‘Recession has ended…but not for us,’ AEM 1st vice chair testifies at T&I hearing

James McCullough, Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) First Vice Chair and CEO and President of CNH Construction, testified on Sept. 29 before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure about lagging jobs in the manufacturing industry and the need for new national policies to spur U.S. competitiveness globally.

Earlier in the day, McCullough participated in the launch of “I Make America,” a national grassroots campaign created by AEM to increase awareness about how vital equipment manufacturing is to the U.S. economy and global competitiveness.

“Our members don’t just make equipment, they make prosperity,” McCullough told the House Committee. “Each individual who works in our industry plays a part in making America a better place – safer, cleaner, more prosperous, more efficient, more competitive – and they each have a story to tell about how they help ‘make America.'”

Since 2001, more than 4.7 million manufacturing jobs have been lost. “I Make America” is a resource for workers in the manufacturing industry, as well as the businesses that rely on them and the communities they support, to send a message to Congress that America needs new manufacturing policies that will create jobs now and into the future.

Addressing Committee Chairman James Oberstar, McCullough stated, “The big news earlier this week was that the recession has ended. Well, Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, let me respectfully tell you, it doesn’t feel that way to us.”

Citing numbers that indicate the manufacturing sector is trending up, McCullough posed the question, “Up from where? That trend is still not strong, and our numbers are nowhere near where they were before the economy imploded.”

AEM and McCullough are using the “I Make America” campaign to generate support for a new manufacturing policy that creates jobs by doing two fundamental things:

• Generate economic activity by rebuilding and modernizing America’s infrastructure – roads, bridges, sewer, clean water and flood control systems.

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• Help our farmers and manufacturers create more jobs in the U.S. by exporting their products to new markets around the world.