Following President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address last night, Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) President Dennis Slater issued the following statement:
“Last night, President Obama used his State of the Union address to express the need to create jobs and grow our economy. I couldn’t agree more. And while he touched on the important subjects of growing the manufacturing sector and improving our nation’s infrastructure, there was a glaring absence of focus on policies that could immediately create jobs and provide certainty to our economy.
“The President stressed the need to become energy independent, but failed to mention any plan to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Thousands of jobs are just waiting for the Administration to approve this pipeline so that more Americans can get to work. Additionally, millions of farmers, ranchers and business owners are anxiously waiting to see if Congress will pass a long-term farm bill. The short-term extension passed this year did little to increase economic certainty and has deterred farmers and businesses from investing and growing. President Obama’s failure to address this issue was a real disappointment to the agriculture community that’s so vital to our nation’s economy and wellbeing.
“AEM is pleased to see the President once again emphasizing the need for increased infrastructure investment, but we also recognize that short-term stimulus funding is nothing more than a quick fix and fails to address the long-term improvements that our nation requires. The most effective way for the United States to stay competitive in job creation is to invest in a national, strategic vision to improve and preserve our infrastructure for years to come. It is our sincere hope that Congress and President Obama will quickly come together to develop a robust, realistic and sustainable financing program for our nation’s long-term infrastructure needs, and that the President takes the strong leadership role this critical issue demands.
“AEM has long advocated that we must fix the nation’s debt through a balanced approached of reduced spending and increased revenue. The President emphasized the need to grow our manufacturing sector and create jobs here in the United States, and the number one step to doing so is to create a sound economic environment.
“By working together to create serious proposals to confront the serious issues that we face today, we can improve our nation’s fiscal situation and create an environment that allows equipment manufacturers to continue to thrive right here in the United States.”