GOP tax bill a win for US manufacturers

GOP tax bill a win for US manufacturers
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As a small manufacturer in Baltimore, Maryland, I measure my business’s success not just in sales made and orders shipped but also in lives changed. How many people — employees, families, community members — have I helped secure good, middle-class lives? That’s what really drives me every single day.

If the tax bill proposed by the House of Representatives becomes law, I know that my business, Marlin Steel Wire Products, will be more successful by all those measures.


In fact, I am so confident that tax reform will take us to new heights that earlier this year, I already invested more than $1 million in new machines, which will empower us to bring on new employees and serve more customers.


Our company may be small, but our reach is global. We sell to people all around the world, and nothing makes me prouder than thinking about a customer in another country opening up a Marlin Steel box marked “Made in the USA,” filled with wire products manufactured and packed by talented workers right here in Baltimore.

I am confident that tax reform will make us more competitive, allow us to grow and sell even more of our products to customers across America and around the world.

Now, the current draft bill may not have everything I hoped it would. The legislation may not be perfect; legislation rarely is. There is still time for the House, as well as the Senate, to make some improvements. But if I have to choose between the tax system we have today and the tax system we would have under this bill, that’s an easy choice.

Under the new plan, my small business will have more workers, my employees will see better paychecks and have more chances to save for retirement, and we’ll be able to create new opportunities for a community that needs more hope and confidence in the future. 

When you add it all up, the bill provides nearly a half-trillion dollars of tax relief for small businesses over the next decade. That’s huge. Importantly, it keeps tax credits for research and development and allows manufacturers, for example, to expense much-needed investments in new equipment, which allow us to hire and grow.

The last time our elected leaders succeeded in delivering bold tax reform was 1986, under President Ronald Reagan. We’ve been waiting 31 years for an opportunity like this to come along. Personally, I’ve had the chance to meet with President Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSanders: Reinstating SALT deduction 'sends a terrible, terrible message' GOP braces for wild week with momentous vote One quick asylum fix: How Garland can help domestic violence survivors MORE and with leaders on Capitol Hill.

I’ve told them all: We need tax reform that gives relief to all businesses — large and small — and we don’t want to wait any longer. It is so encouraging to know they have listened.

But I’m far from the only manufacturer who is optimistic about our future and the promise of tax reform. Every quarter, the National Association of Manufacturers fields a survey of its members. For the past three quarters, manufacturers’ confidence in their businesses’ futures has soared.

In fact, the three-quarter average is at a record high in the 20-year history of the survey. The majority of respondents— 64 percent — say they would expand their businesses when tax reform is enacted. In addition, 57 percent say they would hire more workers, and 52 percent report they would increase wages and benefits. 

What are we waiting for? Right now, Americans have a choice: We can get hung up on isolated concerns about the tax bill and stick with the outdated system we have now for another three decades while the rest of the world leaves us behind.

Or, we can press forward for bold reform, knowing that as a country, we will be better off when businesses are growing and more people are able to secure their spot in the middle class.

That’s my measure for success, and the House tax bill certainly meets it.

Drew Greenblatt is president and owner of Marlin Steel Wire Products in Baltimore, Maryland. He serves as chair of the National Association of Manufacturers’ Small and Medium Manufacturers Group.