National Association of Manufacturers issued this statement following President Obama' State of the Union address:
"Manufacturers understand all too well the realities of an increasingly competitive global marketplace, and we are pleased to see President Obama begin the discussion on how to address this critical issue. The President's comments on increasing our exports, opening new markets and passing pending free trade agreements are all important elements to achieving job creation, economic growth and competitiveness.
However, to unleash the power of innovation, we cannot continue to place costly, unnecessary burdens on businesses and put them on an uneven playing field with our global competitors. This stifles job creation and economic growth. We also cannot pick winners and losers and pit industry sectors against each other in order to achieve our goals. To enhance our competitiveness, businesses cannot continue to be faced with higher energy costs, higher taxes and government overregulation.
Despite the fact that manufacturing continues to drive our economic recovery, the industry has been hit hard with the loss of close to 6 million jobs over the last 10 years and an unemployment rate that remains well over 9%. All of this needs to change if we are serious about our competitiveness and our commitment to manufacturing -- which is a vital component of job creation and an engine for our nations economic growth and future.
Manufacturers have put forth our ideas in our 'Manufacturing Strategy for Jobs and a Competitive America.' This comprehensive strategy will make us the best country to headquarter a business, the best country to do the bulk of our research and development, and a great place to manufacture and serve as an export platform to the world. We believe this is the right path forward, and we will continue to encourage the Administration and Congress to enact the proposals outlined in this strategy. The United States remains the largest manufacturing economy, but there is much at stake. Manufacturers look forward to playing a vital role in this discussion."