President Obama Delivers State of the Union Address, Highlights Infrastructure Investment and Trade
WASHINGTON, Jan. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) President Dennis Slater issued the following statement:
"Last night's State of the Union address from President Obama repeated many of the themes we've heard over the past several years. The President highlighted the growing manufacturing sector and stressed the need for more manufacturing jobs.
"But where he touched on the importance of infrastructure and trade in order to help the manufacturing industry grow, President Obama did not go far enough to offer the necessary solutions to the challenges we face.
"I appreciate the President's frustration with Congress and their inability to get important work done. But now more than ever, American manufacturers and workers are depending on them in order to continue to operate and grow in the United States. And some of the equipment manufacturers' most important priorities this year depend on a bipartisan effort.
"The federal highway bill is set to expire this year. Congress and the Obama Administration must work together to pass a long-term bill to provide much needed infrastructure investment in order for our country to stay competitive on the global scale. Streamlining the permitting process is helpful, but will ultimately mean nothing without the increased investment our infrastructure system so desperately needs.
"We appreciate President Obama acknowledging the need for an updated Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) in order to establish negotiating objectives and preserve Congress' authority to approve trade agreements. Concluding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are also crucial steps towards strengthening U.S. manufacturers' ability to compete in world markets. We hope to see those completed without delay.
"There are several other areas – like developing a strong domestic energy program – that Congress and the President must work together to keep our economy growing, but these are simple steps they can take now, to put us on the right path. I look forward to the next State of the Union where we can highlight results of hard work and bipartisanship this year."
About the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) - www.aem.org
AEM is the North American-based international trade group providing innovative business development resources to advance the off-road equipment manufacturing industry in the global marketplace. AEM membership comprises more than 850 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture, construction, forestry, mining and utility sectors worldwide. AEM is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with offices in the world capitals of Washington, D.C.: Ottawa, Canada; and Beijing, China.
Sara Sendek, AEM
SOURCE Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM)