Viewing blog posts written by Lance Hastings


California manufacturers will grow with new free trade agreement

Posted by Lance Hastings, President on July 14, 2019

If California were its own country, it would rank as the fifth largest economy in the world. Here, production doesn’t just refer to movies, and tech isn’t just an industry. From cars to computers, smartphones to spaceships, California manufacturers are innovating and making products that will pull our country into the future—doing so with technology that already exists. Our state’s manufacturing industry is poised to grow and thrive as long as lawmakers provide pro-growth policies to enable it—which is exactly why manufacturers here in California and across the nation are calling on Congress to support the United States-Mexico-Canada-Agreement (USMCA) when it comes to a vote.

Last year, leaders from the United States, Canada, and Mexico came together to update the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). NAFTA, while forward-thinking for its time, has become increasingly outdated as our technology and modern economy continue to outpace our economic policy. Our countries’ leaders recognized this and signed the USMCA in November 2018. The next step is for Congress to ratify it expeditiously once the administration formally submits it for approval—which we expect to happen soon.

This new deal not only protects free trade throughout North America, it provides a number of long-awaited improvements that will help to shepherd our economy and our manufacturing industry forward for decades to come.

First, the new agreement includes best-in-class rules that would strengthen United States intellectual property (IP) protection and enforcement. Being in such a technology-driven and innovative state, IP rights are critical to a number of sectors and businesses. With even better IP standards that reflect the modern economy, California manufacturers will be emboldened to create new, environmentally friendly, and economical ways to put food on tables across the United States or even to find the next discovery in outer space.

The USMCA would also improve digital rules to ensure companies in the United States using online storefronts have safe and unfettered access to consumers across Mexico and Canada that would help their businesses grow. And let’s not forget about the ways it levels the playing field for many American businesses by improving the way anti-competitive behaviors by state-owned enterprises are addressed and by expanding access into both Canada and Mexico by removing unfair trade barriers. This agreement is undoubtedly beneficial to each North American nation.

To date, Mexico is the only country that has ratified the USMCA. And with data from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) showing the positive economic impact the USMCA would have, it is surprising that some in Congress have not shown the same sense of urgency.

California has more than 25,000 manufacturing firms, 93 percent of which are small- and medium-sized, that depend on free trade throughout North America. And these jobs can be found across our state and throughout many different industries, creating well-paying, career-track jobs. In fact, the jobs in our state that are supported by North American trade pay an average of $100,060 in wages and benefits in comparison to an average $54,329 in nonfarm industries.

According to the same NAM study, California’s economy would suffer without the passage of a strong North American trade agreement, with the state’s manufactured goods exported to Canada and Mexico potentially facing between $1.2 billion and $10.1 billion in extra taxes. That’s in comparison to zero tariffs today and it’s completely unacceptable.

Each day that the USMCA is not approved is another day that goes by without certainty for manufacturers. It’s another day that manufacturers could be creating more well-paying, stable jobs for the middle class. As is so often the case, manufacturers are looking to California to lead, to show what is possible and to pull our country into the future by signing the USMCA. We are up to the task, and let’s get to work!





0 comments | Post your comment

CMTA Open House ignites the Capitol community

Posted by Lance Hastings, President on Jan. 28, 2019

Last week CMTA hosted its annual Open House to welcome legislators, Administration officials, industry partners and other friends of manufacturing. A heartfelt thank you from the CMTA team to everyone who joined us to network and reconnect in the early weeks of what will be a busy year!

#CAmfg and #MakingCA will be up front and center in the Capitol in 2019.





0 comments | Post your comment

New CMTA President focusing on a promise of manufacturing

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Dec. 15, 2018

Last week the Orange County Register published new CMTA President Lance Hastings' inaugural op ed on his commitment to working toward the promise of new manufacturing opportunities in California. It's the first of many pieces that will seek to illuminate the ultra economic benefits of manufacturing, the challenges to new manufacturing investment in California, and CMTA's solutions and ideas to turn the state's long held dream into a promise. 

Make California's Dream a Promise

By Lance Hastings in the OC Register -- December 14, 2018

California has always evoked dreams of new adventures and opportunities that couldn’t be found elsewhere. Those of us who are lucky enough to call it our home hold on to the dream of a wonderful future that only the Golden State can provide.

Many of the hallmarks that attracted millions of people are still present: fantastic climate, beautiful Pacific shores and majestic mountains. Early settlers flocked to the state in pursuit of gold and a new, prosperous future. Hollywood and the movie industry shared an elegance that was the envy of the world. In the 1980’s and 90’s aerospace and high tech manufacturing were plentiful and grew at record paces, providing much of the middle class with home ownership and a college education for their kids.

Now in 2019, almost two centuries after California became a state, we continue to lead the country in innovation but the production of our own inventions is falling short. New clean and exciting manufacturing facilities are simply growing quicker elsewhere. California is still the largest manufacturing state in the country but this doesn’t tell the whole story. Los Angeles County in southern California for example lost 7 percent of its manufacturing core since 2010 while the rest of the country grew by more than 12 percent. That means more than 25,000 southern California middle class families lost out on the dream that manufacturing could have provided. ... READ MORE AT THE OC REGISTER





0 comments | Post your comment

Copyright © 2019, California Manufacturers & Technology Association. All rights reserved.