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Peters Announces Reintroduction of Bill to Establish a National Institute of Manufacturing, New Bipartisan Legislation to Strengthen Federal Manufacturing Focus and Increase Competitiveness

Pandemic Further Exposed Short-Term Supply Chain Issues & Longer-Term Problems Related to a Lack of a National Manufacturing Strategy

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today announced that he introduced a legislative package to strengthen federal focus on manufacturing, support manufacturers in Michigan and across the country and increase our competitiveness especially as foreign countries are prioritizing manufacturing.

The package takes a series of steps, including reintroduction of his bill to establish a National Institute of Manufacturing within the Department of Commerce and new bipartisan bills to reactivate the Manufacturing Advisory Council and establish a one-stop hub website to help connect manufacturers with federal resources. Peters has heard repeatedly from manufacturers about the need for a unified national strategy on manufacturing to boost our manufacturers and enable them to keep pace with competitors in other countries. That’s why he first proposed creating a National Institute of Manufacturing in 2019, well before the pandemic reinforced the urgent need for the U.S. to bolster domestic manufacturing and supply chains. Peters’ legislation seeks to better address both short-term supply chain issues highlighted by the pandemic and longer-term problems related to a lack of a national manufacturing strategy.

“Our international competitors know something I have long said: you cannot be a great country if you don’t make things. For too long, our federal government has taken a piecemeal approach to manufacturing that has stifled innovation and puts us at a global competitive disadvantage,” said Senator Peters. “This pandemic further exposed the very serious challenges in our federal manufacturing strategy, and we must prioritize manufacturing as a major national priority. By doing so we can strengthen our manufacturing capabilities, bring jobs back to Michigan and bolster our national security. That’s why I’m pleased to reintroduce legislation to establish a National Institute of Manufacturing and new bills that will revitalize our manufacturing policy. Passing these bills will improve coordination among federal agencies and make federal resources more readily available to manufacturers in Michigan and across the country as they look to recover from this pandemic. I’ll be working to build additional support and advance these bills through Congress.”

“The Association of Equipment Manufacturers applauds Senator Gary Peters for his steadfast leadership on behalf of the manufacturing sector and for introducing legislation that will ensure that innovation is made in America and strengthen our long-term competitiveness in the global economy,” said Dennis Slater, President of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. “Equipment manufacturers represent twelve percent of the entire U.S. manufacturing sector and support 2.8 million family-sustaining jobs across the country. Our economic prosperity and national security depend on a strong manufacturing sector, and the legislative package developed by Senator Peters will mobilize a comprehensive, coordinated, and competent national effort in support of the manufacturing sector and its workforce. We applaud the Senator for his bold and tireless leadership on behalf of the manufacturing sector and we urge all Democrat and Republican Senators to support this important package of legislation.”

“We applaud Senator Gary Peters for introducing this suite of bills to strengthen domestic manufacturing,” said Scott Paul, President of the Alliance for American Manufacturing. “The COVID-19 pandemic has made clear that it is time for the United States to shore up its critical manufacturing capabilities, which will not only better prepare us for the next crisis but also create jobs and boost the economy. Increased coordination between the many programs designed to support our manufacturers and their workers is an important step towards rebuilding our industrial base. We are grateful to Senator Peters for his efforts to bolster American manufacturing.”

“The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) applauds the National Institute of Manufacturing Act, introduced today by Senator Gary Peters,” said Ann Wilson, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association. “This legislation establishes a National Institute of Manufacturing at the Department of Commerce that is intended to better coordinate U.S. manufacturing policy. Tackling that important objective is helpful to MEMA members. Senator Peters is a true champion of manufacturers across Michigan and across the country. We are pleased to be working him on this initiative and on so many others.”

“The Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center is proud to support Senator Peters’ three new bills focused on strengthening the manufacturing base in America,” said Mike Coast, President, Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center. “We applaud his continued and unwavering support of the vitally important manufacturing sector, as manufacturing is a driver of our economy — from hiring locally to making great products. Clearly there is a need to prioritize manufacturing policy at the national level and ensure we have a unified strategy that will help manufacturers across Michigan and our nation. Senator Peters’ bills are pragmatic, thoughtful and forward-looking.”

According to the Institute for Supply Management, 75% of all manufacturers have experienced supply chain disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic. But even before the pandemic, the U.S. share of global manufacturing saw a 36% decline in the last 15 years. This proposal would sharpen federal focus on manufacturing efforts and make it easier for manufacturers – 99% of which are small businesses – to both navigate and utilize federal resources. Additionally, other countries—including China, Korea and India—have prioritized manufacturing with a national strategy and Peters believes that the U.S. needs to make manufacturing a major national priority.

The three bills Peters introduced are:

  • The National Institute of Manufacturing Act, which aligns and empowers manufacturing throughout the Department of Commerce, creating a single manufacturing institute to house federal manufacturing programs. The bill is similar to previous legislation that Peters introduced in 2020.
  • The National Manufacturing Advisory Council for the 21st Century Act, which Peters introduced with U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), would revive and elevate the National Manufacturing Advisory Council, which advises the federal government on manufacturing program and provides private sector guidance and insight to the federal government. The Council has met intermittently in recent years, and this bill would more formally establish the Council as a critical component in federal manufacturing policy and strategy.
  • The Act, which Peters introduced with U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-IN) and Senator Rubio, codifies into law a hub, which would serve as a one-stop hub to connect manufacturers with federal manufacturing programs. The legislation would require the Department of Commerce to utilize artificial intelligence to further enable the website to answer questions from manufacturers and to receive feedback from manufacturers about their needs.

Peters has worked to strengthen manufacturing and support workers, including during the economic crisis caused by the pandemic. He and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo have discussed shared priorities on domestic manufacturing and has held conversations with Biden Administration officials on the need to address the semiconductor shortage currently impacting the American auto industry. At a hearing last year before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, Peters questioned witnesses about a U.S. Government Accountability Office report, which concluded that it is unclear how much the federal government spends on manufacturing programs because there are 58 federal programs spread across 11 different departments and agencies—without definitive accounting of the support for U.S. manufacturing. 

Peters also helped introduce the Make It in America Act to make it harder for federal agencies to use waivers to get around Buy American requirements, requiring the federal government to give preference to American companies and spend taxpayer dollars on American-made products and American jobs. Last year, Peters helped introduce the End Outsourcing Act, which would reform the tax code to reward businesses that bring jobs back from foreign countries.