NAFTA renegotiation must be to strengthen US…

NAFTA renegotiation must be to strengthen US…

Dec 7, 2017

“NAFTA renegotiation must be to strengthen US manufacturing competitiveness” By Steve Handschuh and Cody Lusk, The Hill Some might assume that, from an automotive industry perspective, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is a “Michigan automaker issue.” But in fact, the positive impacts of NAFTA in the automotive industry touch every state — and just about every neighborhood — in the U.S. Motor vehicle parts manufacturing facilities are located across the country and directly employ more than 871,000 Americans. Of course, many are in or near Michigan, but tens of thousands of motor vehicle parts manufacturing jobs are in states like Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama and Illinois. Nearly 32,000 motor vehicle parts manufacturing jobs are in California — and that number does not include the fast-growing automotive technology industry that has swept through Silicon Valley and beyond. Just think about automated and autonomous vehicles, smart cities and grid capabilities enabled by vehicle-to-infrastructure communications and vehicle-to-vehicle communications — these current and emerging technologies are motor vehicle parts revolutionizing how we use motor vehicles. NAFTA has made these innovations and job growth possible. Americans learn about and access these incredible technologies in new cars at their neighborhood auto dealership. Last year, 16,708 auto dealers operated in every corner of the United States, providing 1,131,900 well-paid American jobs ranging from supervisors to salespeople to technicians, all while selling a record 17.4 million light vehicles. That’s 2 million more vehicles than were sold the year before NAFTA went into effect. Dealers in all 50 states deliver an important service to their communities, offering a wide variety of competitively priced vehicles and developing strong relationships with their customers, an important factor in effectively executing safety recalls and ensuring that the vehicles on our roads are properly serviced. From parts manufacturers to community dealer showrooms, a free trade environment and an open supply chain have kept the cost of automobiles down while giving the consumer access to safety and other technologies that save lives, reduce emissions, ease traffic congestion and improve quality of life. That is why keeping NAFTA intact is so important and why we are part of the Driving American Jobs community of auto trade associations, manufacturers,...

Making Manufacturing Great Again Would Add $530 Billion…

Making Manufacturing Great Again Would Add $530 Billion…

Nov 28, 2017

“Making Manufacturing Great Again Would Add $530 Billion to GDP” By Andrew Soergel, Economy Reporter, U.S. News  A new report suggests investments in today’s manufacturing operations could carry hundreds of billions of dollars in economic payoffs. The U.S. manufacturing sector has weathered a bumpy road over the course of the past two decades – but successfully righting the country’s industrial ship would mean an economic windfall of $530 billion, according to a new report from The McKinsey Global Institute. McKinsey put out a lengthy report last week profiling the past several years of U.S. manufacturing malaise – noting that only a few sectors, like “pharmaceuticals, electronics and aerospace” have emerged relatively unscathed. “Some industries staged a modest demand-driven recovery between 2010 and 2015. But growth in overall U.S. manufacturing output has been slowing for two decades, with little net increase during the most recent decade,” the report said. “Today there are roughly 25 percent fewer U.S. manufacturing firms and plants than there were in 1997, reflecting not only closures but also fewer manufacturing startups. Along the way, the sector has shed roughly one-third of its jobs.” The sector’s decline has been bad news for America’s international standing, as “low-cost contract manufacturers in locations such as Mexico, China, Vietnam and Bangladesh” gained market share. It’s also contributed to an erosion of the U.S. middle class, eaten away at economic growth and – along with a rise in automation – contributed to significant job losses. There were more than 5 million fewer manufacturing workers in the U.S. last month than there were 20 years prior in October 1997, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Smaller manufacturers, in particular, have suffered, while larger operations have in many cases managed to navigate the complicated international industrial waters. “Many Americans long for a return to the glory days of the 1960s and ’70s, when manufacturing jobs were the bedrock of the middle class and the United States led the world in industrial output,” the study said, in some ways reminiscent of President Donald Trump’s call to restore manufacturing’s prominent role in the economy. The report makes no reference to Trump or his call for a manufacturing renaissance. But...

Q&A: What The GOP Tax Plan Means For Distributors…

Q&A: What The GOP Tax Plan Means For Distributors…

Nov 6, 2017

“Q&A: What The GOP Tax Plan Means For Distributors & Manufacturers” By Mike Hockett, Manufacturing.net In late September, President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans unveiled an outline of a proposed tax plan that Trump has boasted as the largest in U.S. history. On Sept. 29, Trump provided the broad strokes of that plan in a speech to the National Association of Manufacturers in Washington D.C., with the $6 trillion plan including significant tax cuts for corporations, simplified tax brackets and nearly double the standard deduction used by most tax filers. However, the finer details of the plan are still largely unknown by the general public. Aside from a 2015-2016 industrial recession, industrial distributors and suppliers have often cited tax burdens and regulations as hurdles to business growth, so those companies would be wise to keep tabs on what a new tax plan would involve for them. ID recently spoke with Jim Brandenburg, Tax Partner at Sikich LLP, about what Trump’s tax plan means for manufacturing, especially for distributors. Brandenburg’s extensive knowledge of tax legislation and experience working with distributors and manufacturers give him a unique perspective discussing current tax impacts and what future implications could be of the proposed tax plan. ID: From what you’re hearing, what are distributors and manufacturers’ biggest criticisms/pain points with the current tax structure/regulations? Jim Brandenburg: High tax rates and uncertainty regarding tax policy and various tax provisions are ongoing pain points for manufacturers and distributors. Uncertainty stems from the fact that many benefits that enable a company to reduce their annual tax burden are not permanent, which hinders a company’s ability to plan too far into the future. For example, under current law, bonus depreciation, which allows companies to immediately deduct the cost of newly purchased assets (e.g., machinery and equipment), is set to be reduced in 2018, reduced again in 2019 and then expire in 2020.  The tax reform debate creates additional uncertainty and leaves companies in a holding pattern as they wait and see whether any legislation will pass at all and, if so, what form the final legislation will take. However, manufacturers and distributors have long sought lower tax rates and would welcome the decrease in the corporate and small business pass-through...

