CLEVELAND—Manufacturing has an outsized effect on the nation's economy, but that also means the industry bears a disproportionate share of the burden when it comes to government regulations, Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, told the City Club of Cleveland on Feb. 6.
“Just think how many more Ohioans that manufacturers in this state could employ—how much more these manufacturers could contribute to Ohio's economy and the American economy—if they didn't have to worry about running into such a tall and wide regulatory wall,” Timmons said.
Timmons touched on how the government's proposed greenhouse gas regulation could affect manufacturers and shared other areas of concern, from tax rates in the United States to the need for free and fair trade, in his “State of Manufacturing” address.
The event was one of 10 currently scheduled in the nationwide tour the Washington, D.C.-based organization launched this week. He also spoke of concerns about the aging infrastructure across the country and called for an energy policy that incentivizes innovation instead of inhibiting it.
Timmons, who is from Ohio, had plenty of local references peppered throughout his speech, from his daughter's pride in the Ohio State Buckeyes to the Cleveland Cavaliers' win Thursday night against the Los Angeles Clippers. He also stressed the importance of manufacturing to the state, noting the fact that Ohio's manufacturers are responsible for 18 percent of the state's output.
He told the crowd that his family had firsthand experience of the importance of manufacturing, mentioning his grandfather who left the family farm to wait for the chance at a job at a paper plant in Chillicothe.
Timmons wrapped up his speech with a call to action.
“When the world needs America to help make it out of a rough patch, well, it's manufacturers in the United States who make the things that make that happen,” Timmons said near the end of his speech. “They're the ones who can make anything possible. But here's the takeaway for today: This does not happen on its own.”