CEOs Discuss Manufacturings Future at White House

Jan. 7, 2010
Bidens task force discusses ideas, assures $5 billion additional funding for clean energy manufacturing.

A dozen chief executives from U.S. industry recently met with Vice President Joe Biden at the White House to discuss ways in which to recharge the countrys struggling manufacturing sector.

The meeting, which took place on Dec. 16, included Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, and Lawrence Summers, director of the White House National Economic Council, along with the CEOs of Dow Corning, Harley-Davidson, Spirit Aerosystems, Procter & Gamble, Honeywell, and Goodyear, among others.

The meeting established a forum for manufacturing representatives to convey their ideas on what the government can do to support growth and revitalization of U.S. manufacturing, said Dan Janka, CEO for MAG, who participated in the meeting. Our most pressing interests are extension of the current R&D tax credit and the 50% bonus depreciation for capital spending on equipment and plant infrastructure. Government can also encourage innovation through Federal manufacturing R&D programs. In addition, we emphasized the urgent need for reform of U.S. export controls and business VISA requirements.

Biden signaled that the administration would support up to $5 billion in additional funding for clean energy manufacturing. That increase would more than triple the funding of the Recovery Acts Section 48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit.

The program covers a number of clean energy technologies, providing a 30% tax credit for investments in factories that manufacture products used in clean energy technology.

American manufacturing plays a vital role in our society and economy, said Vice President Biden. It was instrumental in building our middle class and we must work with the industry to retool to remain competitive for the economy of the future.

Also outlined in the 33-page Framework for Revitalizing American Manufacturing released by Biden's office are initiatives designed to make college and job training programs more affordable, promote exports and increase research and development funding.

The meeting included the CEOs of Nucor Corp., International Paper, Bridgewater Interiors, McGregor Metalworking, and Mohawk Electrical Systems.

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