Gingrey Floor Statement: 'The American manufacturing industry can thrive again'
Statement for Full Committee Mark-Up of 5 Bills & Semi-Annual Committee Activity Report
Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you for calling this mark-up of five different pieces of legislation that demonstrate the broad jurisdiction of this committee. I would like to use my brief time to focus on two pieces of legislation in particular: H.R. 5865 – the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2012 – and H.Con.Res. 127, a resolution that endorses the current multi-stakeholder governance model of the Internet.
The United States was once a leader in manufacturing. During the 1970’s, one in four Americans were employed in manufacturing. Over the past 30 years, however, these industries have entered a free fall, with a 40 percent decline from their 1979 peak. In my home State of Georgia, we have lost more than 160,000 manufacturing jobs during this time period.
Mr. Chairman, there are those who have written off American manufacturing, but I am confident this sector can thrive again. The legislation that we have before us today will help move us in that very direction. Instead of simply relying on governmental entities to create solutions to our manufacturing problems, H.R. 5865 enlists industry experts who have first-hand knowledge of the challenges that face the industry on a daily basis.
This legislation will do so by creating a public-private American Manufacturing Competitiveness Board – drawn mostly from the private sector – to provide recommendations to the President and Congress on how to best revitalize this critically important sector of our economy. Additionally, the Board created by H.R. 5865 will help manufacturers implement strategies on the biggest obstacles facing the industry – burdensome federal regulations and bureaucracy.
It is long past time that we rely on industry experts to help guide manufacturing policy. During my tenure in Congress, I have regularly convened a Manufacturing Advisory Committee in the 11th Congressional District of Georgia to give me perspective of what is occurring on the ground level for these job creators. After each of these meetings, I walk away knowing that I am better informed on these industry challenges. I am particularly glad that H.R. 5865 embodies this very model that I have found to be successful.
Mr. Chairman, I commend the leadership of the authors of this legislation – Mr. Lipinski and Mr. Kinzinger of Illinois – for working in a bipartisan manner to craft legislation that will help put in place a strategy to rejuvenate manufacturing in this country. I urge all of my colleagues to support H.R. 5865.
Mr. Chairman, I also want to briefly speak to the importance of H.Con.Res. 127. As a cosponsor of this legislation and member of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee, I am an ardent supporter of the current multi-stakeholder governance model of the Internet.
The Internet has proven to be the largest economic engine in the 21st Century economy. Yet, despite these successes, international organizations like the United Nations and International Telecommunications Union seek to grab control over the Internet through global regulations. I believe this country should stand its ground on governance of the Internet and not allow it to fall into the hands of the international community.
I urge my colleagues to also support H.Con.Res. 127, and I yield back.