The most recent jobs report was just the latest sign that the economy continues to plod ahead in fits and starts–but hasn’t been able to achieve “escape velocity.” So what to do about it? Here are 20 ideas that would help create manufacturing jobs, both short term and in the long run.
Why manufacturing? With a multiplier effect of $1.48 added to the economy for every $1 spent, the highest multiplier of any sector, manufacturing needs the attention of lawmakers and policymakers now. Continue reading →
From Drew Greenblatt’s latest column on Inc.com about the impact of the Indian rupee’s volatility on U.S. manufacturing:
The Indian rupee recently posted the largest single-day drop in 18 years, and some observers wonder if this will become an opportunity for western companies to purchase goods from India and other developing countries at a bargain price. Who doesn’t like a good deal, right?
That would be naïve. You can’t plan or negotiate contracts based on volatility. Our clients are in industries as diverse as telecommunications, health care, automotive and aerospace and they want tight quality, speed, on-time shipments, not drama. Chasing the worst-performing currency in a major emerging market — which also happens to be the world’s second-most populous nation and Asia’s third-biggest economy — has more downside than up. On Wednesday, the currency rebounded after a suspected government intervention, although unpredictability remained potent.
Responsible supply chain experts seek long-term relationships for a stable production of product. Countries ravaged by financial crisis, political disruption, strikes, war, terrorism or new political systems reduce the likelihood of uniform and steady flow. Components bought from India are usually a small percentage of the overall value of a finished part. Taking a chance on a small component to lose any opportunity to ship on time to a key account is not a good gambit. Continue reading →
The congressman said he was committed to helping U.S. manufacturing grow. Tax reform, tort reform and regulatory reform are all issues that need action from Congress, the group told the congressman. Continue reading →
From Drew Greenblatt’s recent column in Inc. magazine about the long-term gains to U.S. manufacturing from domestic natural gas supplies:
A weakness in the past–our dependency on energy from abroad–may soon turn into a strength. Shale gas and oil will make the United States the largest gas producer in the world in two years and energy-independent within a decade. Even more stunning, we are actually ramping up to export natural gas due to the previously unreachable supplies. It’s a dramatic turn–and one that has widespread implications for the comeback of our country’s manufacturers. Read more …
There was a great exchange between Houston-area Congressman Pete Olson and Marlin Steel President Drew Greenblatt during a joint hearing of subcommittees of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Capitol Hill yesterday.
“Mr. Greenblatt, I’m thrilled to hear about the growth of your company in Baltimore … and I’m wondering how to bring your business to Texas,” the congressman said. “I love the fact, too, that you’re exporting to China.” Continue reading →
Marlin Steel is featured in a new video from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that spotlighted three U.S. companies that are exporting to highly competitive markets such as Mexico and China.
“The thing I’m most proud about is we export to China,” Marlin Steel President Drew Greenblatt said, referring to the export trade that makes up nearly a quarter of Marlin’s business in building material handling containers from steel wire and sheet metal. “We use American labor, American robots and American steel and we export to China. We’re doing this because our equipment and our people are so top-notch that we can make a higher level of quality that you can’t get from a typical Chinese vendor. So it’s worth it for Chinese companies to buy from us in Baltimore and put it on a boat all the way to Shanghai. It makes sense because of our quality and our engineering.”
According to the chamber, more than 38 million American jobs depend on trade, and more than 97 percent of the 293,000 U.S. companies that export are small and medium-sized. Patton Electronics, a fellow Maryland company that makes telecommunications equipment, and Paulson Manufacturing, a California maker of protective equipment, were also featured in the chamber’s video. The organization has an interesting web tool that lets you measure the impact of international trade in your state, even to the level of your Congressional district.
We now have a once in a lifetime opportunity to secure a Transatlantic Partnership Agreement (TAP), a free trade agreement with the European Union, that has been a dream of U.S. manufacturers for as long as I can remember. Both the White House and Congress are supportive as is the EU itself. Even the AFL-CIO which generally opposes Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), says a pact with the EU “could” be beneficial.
My former colleagues at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) are onto the FTA in a big way, and I wish them luck. On my watch we worked hard for some 20 free trade agreements (FTAs), including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and all of them have proven to be just as beneficial as we said they would be – even more so.
But the TAP would be the mother lode of all FTAs. The European Union is the one economy in the world, taken as a whole, which is larger than our own. We already do a lot of trade with the EU of course, but an FTA would open the floodgates for a lot more mutually beneficial trade. Continue reading →