CHICAGO — The Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) supports the efforts of Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) who introduced the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2012, H.R. 5865, requiring the development of a national strategy to revitalize American manufacturing. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill on September 13 with a 339-77 vote; the Senate is set to vote on it later this year.

“AME is in full support of The American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act because we believe in its mission to publicly collaborate and put forth a strategy to promote growth and competitiveness in the manufacturing sector,” explained Paul Kuchuris, AME President. “Doing so will enable innovation and investment as well as create the well-paid, stable jobs that the industry has been craving. It is critical that we work together to generate growth in United States manufacturing.”

According to the AME, a coordinated manufacturing policy will help create the best possible environment for the private sector to take advantage of these opportunities and grow domestic manufacturing. Despite job losses and outsourcing, American manufacturers remain the world’s most productive, employing 11 million people and producing $1.7 trillion annually. With labor costs rising in China and cheap natural gas available here at home, many companies are considering locating factories in the United States.

Kuchuris believes this bill will help American manufacturing. “It is designed to bring consistency and collaboration to a destabilized industry. We know that kind of leadership works; it’s the foundation of our operating principles – to work together to get things done. So strategically, we are in favor of this effort to apply collaboration, accountability and structure to a problem in order to find a solution.” 

H.R. 5865 creates a bipartisan Manufacturing Competitiveness Board consisting of 15 members, five appointed by the President, and 10 from the private sector appointed by the House and Senate, with the majority appointing three and the minority two in each chamber.

The bipartisan Manufacturing Competitiveness Board will conduct a comprehensive analysis of the U.S. and global manufacturing sectors, covering everything from trade issues to taxation, regulation, research, education and new technologies. Based on this analysis, it will develop a strategy that includes goals and specific recommendations for achieving these goals. The first strategy is due in 2014 and the second in 2018. This quadrennial strategic approach is modeled on the Defense Department’s policy planning effort, the Quadrennial Defense Review.