U.S. Reshoring: A Collaborative Challenge

U.S. Reshoring: A Collaborative Challenge

Oct 23, 2017

Feature in Design-2-Part Magazine Manufacturing Experts Answer 5 Questions on How to Turn the Tide FAIRPORT HARBOR, Ohio—North America’s $137 billion metalforming industry is driven by the production of myriad precision metal products using stamping, fabricating, spinning, slide forming, and roll forming technologies, as well as vital value-added processes. In recent decades, approximately 3-to-4 million U.S. manufacturing jobs were lost to offshoring. The tide seems to be turning modestly in recent years as companies return U.S. production, or sourcing, from offshore. In comparison to 2000-2003, when the United States lost about 220,000 manufacturing jobs per year (net) to offshoring, 2016 achieved a net gain of 27,000. Progressively bridging this gap presents huge collaborative opportunities and challenges for all manufacturers, associations, employees, communities, and the U.S. government itself. The following Q&A explores factors that are key to the collective goal of gaining momentum in successfully returning the manufacturing of parts and products to the United States from offshore. Authors of the Q&A are two men with a vested interest in the subject of reshoring: John Stoneback, president of JM Performance Products, Inc., of Fairport Harbor, Ohio; and Harry Moser, president of the Reshoring Initiative, based in Kildeer, Illinois. JM Performance Products, Inc. has been manufacturing CNC mill spindle optimization products since 2009. The company’s Patented High Torque Retention Knobs overcome a critical “loose-tool” design flaw inherent in CNC v-flange tooling that was responsible for costly, industry-wide issues with CNC milling and boring that negatively impacted production costs, cycle time, and tooling costs. An essential element of the patented design is a knob that is longer and reaches a little deeper into the holder’s threaded bore. As a result, all thread engagement occurs in a region of the tool holder where the diameter is large, and where there is correspondingly more material to resist deformation. The Reshoring Initiative, founded in early 2010, takes action by helping manufacturers realize that local production, in many cases, reduces their total cost of ownership of purchased parts and tooling. The Reshoring Initiative also trains suppliers in how to effectively meet the needs of their local customers, giving suppliers the tools to sell against lower priced offshore competitors. The Initiative is...

Hankook Tire opens its first US manufacturing plant

Hankook Tire opens its first US manufacturing plant

Oct 19, 2017

By Traction News Staff Hankook Tire held its grand opening ceremony for its first manufacturing facility in the U.S., underscoring its commitment to technology, innovation and growth in North America. The development of the Tennessee Plant is integral to Hankook’s strategic vision of becoming a top-tier tire brand, while providing high-quality, made-in-USA products to its customers. The grand opening celebration took place at the facility in Clarksville, Tenn., and was attended by State of Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, United States Representative Marsha Blackburn, Korean Consul General Seong-jin Kim, and several other prominent state and local officials. The Tennessee Plant is Hankook’s eighth plant worldwide and joins a global footprint of state-of-the-art manufacturing that serves customers globally. The plant’s first phase will produce 5.5 million units annually, enabling Hankook to more efficiently provide tire dealers and consumers with high-quality tires and industry-leading services to meet the demands of the American market, while supporting existing and future Original Equipment (OE) partners. The plant has already brought nearly 1,000 jobs to the local economy, a total that is expected to climb to 1,800 as infrastructure expands. In addition, Hankook moved its American headquarters to Nashville last year and has hired more than 100 local employees to oversee operations there. “The new Tennessee Plant signifies Hankook Tire’s growing business in the United States and continued journey toward being a global leader in the tire industry,” said Seung Hwa Suh, Global CEO of Hankook Tire. “Our investment in the U.S. is part of our ongoing commitment to innovation, state-of-the-art technology and service for our customers. This high-tech, sustainable facility will enable Hankook to execute every phase of business in the U.S., from R&D to production and sales.” Hankook incorporated sustainable design and construction practices into development of the 1.5 million square foot facility, which sits on 469 acres. Leveraging top-tier technology and highly automated processes, the Tennessee Plant will produce Passenger Car Radial (PCR) and Light Truck Radial (LTR) tires from Hankook’s extensive North American lineup, including the KINERGY PT, a premium touring all-season tire and Hankook’s first tire made in the U.S. “Hankook Tire’s new plant brings tremendous economic growth and opportunity for Tennesseans,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam....