WASHINGTON, D.C.-House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) offered to work closely with manufacturers to forge a “fair and honest playing field” in an address on September 9, 2010, to more than 200 manufacturers attending the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) National Public Affairs Steering Committee meeting.

“The NAM has always valued its strong, open working relationship with Majority Leader Hoyer,” said NAM President John Engler. “We look forward to continuing our work to advance policies that foster competitiveness and economic recovery.”

“What we need in this country is to make things work,” Hoyer told the NAM assembly. “I want you to grow. I want you to start making more and more profits, and paying better and better wages, and creating more and more jobs, and being able to have long-term benefits, both retirement and health care.”

Regarding health care, Hoyer recognized the NAM as a resource for Congress on how proposed health care reform will impact manufacturers’ businesses and the people they employ.

Majority Leader Hoyer also gave a strong endorsement of action on the pending free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama.

“I am a pro-trade Democrat. I am very hopeful and have urged-publicly-some of my friends in my own party that we ought to pass Colombia and Panama… I voted for NAFTA, I voted for CAFTA and I voted for PNTR. Mainly because I believe our country can compete-does compete-and if we have a fair and honest playing field, we will compete... We can provide for a mechanism whereby in the international community, we have as level a playing field as we can get-and that means opening up trade.”

Finally, Hoyer called for substantial tax reform, but warned “without bipartisanship, we will not reform the tax code…If we, and when we, adopt tax reform we need to do so in a way that helps you grow your businesses, helps you grow jobs and profit.”