Quality Magazine

AMT President Meets with Obama's Manufacturing Czar

March 11, 2010

MCLEAN, VA - Furthering its mission of working to form a coherent national manufacturing policy, the Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT) President Doug Woods recently had a sit-down meeting with Ron Bloom, President Obama’s senior counselor for manufacturing policy.

Woods discussed ways that government can help to strengthen the U.S. manufacturing industry, as well as current barriers to growth and the obstacles that the industry faces. Those include a lack of access to credit, uncertainty in terms of tax burdens and trade/regulation difficulties.

Woods also discussed AMT’s proposed solution, which included AMT’s manufacturing mandate. Part of that solution also is to use existing infrastructure to develop a Science Technology Innovation Diffusion system. The plan would call for technology, funding programs, and coordinated policy to flow through existing Manufacturing Extension Program (MEP) sites, while market data, industry performance information and innovation breakthroughs flow back.

“The administration agrees with most of our points in the manufacturing mandate and in many cases is actually pushing legislation to support our initiatives; R&D investment, STEM focused initiatives, funding for MEP’s, accelerated expensing provisions, export promotion and so on,” Woods says. “There were of course areas where we did not see eye to eye, such as taxes, but we agreed to disagree at this point and focus our attention on those areas we do agree and we can move on to help our members.

“We also proposed an Interagency Manufacturing Structure, which would coordinate manufacturing focus and efforts among the main government departments and agencies,” including the secretaries of Defense, Education, Energy, and Commerce, in addition to agencies such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Science Foundation, the Office of Manufacturing and Services, and more. “This would greatly eliminate duplication of effort and allow for greater collaboration and sharing of technology and resources.”

Woods spoke at the IMTS Exhibitor’s Workshop on the Manufacturing Mandate. View his presentation here.