Washington, D.C. – The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee approved a bipartisan bill introduced by U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) to streamline federal efforts to boost domestic manufacturers and support workers.
The Strengthening Support for American Manufacturing Act would assess the U.S. Department of Commerce’s efforts to support manufacturers and suggest solutions to improve the Department’s manufacturing programs to better serve manufacturers – many of which are small businesses.
“The supply chain crisis caused in part by our reckless dependence on communist China has underscored the importance of strengthening American manufacturing,” said Senator Blackburn. “The Strengthening Support for American Manufacturing Act will streamline programs run by the Department of Commerce to eliminate government waste and improve efficiency. This legislation will benefit the manufacturing community based in Tennessee and across the U.S.”
“As Michiganders we know firsthand that you can’t be a great country if you don’t make things. It’s long past time we strengthen our federal manufacturing strategy to support businesses, create good-paying jobs, and secure our economic competitiveness on the world stage,” said Senator Peters. “For too long, our nation has lacked a coherent, national manufacturing strategy – which allows foreign competitors like the Chinese government to outcompete us.”
“Additionally, federal support for manufacturers is often fractured, uncoordinated and difficult to navigate. We must have a more unified approach to federal manufacturing policy to ensure we remain a global manufacturing leader for generations. I’m pleased my bipartisan bill to achieve these goals advanced in the Senate, and I’ll continue working to ensure it’s passed into law,” Senator Peters stated.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report in 2017 identifying 58 programs across 11 different federal agencies that serve U.S. manufacturing, several of which are housed within the U.S. Department of Commerce. The vast number of programs may complicate their administration and presents a barrier to manufacturers knowing about and accessing valuable resources.
The Strengthening Support for American Manufacturing Act would address these issues by identifying ways to improve the Commerce Department’s management of these programs, and putting forth legislative recommendations to create a single agency responsible for administering them.