By: David N. Taylor, President and Carl A. Marrara, Vice President Of Government Affairs
Pennsylvania welcomed the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) “State of Manufacturing” tour at GlaxoSmithKline headquartered in the newly revitalized Navy Yard in Philadelphia. Jay Timmons, President & CEO of the NAM, spoke of Pennsylvania’s rich and rooted manufacturing history and reminded us how the sector is rapidly reinventing itself once again.
In past centuries, timber and steel drove Pennsylvania’s economy to a pinnacle that set the standard for the rest of the world. Those precious woods and metals served as the building blocks for all of America; they were the materials that finished products made out of. Buildings, bridges, interstates, homes, cars, and other valuable goods multiplied in value, propelling our economy to unseen heights, enhancing Pennsylvania’s prosperity. Believe it or not, we have that opportunity once again.
As Mr. Timmons said in his remarks, “…with our abundance of diverse resources, the United States has the potential to chart an energy future that raises the standard of living for all.” Affordable and reliable energy in our commonwealth provides the lifeblood that manufacturers need to be successful. However, there’s far more to the story than these fuels being used for just sources of energy.
Propylene, ethylene, and butylene are all produced using the byproducts that come from natural gas. These “enes” are the feedstock for all of modern manufacturing. Every product comprised of plastics, solvents, coatings, rubbers, or waxes comes from our abundant supply of natural gas. Additionally, these components are used in medications, creams, cosmetics, and other life science industries that improve our lives daily. Nearly every product that our hands touch is made from these precious commodities. Once again, Pennsylvania has an opportunity to supply the world with the building blocks of modern manufacturing, exponentially multiplying our economic growth potential.
Mr. Timmons did however recognize the challenges that manufacturers face in our modern economy. High taxes, unfavorable regulatory environments, and barriers to infrastructure – including needed pipeline infrastructure – are obstacles that must be overcome. He stated, “Every day across this country, manufacturers go to work, competing to win. New technologies, affordable energy and world-leading productivity have given the United States a competitive advantage in the global marketplace. But obstacles are still in the way of forging an economy that lives up to our people—and to the potential we can unleash.”
We at the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association were proud to stand next to our allies at NAM in advocating for a pro-growth, pro-job, pro-prosperity policy agenda. This is a unique and defining moment in our commonwealth and it’s up to us to all lend our voices in advocating for a robust industrial sector – one that innovates, one that breaks boundaries, and one that continues to reinvent itself again.