Our 2016 MAC Platform outlines our goals and initiatives for the next year.
MAC FEDERAL PLATFORM 2015-16
- Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act
In the 2014 MAC Platform, MAC called on Congress to pass the “Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation (RAMI) Act,” which would direct the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to establish a network of centers for manufacturing innovation, to be known as the Network for Manufacturing Innovation; and establish a Manufacturing Innovation Fund to assist in planning, establishing, and supporting these centers. In a victory for the MAC, Congress approved the RAMI Act on December 13, 2014, as part of the Fiscal Year 2015 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act.
MAC would now call on Congress to follow through on its initial authorization of the RAMI Act and fund the following RAMI provisions:
- $5 million per year for the Department of Commerce to run the RAMI program
- $250 million for the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office for RAMI manufacturing hubs
- $10 million annually for 5 years for EDA Regional Innovation Clusters (RAMI Act, §705 of P.L. 113-235)
In addition, MAC seeks the following clarifications to the RAMI Act pertaining to local community stakeholders:
- MAC strongly urges the Administration to include local governments as participants in the National Strategic Plan for Advanced Manufacturing, which is created by the RAMI Act, §704 of P.L. 113-235.
- Additionally, the RAMI Act requires the U.S. Department of Commerce to create a strategic plan for the RAMI manufacturing network and MAC urges the Department to include local governments in that plan
President Obama to date has established 7 manufacturing institutes around the nation with 2 additional hubs in the works.
- Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership
In 2013, the Obama Administration launched the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) program at the Economic Development Administration with the collaboration of other federal agencies. IMCP provides existing federal resources and focused inter-agency
support to targeted communities to support the creation of robust manufacturing strategies, workforce development, site and infrastructure development, research and development, capital access, export assistance, supply chain support, and support for the maker movement at the local level. More than 50 local communities are now receiving federal support for their IMCP efforts.
However, the IMCP Program’s future may be in doubt when President Obama leaves office. MAC calls on Congress to codify this important program so that it can continue and supports bipartisan legislation to establish IMCP as an ongoing program, housed at the Economic Development Administration with involvement by other federal agencies. The MAC strongly supports the “Made in America Manufacturing Communities Act,” introduced on February 9, 2016, by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) in conjunction with a House companion bill sponsored by Reps. David Cicilline (D-RI), Tom Reed (R-NY), Tim Ryan (D-OH), Richard Hanna (R-NY), and John Katko (R-NY). The “Made in America Manufacturing Communities Act” substantially codifies the IMCP into law, allowing future communities the benefit of becoming IMCP designees.
MAC also calls on Congress to provide $20 million in EDA Challenge funding for current IMCP designees.
III. Critical Infrastructure Investment
Manufacturing cannot thrive without solid, modern infrastructure including road and rail, water and sewer, telecommunications and energy infrastructure. Yet, America is currently facing an infrastructure backlog of more than $2 trillion, which is an anchor on the national economy. Local governments and their State partners are struggling to secure federal support for infrastructure upgrades and expansion – and this must be a top federal priority moving forward. MAC calls on the Congress and Administration to re-invest in infrastructure, which will spur immediate jobs and foster long-term economic growth and resiliency. MAC supported the enactment of the recent 6-year surface transportation law, known as the “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST)” enacted on December 4, 2015, but also sees further critical infrastructure needs, including:
- Water, Sewer & Stormwater Infrastructure: A key need at any manufacturing center is updated water, sewer, and stormwater infrastructure. Yet Congress and the Administration have continued to restrict funding for these infrastructure upgrades. Congress should increase federal clean water, stormwater, and drinking water infrastructure, and continue its recent practice of allowing a portion of this funding to be set aside for grants, principle forgiveness, negative-interest loans, and Green Reserve funds in both the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Loan programs.
- Authorize the BUILD Act to Foster Brownfields Revitalization: The U.S. EPA Brownfields program has a proven track record of supporting community revitalization and preparing idled sites for new manufacturing enterprise. Current bipartisan legislation pending in Congress could provide even better support and resources for local brownfields revitalization. The “Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development Act” (BUILD Act, S. 1479) would authorize the EPA brownfields program until 2018, and improve the existing grant process for local governments by increasing the limit for cleanup grants and expanding grant eligibility for certain publicly owned sites and non-profit organizations. The bill would authorize EPA to make multi-purpose grants, which provide greater certainty for long-term project financing. In addition, the legislation identifies opportunities for waterfront properties and brownfield sites appropriate for clean energy development, allows grant recipients to collect administrative costs, and provides technical assistance to small, rural, and disadvantaged communities.
- Maker Movement: Congress and the Administration should explore programs to fund the emerging Maker Movement.
- Make it in America
The public sector can boost American manufacturing by making sure that government purchasing policies and practices are committed to “Buy Local & Buy American.” The federal government, State governments, and the 35,000 units of local governments in the U.S. have extraordinary buying power. A national movement to promote the “power of patriotic purchasing” could provide a tremendous boost to American production of goods. Key next steps should include:
- Building the “Mayors for America” campaign to encourage localities to take a pledge to shift their procurement to local goods where possible, and American goods whenever they can.
- A Presidential Executive Order and/or congressional legislation to identify strategies for re-focusing federal procurement to buy American whenever possible. The Office of Manufacturing Communities can help lead an inter-agency analysis to find the best strategies for this effort.