Congressman Chris Lee (NY-26) today announced a forward-looking 5-point jobs plan to strengthen manufacturing in Western New York and create good-paying jobs for the long term. Congressman Lee unveiled his "Manufacturing for Tomorrow" agenda after speaking to the Rochester Rotary Club.
Before running for Congress two years ago, Congressman Lee helped build a successful manufacturing business and created good jobs throughout Western New York. Since coming to Congress he has traveled extensively throughout Western New York meeting with manufacturing workers and identifying ways to support job creation and economic growth.
"We cannot have a strong economy that creates jobs without a strong manufacturing sector," Congressman Lee said. "People are tired of politicians talking about bringing manufacturing back and then doing nothing. Our domestic manufacturers are fighting on an uneven playing field with their foreign competitors, whether that be paying higher tax rates or fighting against Chinese currency manipulation. My "Manufacturing for Tomorrow' 5-point jobs plan will enable U.S. manufacturers and small businesses to compete against foreign competition and create good jobs here at home."
Western New York has lost more than 73,000 manufacturing jobs in the last decade, and more than 272,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost across the entire state since 2000, according to the Public Policy Institute of New York State.
Congressman Lee discussed how current economic policies have ham-strung domestic manufacturers and small businesses. For example, while America's corporate tax rate for manufacturers remains the second-highest in the world at nearly 40 percent, the average rate for the top 30 major industrial countries has fallen over the last decade to 23.6 percent in 2009.
"We cannot expect to create jobs here at home when we tie our own hands behind our backs. Our foreign competitors plan for economic growth over the next generation. We plan year-to-year and election-to-election. We must look over the horizon if we are to create jobs for the long-term, and the "Manufacturing for Tomorrow'5-point jobs plan is a forward thinking agenda to strengthen our long-term economic outlook," Lee said.
Congressman Lee's "Manufacturing for Tomorrow" agenda takes a multi-pronged approach to solving America's jobs crisis and strengthening manufacturing in Western New York. Putting our economy back on the right track will require an innovative, thoughtful and long-term approach to make America competitive again. Congressman Lee's 5-point jobs plan includes (1) a more competitive tax code, (2) improved education and training in engineering fields, (3) liability reform to curb job-killing lawsuit abuse, (4) ending customs red-tape and (5) creating U.S. jobs and expanding American-made exports through free and fair trade.
"The Rochester region has deep, historical roots in manufacturing, which despite major job losses over the last decade is still a vital and significant sector of our community's economy," said Sandy Parker, president and CEO of the Rochester Business Alliance, the regional chamber of commerce. "It is essential for our region's future that we support efforts to help manufacturers prosper and grow. We applaud the ideas put forth by Congressman Lee, particularly the need to improve the tax environment, better prepare the work force and open new markets for our manufacturers' products."
Specific policy reforms in Lee's "Manufacturing for Tomorrow" 5-point jobs plan include:
Tax relief and fairness for U.S. workers and manufacturers
* Lowering the corporate rate to 25% will increase productivity domestically and stimulate significant economic growth.
* Increase and make permanent the research and development tax credit, with a bonus credit for work done in the United States.
Education and workforce training and preparedness for the 21st century
* Create the U.S. STEM Manufacturing Student Loan Forgiveness Program to encourage students to enter science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields
* Extend Employer-Provided Educational Assistance (Section 127) to help U.S. works stay on the cutting edge of innovation in manufacturing
Tort reform to address job-killing lawsuit abuse
* Make "loser-pays" the policy in product liability suits to protect injured victims and ensure our tort system seeks justice, not profits
* Cap punitive damages and institute reasonable statutes of limitation to curb lawsuit abuse
Customs reform to stop intellectual property violations
* Enhance enforcement capabilities of Customs and Border Patrol to stop the flow of pirated goods into the United States
* Streamline U.S. International Trade Commission complains to adjudicate intellectual property infringements in a more timely manner
Open new markets to create U.S. jobs and grow our domestic manufacturing base
* Support pending, Obama-backed trade agreements to create American jobs and open new markets for American products
* Strengthen Manufacturing Extension Partnership programs to help small manufacturers grow and compete globally
For more information on Congressman Chris Lee's "Manufacturing for Tomorrow" agenda, please visit www.chrislee.house.gov/manufacturing.