WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) introduced bipartisan legislation to streamline federal efforts to boost domestic manufacturers and support workers. The Strengthening Support for American Manufacturing Act would assess the U.S. Department of Commerce’s efforts to support manufacturers and suggest solutions to improve the Department’s manufacturing programs to better serve manufacturers – many of which are small businesses. This bill comes as the U.S. works to mitigate global supply chain issues caused by the pandemic that have hurt workers and disrupted industries nationwide.
“The global supply chain crisis resulting from our dependence on Communist China underscored the importance of strengthening American manufacturing,” said Senator Blackburn. “The Strengthening Support for American Manufacturing Act will streamline programs run by the Department of Commerce to eliminate government waste and improve efficiency. This legislation will benefit the manufacturing community based in Tennessee and across the U.S.”
“You can’t be a great country if you don’t make things – and in Michigan, manufacturing has been a core part of our state’s economy. It is essential we have a streamlined federal manufacturing strategy that can support businesses, create good-paying jobs, and secure our economic competitiveness on the world stage,” said Senator Peters. “However, for too long our country has lacked a coherent, national manufacturing strategy like our foreign competitors – particularly the Chinese government. Additionally, federal support for manufacturers is often fractured, uncoordinated and difficult to navigate. That’s why I was proud to introduce this bipartisan bill to generate a more efficient, unified approach to federal manufacturing policy, and ensure we remain a global manufacturing leader for generations.”
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report in 2017 identifying 58 programs across 11 different federal agencies that serve U.S. manufacturing, several of which are housed within the U.S. Department of Commerce. The vast number of programs may complicate their administration and presents a barrier to manufacturers knowing about and accessing valuable resources. The Strengthening Support for American Manufacturing Act would address these issues by identifying ways to improve the Commerce Department’s management of these programs, and putting forth legislative recommendations to create a single agency responsible for administering them.