A recent survey from the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Federation of Independent Business revealed more bad news for our struggling national economy. The survey, which was released in early October, showed that sixty seven percent of small business owners and manufacturers say there is too much uncertainty in the market today to expand, grow or hire new workers. With the manufacturing sector supporting an estimated 17 million jobs in the U.S., we must ensure that the United States is a nation in which manufacturing will continue to thrive in order to create jobs and get our economy back on track.
Taken alone, U.S. Manufacturing is larger than the entire economies of all but eight other countries in the world. That is why economic growth depends on manufacturing growth. Each manufacturing job creates nearly 3 additional jobs in other sectors of our economy. In fact, in just five states, manufacturing adds over half a trillion dollars to the U.S. economy. In order to protect and promote this vital sector of our national economy, Congress must advance legislative proposals that protect free markets and give businesses the tools they need to compete, while reducing the red tape that hampers innovation and efficiency. America manufacturing will not become more competitive by taxing and regulating more than our competitors face in other countries around the world.
Because of my record as a strong and consistent supporter of a pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda that would benefit American manufacturers and help grow our economy, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the nation's largest industrial trade association representing small and large manufacturers from across the country, recently presented me with the NAM Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence.
Not only am I keenly aware of the important role manufacturing plays in our national economy but we must acknowledge how vital the manufacturing sector is to the Virginia economy. In the Commonwealth, we have over 5,400 manufacturers employing hundreds of thousands of individuals. Manufacturing accounts for over eighty percent of Virginia's exports making it one of the most critical pieces of Virginia's economy.
I am proud to say that many hundreds of manufacturers call the Sixth Congressional District home, like Hershey Chocolate in Stuarts Draft, Merck Pharmaceutical in Elkton, Georgia Pacific near Lynchburg and Cardinal Glass in Vinton just to name a few. To highlight the important role manufactures like these and many others play in Virginia, Governor Bob McDonnell has designated this week as Manufacturing Appreciation Week.
The United States is one of the world's largest manufacturing economies. American manufacturing is innovative, productive, and efficient. With the best workers in the world and the development of cutting edge technology, American manufacturing should continue to be internationally competitive and must remain the strength of the U.S. economy.