Summit calls for support of U.S. manufacturing

Manufacturers met in Detroit to call for pro-business government policies.
Manufacturers met in Detroit to call for pro-business government policies.
It's not just the auto industry that's hurting. Executives from U.S. financial and manufacturing companies at a summit gathering in Detroit today called on policymakers to help manufacturers recover through adoption of pro-industry policies and regulations.

The leaders participating in the Manufacturing Competitiveness Town Hall at the National Summit in Detroit, which included makers of everything from heavy machinery such as farm equipment to producers of high-tech products, said that economic growth requires keeping the U.S. as a manufacturing leader.

John Engler, president of National Association of Manufacturers, said the U.S. remains the world's largest manufacturing nation, accounting for more than 19.5 percent of global manufacturing output - producing goods worth $1.6 trillion in 2007.

Engler said the federal government needs to consider the long-term impact that increasing costs, adding new regulations, raising taxes and expanding litigation would have on America's future economic competitiveness.

Although manufacturing jobs have been outsourced abroad over several decades, the panelists at the summit agreed it is important to ensure the departure means globalizing the supply chain, not giving it up.

"We think competitiveness should be the starting point for the debate in Washington," Engler said. "Policymakers must consider a comprehensive energy policy, a pro-growth tax system, strengthened innovation, expanded trade and reasonable labor policies."