Sen. Manchin can help manufacturers keep shelves stocked

Published 12-20-2021 from WVNEWS by Christian Martinkat

In the face of the ongoing pandemic and major supply chain challenges, manufacturing businesses here in Appalachia, across West Virginia and nationwide are working overtime. They are doing their part to keep shelves stocked, presents wrapped and households equipped with everything they need for the holiday season.

As you can imagine, though, many obstacles are standing in our industry’s way, including COVID-19 and shortages of raw materials. But one of the biggest unknowns going into 2022 is whether Congress will increase taxes on job creators. These taxes could slow growth, cost jobs and lead to many more empty shelves here and across the U.S.

The good news is that Sen. Joe Manchin has the power to halt this destructive tax increase in its tracks.

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a budget plan that has new taxes on businesses, including taxes that essentially penalize companies for making investments in capital, including machinery and equipment purchases. That’s especially problematic for manufacturers who depend on capital investments to keep up production and to find new, more efficient ways to make the countless products our industry creates.

At STOCKMEIER Urethanes USA, based in Clarksburg, we are competing for business on a global scale, and the tax hikes promoted by progressives in Washington could jeopardize everything manufacturers are doing right now to help us navigate the recovery from the pandemic.

On the bright side, a recent survey by the National Association of Manufacturers shows nearly 90% of manufacturing companies reported having a positive outlook for the year ahead. Our industry is ready and eager to expand and innovate. We have powered through the pandemic and all its challenges, managing to keep jobs abundant and grow our economy.

Federal tax policy should provide every reasonable incentive to encourage this growth, but the budget now under consideration in the Senate would make it more expensive for manufacturers to purchase the ingredients our industry needs for success.

That same survey by the NAM showed that more than 90% of manufacturers say new tax increases would make it harder for them to hire employees and raise wages, invest in new equipment or expand facilities.

If we want manufacturing in America to remain strong through the next crisis, Congress should not sabotage those companies by penalizing them for investing in the future.

Fortunately, Sen. Joe Manchin has remained one of the few holdouts against this budget bill on his side of the Hill and the political aisle. Our senator has the power to stop these destructive tax increases in their tracks and reorient Washington on a pro-growth, pro-jobs alternative course of action.

Manufacturers are the backbone of the economy, here in Appalachia and across the nation. Holding back growth and innovation in manufacturing will hurt everyone down the line, risking job losses and more empty shelves.

We are counting on Sen. Manchin to recognize the harm these tax increases in the budget proposal could do to our state, our workforce and our country. Congress should replace them with policies that encourage manufacturers to do everything they can to keep our economy strong through the holiday season and beyond.

Christian Martinkat is president and CEO of STOCKMEIER Urethanes USA.

Christian Martinkat President and CEO of STOCKMEIER Urethanes USA