The Manufacturing and Economic Recovery Conference (MERC) is February 19-20 in Chicago, IL, and we need to drive attendance to this important gathering of U.S. manufacturers, legislators and economists, not to mention other influential people who wish to create a meaningful dialog on the issue of free trade and how it is negatively impacting our most important asset: manufacturing.
The problems facing American manufacturers have been well documented. For example, nearly three millions jobs have been lost in the past three years due to foreign competition, plants moving to China and the loss of domestic jobs to other Asian countries offering cheaper labor. Despite these challenges and the devastating economic slump, there is still a sense of pride and commitment to manufacturing in the U.S. In an effort to address these problems and find the real solutions, MERC is bringing together government officials, economists, professors and others interested in rebuilding American manufacturing, at this uniquely themed conference.
"American manufacturers are being squeezed and what we need to do is work together as an industry to solve the problems that are facing us," says Alan Petrucci, president of B A Die Mold Inc (Aurora, IL) and a founding member of SAM-USA. "We need to get Congress, manufacturers and others to work together to find ways to revitalize our manufacturing operations. We no longer can watch our businesses lose more and more of our operations to our trading partners." Some of the renowned and acclaimed legislators, authors and manufacturing executives who will be speaking at the Manufacturing and Economic Recovery Conference include:
- Grant Aldonas, U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce
- Timothy Bartik, WE Upjohn Institute
- Daniel Brandenstein, vice president, Space Program Operations, Lockheed Martin
- Erik Buell, president and CTO, Buell Motorcycle Co.
- Dwight Carey, president, American Design and Equipment Inc.
- Andy Carlino, founder and president, Achievement Dynamics and co-founder, The Lean Learning Center
- Michelle Cleveland, vice president, The Right Place, Inc.
- John Cleveland, vice president, IRN, Inc.
- Mike Collins, author of "Why We Can Compete"
- Bob Engman, president, Opto 22
- George Erickcek, WE Upjohn Institute
- Malcolm Fields, CIO, HON Industries
- Demetria Giannisis, president and CEO, The Chicago Manufacturing Center
- Tim Gleason, president, Olson Intl.
- Cullen Hackler, executive vice president, Porcelain Enamel Institute
- Brett Kingstone, CEO, Super Vision Intl.
- Rep. William Lipinski (D-Ill.)
- Rep. Donald Manzullo (R-Ill.)
- Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas)
- Paul Pellioni, president, Hause Machines
- Alan Petrucci, president, B A Die Mold
- Murray Sabrin Ph.D., economist
- David Simchi-Levi, professor, MIT and president, Logic Tools
- William Testa, vice president, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
- Alan Tonelson, author of the Race to the Bottom: Why a Worldwide Worker Surplus and Uncontrolled Free Trade are Sinking American Living Standards
SAM also has begun to further ally itself with other organizations that are fighting for the same causes. Two of those organizations are MAD in the USA —www.madinusa.org—and American Manufacturing Trade Coalition (AMTAC)—www.amtacdc.org. SAM is on record with several other organizations supporting AMTAC's call for a moratorium on further free trade agreements until the problems with the current agreements can be addressed. In addition, SAM is considering staging several demonstrations in front of Wal-Mart stores across the country, adding to the publicized efforts of MAD In the USA.
Thank you for your continued support!