By Pete Olson
House district 22
Manufacturing is an industry that touches every aspect of our lives, from the food we eat, to the cars we drive and computers we use at work.
For every dollar spent in manufacturing, another $1.89 is added to our economy. And, for every one worker hired in manufacturing, four more employees are hired in other businesses.
October is National Manufacturing Month, an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the contributions of the 12.75 million Americans working in the manufacturing sector. In the first quarter of 2018 alone, manufacturing contributed $2.33 trillion to the U.S. economy.
Texas has a booming manufacturing sector, with 845,000 direct manufacturing jobs and another 2.2 million that support the industry. In fact, in 2016, manufacturing added $218 billion to Texas’ gross domestic product (GDP), which is larger than the entire economy of Portugal!
On a recent tour of the Frito Lay facility in Rosenberg, they provided an important update on how aluminum tariffs will impact their business and others like it. This is a similar concern across industries in the Houston region. I have shared these concerns with my colleagues in D.C. and the White House and will continue to push for a balanced approach to trade and tariff policies.
Trade is a critical component to our Texas economy. Over $210 billion in manufactured goods were exported from Texas around the world in 2016; with 93 percent of the exporters classified as small businesses. With so many of our friends and neighbors working in manufacturing, we must implement pro-growth, pro-business policies to ensure the American manufacturing industry can grow and thrive. That’s exactly what House Republicans have been doing.
We’re working hard in Congress to eliminate excessive regulations and taxes that hurt job creators. Ensuring smart regulations are enacted instead of burdensome regulations that stymie economic growth, we can let businesses do what they do best – create jobs and thrive.
Thanks to pro-growth policies like tax and regulatory reform, the American economy is roaring back to life. Just last week, for the first time in a decade, the United States economy was named the most competitive in the world by the World Economic Forum.
In the past two years, our economy has created nearly 400,000 new manufacturing jobs. The American manufacturing sector is thriving and companies are excited.
Since President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law late last year, the United States has had the strongest labor market in nearly 20 years. Over 1.6 million jobs have been created and our 3.7 percent unemployment rate is at a 49 year low. Our economy is booming and consumer confidence is at its highest level in nearly 18 years.
Nearly 4 million American workers have received over $4 billion in benefits, bonuses and pay hikes. And 9 in 10 workers are seeing more money in their paychecks thanks to updated federal income tax rates. This is just the beginning. I will continue to support pro-growth policies in Congress so that all American businesses can succeed.
(Pete Olson, R-Texas, is the member of the House of Representatives for District 22.)