April 02, 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, on the floor of the United States Senate, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) called for a greater investment in American manufacturing and, to that end, announced his support for bipartisan legislation that would help jumpstart innovation and promote manufacturing across Maine and the country. The Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2013 would establish a network of industry-led manufacturing institutes to help bridge the gap between research and development and improve access to cutting-edge equipment and capabilities. In his remarks, King emphasized how manufacturing supports local economies, supports national security, and strengthens the middle class.
“[The United States] lost 32 percent of our manufacturing jobs in the decade from 2000 to 2010. We lost 42,000 factories – not people – factories,” said Senator King. “We have to create an atmosphere that can create jobs…Nothing happens here without a strategy or a vision or a plan, and this bill has a vision of how to link innovation and the American economy and manufacturing in such a way as to create and rejuvenate this sector.”
Introduced by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo), the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2013 is modeled on the success of the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII) in Youngstown, Ohio, a public-private manufacturing hub. The legislation would bring together industry, universities and community colleges, federal agencies, and all levels of government to accelerate manufacturing innovation in technologies with commercial applications. It would establish public-private institutes to leverage resources to bridge the gap between basic research and product development, as well as a Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NMI) to help once again position the United States as the global leader in advanced manufacturing.
“We have got to care about this. The people of America have to care about this. We have to say this is something we are going to do. We’re going to rebuild the manufacturing center that made this country what it was, and we’re going to have to do it with passion and commitment,” Senator King continued. “And I believe this bill is an opportunity to restart that process, and it will…provide benefits everywhere from higher wages to better national security to a stronger middle class.”