Making tax reform and other issues more accessible to American manufacturers is at the forefront of U.S. Rep. Tom Reed's mind.
Reed, R-Corning, held a meeting of the Manufacturing Advisory Board on Thursday to hear directly from front-line manufacturers in the area and discuss current and future legislative initiatives. The primary focus of the meeting, according to Reed, was to speak to many of the area's front-line manufacturers and key stakeholders in the manufacturing cycle, such as Jamestown Community College, and see from their perspective what the top issues are that we can be addressed in Washington, D.C.
"We're trying to figure out how we can get American manufacturing in the spot that we all want it to be," said Reed. "And that is to build products here, on American soil."
U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R- Corning, held a meeting of the Manufacturing Advisory Board on Thursday to hear directly from front-line manufacturers in the area and discuss current and future legislative initiatives.
P-J photos by Ryan Atkins
During the meeting, members spoke at length about topics including energy and energy development, along with the opportunities that are associated with that when it comes to things like the natural gas industry in the U.S., and how that's putting U.S. manufacturing in a competitive position worldwide.
"This meeting wasn't just about jobs and manufacturing opportunities," said Reed. "It's the power generation that comes off of that, which lowers costs and makes America competitive. That cost savings is why companies are now choosing to invest in America instead of places like China. To me, that's positive news, and I want to be part of the movement to foster that positive development."
It's a continuation of the promotion of that energy resource and the development of that resource that Reed is looking for in the future.
"We're making sure that people have access to all of the science and data on the development of our energy resources," said Reed. "We all agree that it has to be done safely and responsibly, and with respect to our environment. I think that's a key component of the conversation going forward."
Additionally, Reed and others in attendance at Thursday's meeting addressed the topic of tax reform, both for corporate and individual matters. The general consensus at the meeting was that tax codes need to be simplified and reformed to be fair and pro-growth.
"In regard to the research and development tax credit, for example, to reward people that are making the investments in America by being the innovators and the people creating the next generation of products out there, we need to find out how to do that in a way that is simple, fair and promotes that economic growth," said Reed.
Another common theme during the discussions focused on the uncertainty of what legislative action is being taken in Washington, D.C., and how that uncertainty is hurting American manufacturing.
"These manufacturers just want to know what the rules are, whether it's tax reform, energy development, energy costs - it all goes back to that uncertainty and the businesses not having the ability to know what the rules are," said Reed. "When they deploy those cash resources that they worked so hard to create, they want to know what the rules are, and what the likelihood of the investment is going to be, rather than being concerned with ever increasing debt."
The meeting was held at the headquarters of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and the Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier, located at 512 Falconer St.
"When you see the operations going on here with the partnerships between the community college and the local manufacturers, to me, this is what we need more of," said Reed. "We promised that we would bring this back to the manufacturing caucus that I co-chair on a bipartisan basis. We wanted to see what they were doing here that was right, and we want to see how we can duplicate that across the nation. These people had some fantastic ideas to take back to Washington."