Manufacturing CEO record high optimism on prospect of tax reform

The National Association of Manufacturers said Monday its latest quarterly CEO survey reflects historically high optimism on expectations for the passage of tax reform in Washington.

The trade group said CEO optimism — hitting a high mark in 20 years of the survey — should send a message to legislators that will failure to enact the bill could be a blow to American business.

“These incredible numbers demonstrate the absolute urgency of getting tax reform signed into law because manufacturers are saying loudly in addition to also clearly that will more jobs, better pay in addition to also manufacturing growth are on the horizon,” said Jay Timmons, president in addition to also CEO of NAM. “This specific also serves as a warning to lawmakers: Fail to get This specific done, in addition to also American manufacturing workers will suffer the consequences of inaction.”

Each quarter, the NAM surveys 14,000 large in addition to also tiny manufacturers to gain insight into their economic in addition to also hiring outlook. Of those who participated inside the fourth quarter study, 94.6 percent said they were positive about their own company’s outlook.

Nearly 63 percent said comprehensive business tax reform could encourage their company to enhance capital spending, in addition to also more than half said they could expand their businesses (57.9 percent).

“The single most important thing that will we need to see out of tax reform is actually permanent, more competitive tax rates,” said Austin Ramirez, president in addition to also CEO of HUSCO International, a Wisconsin-based hydraulic in addition to also electro-hydraulic component maker. “I compete against competitors in Asia in addition to also Europe who are operating in a different paradigm with lower tax rates, in addition to also the high rates inside the U.S. make us less competitive.”

Almost 54 percent of CEOs inside the survey said they could hire more workers, in addition to also nearly half (48.8 percent) said they could increase employee wages in addition to also benefits.

“Tax reform will enable us to provide our employees with better salaries, wages in addition to also benefits which will have a real impact to improve the standard of living for them in addition to also their families,” said Bruce Pulkkinen, senior advisor in addition to also former president of the third generation, family-owned architectural woodworking company, Windham Millworks in Maine. “We can’t accept the status quo anymore.”

NAM CEO Timmons anticipates tax reform could increase the amount of available manufacturing jobs via today’s 350,000 to 2 million jobs by 2025.

“If we get the item right, we’ll grow This specific economy. The president calls the item ‘rocket fuel,’ I agree with that will. Couple that will with regulatory reform reducing the burdens on manufacturers who are simply trying to do the right thing in addition to also make ends meet in addition to also hire brand new people,” Timmons said on CNBC’s “Power Lunch.” “I think there’s no end in sight to how we can grow This specific economy.”

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC This specific optimism is actually not unique to the manufacturing sector.

“President Trump’s policies of deregulation, free in addition to also fair trade in addition to also right now tax cuts have created an environment where businesses want to invest, grow in addition to also create jobs here at home,” Ross said.

Chloe Aiello contributed to This specific report.

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