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April 8, 2004
Source: National Association of Manufacturers

Tax Policies, Training and Legal Reforms Seen As Key

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 21, 2004 - “President Bush’s focus on manufacturing and the need to keep America competitive in his State of the Union address last night was well received by our members,” said Michael Baroody, executive vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers. “Together with the Department of Commerce report issued last Friday, his comments make it clear this administration is committed to a strong manufacturing sector.”

Baroody said he was especially impressed by the President’s commitment to promote “free and fair trade” and “to open up new markets” for America’s manufacturers. “This administration has taken a strong stand against unfair trade practices, and has helped nudge the dollar back toward historical levels,” Baroody said. “We are seeing a resurgence in U.S. exports that have been seriously dampened in recent years. This is a good omen for the economy in the New Year.

“We also strongly support the President’s call to make permanent the tax relief enacted in the past few years,” Baroody said. “We are seeing the positive effects of the President’s tax cuts reflected in data that show solid economic growth throughout the economy. But the temporary nature of the tax relief weakens the positive effect of the tax law changes on economic growth and complicates tax planning.”

NAM President Jerry Jasinowski said the President’s focus on worker training reflects growing recognition of a serious challenge. “A generation of older manufacturing workers will soon retire from the work force, and there are few replacements in the pipeline,” Jasinowski said. “Too many of our young people are ill-prepared for jobs in today’s high-tech manufacturing. The NAM’s Center for Workforce Success was created to help employers and communities deal with this problem. The new focus on math and science suggested by the President is long overdue, as is his recognition of the important role of community colleges in preparing our young people for real jobs in today’s economy. The NAM will work with the Bush Administration to lay the groundwork for more effective education and training to meet the needs of the new century.”

The National Association of Manufacturers is the nation’s largest industrial trade association. The NAM represents 14,000 members (including 10,000 small and mid-sized companies) and 350 member associations serving manufacturers and employees in every industrial sector and all 50 states. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the NAM has 10 additional offices across the country.

Be sure to visit our award-winning web site at www.nam.org for more information about legislative, policy and workplace developments affecting manufacturers, employees and the economy.