Monday, March 31, 2014

Billy Long: Government should cut red tape for manufacturers

(In his latest newsletter, Seventh District Congressman Billy Long writes about regulatory costs confronting American manufacturing.)

Our nation’s manufacturing sector is key to creating jobs and growing our economy. Earlier this month I completed my annual manufacturing tour. I enjoy this annual tour because not only can I highlight the important work manufacturers and their employees are doing in our district, but I get to hear from them about what is working and what is hindering growth in their vital sector of the economy.

It should come as no surprise that over regulation is a dominant theme I hear when I visit manufacturers and other businesses in our district. These regulations are directly or indirectly the result of too much Washington regulation. Regulatory costs in America are difficult to measure because many of their effects are hidden, but it is estimated the cost is equal to over $14,000 per family, or 23 percent of a family’s average income. Often the cost of regulation is highest for small businesses that are ill-equipped to navigate the bureaucratic compliance procedures that accompany many regulations.

One important thing Washington can do to help manufacturers is remove the government barriers to growth by cutting red tape and strengthening our nation’s entrepreneurs' ability to build, grow their business, and compete in a free and open market. I am a proud supporter of the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act. The REINS Act reforms the outdated regulatory process by requiring Congress to vote on any major new regulation with an economic cost of $50 million or more.

I am also a cosponsor of the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act. This legislation would establish a fund to create innovation centers designed to partner with private business to commercialize inventions discovered in basic research performed by universities and research labs. Developed products could then be brought to U.S. manufacturers for production.

I believe it is important to hear from our nation’s job creators about their efforts to produce products here at home and create the jobs our economy needs. Washington can help unleash growth in the manufacturing sector by reining in over regulation and allowing them to build, grow, and compete.