Business & Lobbying

Group pushes Trump for creation of manufacturing chief

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) is calling for the creation of a chief manufacturing officer who would report directly to President Trump to ensure that manufacturing is a national priority in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

AEM is also calling for the creation of a national institute that would serve as a hub for all federal manufacturing programs and the formation of a nonpartisan National Manufacturing Council to advise the president.

Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) proposed legislation to create these entities and has been working with AEM to ensure they would utilize current program funding and personnel from existing federal manufacturing programs.  

The chief manufacturing officer would be responsible for developing and carrying out the national manufacturing strategy as an official position within the federal government.

They are pitching this idea as a more comprehensive approach to prioritize manufacturing in the long term, and it would be different from Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) approach to push Trump to name a czar to oversee the production and disbursement of medical equipment during the pandemic. 

“Between rising manufacturing costs and the industry’s growing skills gap, not to mention the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on communities across the country, it is imperative that our elected officials mobilize the full force of the federal government in support of the country’s manufacturing sector,” Dennis Slater, president of AEM, said in a press release.

Schumer also has asked for Trump to fully invoke the Defense Production Act, which the czar would oversee.

Trump formed an American Manufacturing Council, which was a group of chief executives to advise him on domestic manufacturing, but it was disbanded in August 2017. Andrew Liveris, CEO of Dow Chemical Company, lead the council.

“President Trump created the American Manufacturing Council (in January 2017) to advise him on domestic manufacturing initiatives,” Kip Eideberg, AEM senior vice president of government and industry relations, told The Hill.

“It was disbanded in August 2017. Before that, President Obama had created the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. We are urging President Trump to create a National Manufacturing Council as part of the national strategy on manufacturing so that he once again can receive a broad range of input from manufacturers regarding industry needs and suggestions for improving federal policies on manufacturing.” 

Tags AEM Charles Schumer Donald Trump Gary Peters Manufacturing

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