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Oral Statement for Manufacturing Hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Commerce Secretary John Bryson
Oral Statement for Manufacturing Hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade

Thank you Chairwoman Bono Mack, Ranking Member Butterfield and members of the Subcommittee. And thank you for your support of the diverse array of manufacturers in your districts and throughout the U.S.

Today, I’m pleased to provide an overview of the administration’s efforts to support manufacturing.

After a decade in which we lost nearly six million manufacturing jobs, we are now seeing positive momentum in U.S. manufacturing.  

Over the past 25 months, our manufacturers have created nearly half a million jobs–the best streak since 1995. 120,000 of those came in the past three months alone.

Last week, I saw this first-hand in Tennessee.  

For example, I saw a new, one-million-square-foot Whirlpool facility. It’s now the largest cooking-product facility of its kind in the world.

These examples are important, because manufacturing jobs tend to be high-paying jobs with good benefits for middle-class, working families.

In addition, manufacturing is key to American innovation and competitiveness.

Manufacturing accounts for 90 percent of our patents, 70 percent of private sector R&D, and 60 percent of our exports–including a record $1.3 trillion in goods exported last year.

Today, we need to build on this momentum. After all, if lose the ability to turn American ideas into American products, our innovation chains would break and we would lose our long-term capacity to compete and create jobs.  

As you have seen in my written testimony, we are focused on four key areas at the Commerce Department:

First, promoting innovation and protecting intellectual property.

Second, establishing regional manufacturing partnerships.

Third, promoting investment and trade.

And fourth, providing information and analysis on the manufacturing sector.

On a broader scale, the president has laid out a number of proposals to support U.S. manufacturing.

For example, he has proposed that we reform our corporate tax code for the first time since the 1980s. This would lower the effective rate for U.S. manufacturers to 25 percent.

Also, through the Commerce Department at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the new budget requests $1 billion for a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. This would help maximize the industry strengths in each U.S. region.

Overall, our focus at the Commerce Department is powerful and laser-sharp: Build it Here. Sell it Everywhere.

I want to close by thanking you for continuing to support a vibrant and dynamic manufacturing base.

Thank you for passing H.R. 4105, the bipartisan GPX legislation. This allows our manufacturers to challenge and seek relief from unfairly subsidized products entering our market.

Efforts such as these will help strengthen our recovery, create more jobs and ensure that American manufacturing continues to lead in the 21st century.

I am pleased now to take your questions.