July 16, 2018

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Energy

Message to Congress - Energy and climate change policy should not harm domestic manufacturers who compete globally while giving foreign polluters a free pass.  Congress should stop the EPA from taking unilateral actions.

Energy costs have increased rapidly over the last two years, placing U.S. manufacturers at a significant disadvantage over foreign competition.  Small business owners and middle-market manufacturers in particular are not able to adjust the price of their goods and services enough to match steep energy cost increases.  Many of the nation’s metalworking industries require energy intensive processes and, as a result, the costs of production continue to increase.

Increased fuel prices impact small manufacturers in several ways – the obvious being when a company’s sales team stops at a gas station before visiting a customer. Small and medium sized manufacturers also see the impact in an increase in the price paid for raw materials through transportation and other surcharges. When companies are successful passing along surcharges and increased fuel costs to customers, this means that ultimately the cost is passed along to American consumers or customers go offshore looking for a cheaper supplier – in a country where their governments often illegally subsidize their energy costs.

Climate change policy is not just about the environment.  It is about manufacturers’ global competitiveness and international trade.  It is about the costs of manufacturing in America and most importantly, it is about our jobs here at home.  Addressing climate change can and should be a part of our domestic industrial policy but it should not come at the expense of our jobs and our communities.

When energy costs increase – whether the form is oil, coal, natural gas, electricity or otherwise – almost all manufacturing purchasing and transportation costs escalate.  Policymakers in Washington should incentivize businesses, particularly small and middle-market manufacturers, as they struggle to control energy costs.  Congress needs to act now to provide relief for companies manufacturing in America.

 

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