House passes bill to form panel to improve US manufacturing

Two Ohio-based manufacturing industry groups Thursday applauded the U.S. House of Representatives for passing a bipartisan bill aimed at forming a 15-member panel to study the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing and make recommendations to the president and Congress.

The panel’s charge is to conduct an in-depth analysis of the nation’s manufacturing sector, U.S. policy, and the policies of competing nations to determine how the U.S. attracts and supports manufacturing operations over the long term. The analysis should produce a draft national competitiveness strategy to be approved by the president by April 2014, with a follow-up strategy due in 2018.

The National Tooling and Machining Association, based in Cleveland, and the Precision Metalforming Association, based in Independence, supported the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act, which passed in a 339-77 vote and now moves to the Senate. The legislation was co-sponsored by Illinois Reps. Dan Lipinski, a Democrat, and    Adam Kinzinger, a Republican.

“It is more important than ever that the government develop an industrial strategy to build and grow a sustainable U.S. manufacturing sector that can protect our national security and strengthen our economy,” said Dave Tilstone, president of the tooling and machining association.

“After a decade that saw Washington turn its back on manufacturing even as other countries sought to give their manufacturers every advantage, we need a national strategy that unleashes this vital sector of the American economy,” Lipinski said.

Kinzinger cited a World Economic Forum report that said the United States has fallen from No. 1 to No. 7 in global competitiveness. “Today’s passage of the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Acts changes that. We sit on the brink of a manufacturing renaissance,” Kinzinger said.

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