additional three to four jobs due to the required research, development and process design, and needed supply chain and post sales services. However, manufacturing employment, output and exports are all affected by such issues as tax policies, state of infrastructure and transportation, small business regulations, environmental regulations, trade policies, innovation ecosystems, workforce development, and education initiatives.

Unfortunately, some legislative policies and executive actions have resulted in unintended, inconsistent, and conflicting outcomes with respect to the growth of manufacturing in the United States. Therefore, a high level coordination and planning is needed to ensure that all actions and strategies would lead to a clear path for growth of the manufacturing sector.

“A Chief Manufacturing Officer in the Executive Office of the President that sets a strategy based on rapid innovation is the best support our government can give American manufacturers as they respond to the opportunity and challenges of an increasingly connected, automated world,” said Douglas K. Woods, President, the Association For Manufacturing Technology.

“We firmly believe the Office of the Chief Manufacturing Officer will provide the president and the nation with an executive officer who will strengthen the U.S. economy by shaping national manufacturing policy, promoting greater innovation and R&D investments to expand advanced manufacturing, and enhancing the competitiveness of American manufacturers in ever-changing domestic and global markets,” said Rusty Patterson, President, the National Council for Advanced Manufacturing (NACFAM).

“Establishing a single officer to govern manufacturing policy will ensure that sustained investment in advanced manufacturing initiatives—such as training and educating a skilled workforce, building a robust and enduring domestic manufacturing base, and further developing industrial technologies—will protect our national security and ability to compete globally in the most efficient and effective way possible,” said Thomas G. Loughlin, ASME Executive Director.

“Manufacturing constitutes a vital pillar of the U.S. economy and remains a key provider of high-wage, high-value-add jobs for American workers. But it’s clear that policymakers need to be doing more to ensure this critical industry thrives. ITIF supports legislation to designate a Chief Manufacturing Officer in the White House,” said Robert Atkinson, ITIF President.

“With technology advancing rapidly, our manufacturing workforce has to be prepared to retrain several times during their career,” said Robert G. Kiggans, Former Chairman, IMS International. “This bill could not happen at a better time. We should move quickly!”

This legislation has been supported by: American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT), Automation Federation (AF), International Society of Automation (ISA), Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF), Intelligent Systems International (IMS-I), Manufacturing Alliance of Communities (MAC), National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), and National Council for Advanced Manufacturing(NACFAM).

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