Strengthening the Economy & American Manufacturing

Gary’s top priority in the Senate is growing our economy, creating good-paying jobs in Michigan and strengthening our middle class. Michigan has a rich history of innovation and entrepreneurship, and Gary believes we need to continue fostering the new ideas that will fuel our state’s economic growth for decades to come.

Autos, Manufacturing & Trade

Michigan is the birthplace of the American auto industry, and its booming factories helped win World War II and build America’s middle class. Gary wants to ensure that the cars and trucks of the future continue to be built in America and in Michigan. 

We are on the verge of a technological revolution that will soon allow vehicles to communicate their location, speed, and other data electronically with each other and our transportation infrastructure. These technologies could reduce accidents by as much as 80 percent, reduce fuel consumption, cut congestion, save thousands of lives – and reduce health care costs as a result of accidents. As a member of the Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee, Gary is fighting to ensure these new technologies are being developed, tested and deployed right here in Michigan and America. He has led bipartisan legislation to promote investments in vehicle-to-infrastructure technology and to support smart investments in R&D for clean vehicle technologies. 

Michigan is prepared to continue leading the way in advanced manufacturing, which supports the good-paying jobs that are essential to maintaining a robust middle class. Gary has been a strong supporter of funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the only public-private partnership dedicated to providing technical support and services to small and medium-sized manufacturers.  He also coauthored legislation to expand and extend the Manufacturing USA program, which supports public-private advanced manufacturing partnerships—including the LIFT Institute headquartered in Detroit.

We are now at a critical crossroads for our economy, particularly with a rapidly changing world, constant innovation and quickly evolving technology. Our future depends on the road we take – and Gary believes we must change course from the piecemeal approach to manufacturing that’s been taken at the federal level. That’s why Gary has proposed a National Institute of Manufacturing: an agency that will take the dozens of federal manufacturing programs that are currently strewn across the federal government and put them all under one roof—led by a Chief Manufacturing Officer who can help improve program efficiencies, cooperation, and accountability. Our foreign competitors have instituted national manufacturing plans that have raised their productivity – and Gary believes we must have a commensurate national strategy and that reduces bureaucracy and streamlines programs.

Gary believes that Congress must do more to bring balance to our trade agreements and address issues like currency manipulation and unfair trade and labor practices. Our trade policies should create a level playing field so that American workers and companies who play by the rules can get a fair deal and compete in today’s global economy. He supported the USMCA, which was made significantly better after Gary and his colleagues pressed for stricter labor and enforcement standards. He supports strict oversight over the agreement, and will work to continuously review it to ensure the agreement is working in the interest of American businesses, farmers and workers.

Small Business & Entrepreneurship

Gary knows that small businesses drive our state’s economy. He is committed to ensuring that our startups and small business owners have the resources to survive, compete and grow.

The Small Business Administration’s 7(a) loan program has been utilized by thousands of Michigan small businesses. When the program previously hit its loan cap earlier than expected, Gary worked to swiftly increase the cap so that businesses that were counting on the support received it. And when he heard about small businesses falling victim to scams when trying to apply for federal contracts, Gary worked to successfully pass his legislation into law requiring that small businesses are notified of free assistance to help navigate them through the process. 

As we live in an increasingly interconnected world, the need to protect the innovations of small businesses has become all the more critical. Gary’s bill to improve small business intellectual property was signed into law so that more resources are available to secure an international patent and small businesses can earn the profit from their inventions.