The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) has unveiled “Faces of Manufacturing,” an initiative designed to rally the 2.8 million men and women of the equipment manufacturing industry in support of pro-manufacturing policies.
The centerpiece is a 90-second video featuring 22 equipment manufacturing workers urging their peers to speak with one united voice and tell elected officials to “create jobs, grow the economy, and keep the industry strong.” AEM will deploy the video, along with supportive digital and print materials, to equipment manufacturing facilities across the country. The goal is to make sure AEM members make their voices heard in support of policies that help strengthen manufacturing in the US.
As Congress considers the Bipartisan Innovation Act (BIA) legislation to outcompete China, boost domestic research and manufacturing, and secure supply chains that are critical to the country’s national security and economy, “Faces of Manufacturing” is designed to rally equipment manufacturing workers and drive support for the bill from the ground up.
Kip Eideberg, AEM’s senior vice president of government and industry relations, commented that the US can revamp its manufacturing base if it has the right governmental support. “Fueled by a legacy of grit and ingenuity, America’s equipment manufacturers can outcompete anyone. But when other countries engage in unfair trade and investment practices, we are effectively forced to compete with one hand tied behind our back,” said Eideberg.
White House Support for Manufacturing
According to the White House, enacting BIA will put important new technologies like additive manufacturing into the hands of entrepreneurs and companies across the country—raising the productivity and resilience of US manufacturers while lowering costs for American families.
The White House insists the bill will:
- Create resilient and innovative supply chains, by investing in small and medium-sized companies;
- Grow industries of the future, overcoming coordination challenges that limit the adoption of new technologies like additive manufacturing; and
- Invent and make more in America, through investments in regional manufacturing ecosystems.
President Biden has pushed hard for legislation to support US manufacturing. Last month, he traveled to Hamilton, Ohio to sell the BIA. He chose to give his remarks at a small manufacturing facility – United Performance Metals – to emphasize the legislation is not designed to benefit only the largest US manufacturers. “We know that one of the best ways to fight inflation is — to bring prices down — and bring prices down is to strengthen the resilience of our supply chains, and that includes making more things here in America, at home, from top to bottom,” said Biden.
He insisted that jobs in manufacturing are key to long-term economic health in the US. “Manufacturing jobs matter because they fuel our economic growth. They fuel exports. And, as we’ve seen, they can fuel innovation, and that is a critically — critically strong economic growth that we need.”
Status of the Manufacturing Bill
The Bipartisan Innovation Act was approved by the House of Representatives. It then moved to Senate where it was amended and passed 68-28. Specifically, the Senate voted to substitute the text of H.R. 4521, the America COMPETES Act of 2022, with the text of the Senate's U.S. Innovation and Competition of 2021. After approving the amended bill, it was sent it back to the House. It is expected to be approved in reconciliation. The effort by AEM will likely improve the bill’s chances
Eideberg of the AEM noted that the upcoming midterms offer those in manufacturing an opportunity to send a message to their representatives. “With less than seven months until the midterm elections, we are mobilizing the men and women of our industry to send a message to Congress: they must come together in a bipartisan fashion to enhance American competitiveness and empower U.S. workers and companies to succeed in domestic and international markets,” said Eideberg.
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers is the North American-based international trade group representing off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers, with more than 1,000 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture and construction-related industry sectors worldwide. The equipment manufacturing industry supports 2.8 million jobs in the U.S. Equipment manufacturers also contribute $288 billion a year to the U.S. economy.