Manufacturers chief slams Obama’s budget

The president of the manufacturing industry's most powerful trade group criticized President Obama's budget proposal on Tuesday.

Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), said Obama's $4 trillion budget proposal released on Monday would hurt the economy during a speech at Purdue University.

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"You’re getting a world class education at Purdue, but it won’t matter if taxing and spending in Washington limits your opportunities. The president’s budget plan will shut the doors you want to walk through," Timmons said during his State of Manufacturing address.

Timmons called on Congress to pass a series of policies NAM has fought for in the past, including granting the administration fast-track authority in international trade deals.

"While we’re watching from the sidelines, the rest of the world is busy negotiating free trade agreements," Timmons said.

Most Republicans and centrist Democrats support granting the administration fact-track power. But some progressives oppose the measure, which would allow Congress only an up-or-down vote on trade deals. They argue that, without more input from Congress, the final products could prove disadvantageous to U.S. workers.

On tax policy, Timmons reiterated NAM's position of renewing a handful of business tax credits, commonly referred to as "extenders," indefinitely, as well as approving construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

He criticized Obama's regulatory agenda, saying that it is stifling innovation and economic growth.

"Its regulation of greenhouse gases would limit fuel choice, increase energy prices and make power less reliable," Timmons said.

Timmons noted that NAM represents more than 14,000 manufacturers of all sizes, from multinational corporations to small businesses.

"Those family businesses ask me all the time: How can we make the government understand that their regulations hurt small businesses more than anyone?" Timmons said.

"Like any manufacturing process, we need to put the right pieces in place,” he continued. “That begins with the right public policy — one that advances manufacturing and keeps America as exceptional as ever — the world’s best example of opportunity and optimism."