Thursday, August 12th, 2010
Yesterday I went to the White House to celebrate a hard-earned victory for job creation and the competitive hopes of American plastics manufacturers. I felt a real sense of pride and progress as I sat in the East Room and watched President Barack Obama formally sign the Manufacturing Enhancement Act of 2010 into law.
I was honored to be at the signing ceremony because SPI’s advocacy team, aided by our dedicated members, worked tirelessly for more than two years to strongly encourage Congress to pass the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (H.R. 4380). The legislation renews a number of expired tariff measures and reduces duties on manufacturing materials (including several essential to the plastics industry) that are not produced domestically, thus lowering costs for U.S. manufacturers. The bill, now formally named the Manufacturing Enhancement Act of 2010, was approved by both the U.S. House and Senate in late July.
While this one law won’t sweep away all of the challenges our industry currently faces, it marks real progress toward leveling the playing field for U.S. plastics manufacturers competing in the global marketplace. It will cut the cost of doing business for SPI members and the entire U.S. plastics industry. Free from the burden of tariffs on manufacturing inputs not produced in the U.S., plastics companies will find it less challenging to maintain or increase their current workforce, spur investments and eventually help turn the tide in the nation’s economic recovery.
Signing ceremonies like this are the end result of a long advocacy process that involves being engaged with Congress from the start and making sure our industry’s collective voice is heard. On September 15th our industry will have another opportunity to engage with Congress and have our voices heard — in face-to-face meetings on Capitol Hill.
On September 15th SPI members from across the country will gather in Washington, D.C. for an organized day of meetings with their elected representatives that will be followed by a reception. By taking the time to visit with lawmakers, we have an opportunity to educate them about the key policy issues that are challenging our companies – from energy to TSCA to R&D Tax Credits to a host of international trade concerns and more. Having just returned from their summer recess, legislators will be busy moving on these issues before the rapidly-approaching mid-term elections.
September 15th will be an excellent time for our industry to tell our story, remind Congress that the third largest manufacturing sector is critical to revitalizing the nation’s economy, and plant seeds so that we can celebrate more legislative victories (and signing ceremonies!) in the future.