WASHINGTON, D.C.-National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President John Engler offered praise and gratitude to the 109th Congress for enacting legislation vital to manufacturing as it concluded its recent session.

“In their final hours, members of the 109th provided America’s manufacturers a legislative shot in the arm, enacting important measures we have sought for the past two years,” says Engler.

In particular, Engler commended action allowing access to domestic energy supplies in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). “Exploring the OCS is an important step toward a more abundant, flexible and affordable energy supply that is critical to the U.S. economy,” he says.

Turning to trade, Engler also praised inclusion of a number of key trade initiatives, including the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill, the Generalize System of Preferences, the Andean Trade Preferences Act and Permanent Normal Trade Relations for Vietnam. “These are all critical trade programs for U.S. manufacturers and our trade partners in the development world,” he says.

NAM also welcomed a seamless extension and strengthening of the research and development tax credit which is a proven innovation-spurring incentive used primarily by manufacturers, as well as provisions on health savings accounts (HSAs) that allow more employers to offer HSAs, and more employees to enroll in them.

“By sending the President legislation that increases our economic security and strengthens our competitiveness in the global marketplace, Congress has helped level the playing field for manufacturers,” Engler says. “This legislation is good for business and consumers.”