Updated May 2, 2023 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on improving U.S. manufacturing capabilities

On Tuesday, May 2, Axios co-founder Mike Allen and senior politics reporter Eugene Scott hosted conversations exploring the opportunities and challenges of improving U.S. manufacturing capabilities . Guests included Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Mich.) and National Association of Manufacturers president and CEO Jay Timmons. The View from the Top sponsored segment featured Walmart executive vice president of sourcing Andrea Albright.

Rep. Haley Stevens discussed how today’s tight labor market impacts manufacturers and her goals to strengthen supply chains across all kinds of U.S. industries.

  • On what she’s hearing from manufacturers: “Too many small and mid-size manufacturers who I meet with regularly tell me that they have such a tight labor market that they don’t know if they can survive here in the United States of America, that they might have to move elsewhere.”
  • On the complexity of improving domestic supply chains: “One of the things that I don’t think folks are focusing on enough or hearing about enough are how complex our manufacturing supply chains are and what we need to do to grow manufacturing here in the United States of America. It’s really easy to say, ‘Hey, let’s make it in America. Let’s bring manufacturing jobs back.’ But how we actually go about doing that through a mix of incentives, grants, technical assistance, remains very important and easier said than done.”

Jay Timmons explained how he believes the Chips and Science Act will transform manufacturing and emphasized the bipartisan nature of support for strengthening American manufacturing.

  • On the Chips and Science Act and national security implications around manufacturing: “I think it’s going to revolutionize manufacturing. And I was so happy that Congress came together in a bipartisan way to pass this critical bill because it really isn’t just about our economic security, it’s also about our national security and our competition with countries like China and Russia.”
  • On the bipartisan manufacturing focus: “This really could be manufacturing’s decade if we put the right policies in place and we don’t mess up some good policies that we already have in place. The good news, I think, for manufacturers is elected officials and politicians of both parties, they want to see manufacturing grow and strengthen here in this country.”

In the View from the Top segment, Andrea Albright highlighted the subsequent effects of purchasing orders from domestic suppliers.

  • “There’s a ripple effect of that initial investment with the supplier outwards. So think of it like throwing a rock into a lake. We start with the supplier, we invest in money, they usually have to reinvest into their local community to build facilities or expand their transportation or hire additional workers to build the product on the line. Those investments go out into the local community, but through sustainable job creation. That job creation leads to reinvestment back into stores and retail and the local economies, and then customers now have access to product faster than they might have had otherwise.”

Thank you Walmart for sponsoring this event.

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