Manufacturers Gather to Make a Stand on Capitol Hill
A coalition of 23 United States manufacturers, including prominent names such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing, have come together to support an effort to influence technological policy on the federal level.
The group is led by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and their goal is to sway lawmakers on the issues of cyber security, data sharing, and intellectual property.
While lawmakers may not always see the connection, the association’s president and CEO, Jay Timmons, said that, “Manufacturing and technology are intrinsically tied together.”
The group’s campaign, known as DATA, which stands for Driving the Agenda for Technology Advancement, aims to influence the policy makers through studies and events that will help to promote the role of manufacturers in driving technology.
Timmons says that many people still think of manufacturing with an old-school kind of mindset, while the industry is really up-to-date and technology-driven.
“The innovation that drives manufacturing and improves the lives of all Americans needs a national technology policy that will allow it to flourish,” he says.
Timmons added that manufacturers invest more money in research and development than all other industrial sectors combined. “Their expertise and experience are critical to any technology debate.”
Lawmakers should, “appreciate the links between research and development, innovation, U.S. manufacturing jobs and our nation’s future economic prosperity,” said Tim Keating, Senior Vice President of Government Operations at Boeing.
Brian Raymond, Director of Technology Policy at NAM, said that people also need to be more aware of the role that the defense and aerospace sectors play in advanced technology. “That story has been told, but has not been told as robustly as it could be, or in a way that folks on Capitol Hill really understand,” he said.
The group hopes that with their efforts the United States government will invest more money in securing networks and cyber security research, as well as increasing the penalties for cyber crime.
“The maintenance and protection of our nation’s cyber-infrastructure is critical to manufacturers, as Internet-based threats can disrupt commerce and communication and pose a threat to our national security,” the association said.