Elizabeth Modic Editor emodic@gie.net

After a very long, heated presidential campaign, U.S. citizens elected a new president. No matter which candidate you supported, division about the outcome was immediately obvious from the reactions that ranged from wishing failure on the president-elect to hate for fellow Americans.

On Jan. 20, 2017, President Barack Obama will leave office and Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. Now is not the time to argue about who won, it is the time to stay vigilant that campaign promises are upheld, because an administration’s failure would be failure for all of us. Trump pledged, “to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me.” This is ‘so important to me’ as well because how we react and how we treat each other matters. Only tolerance and acceptance – bringing citizens back together – will show if our country has the wherewithal to come together and prosper.

One major campaign platform was bringing jobs back to America, with manufacturing having a huge stake in policy change and reform. The president-elect’s 7-point plan to rebuild and fight for free trade states that he is for “negotiating fair trade deals that create American jobs, increase American wages, and reduce America’s trade deficit.” Manufacturers are likely to welcome his promises to lower taxes and reduce business regulations, but they also know that it needs teamwork.

The National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) has shown its want for collaboration and willingness to work together, when more than 1,100 manufacturers and business leaders signed the NAM’s Nov. 9, 2016, letter, Manufacturers: We Are the Solution. Its members expressed their commitment to:

Reunit(e) our country and our people after this particularly difficult election. American families, businesses, and our communities cannot truly prosper and reach their full potential in a country that is divided and distrustful.

We will look for areas upon which we agree and can work productively with your new administration. To be sure, we are aware that there will be times when we disagree on the specifics of important policies, and we will respectfully make our voices heard when we do. We do believe, however, that we can be constructive – both when we agree and when we do not – if we can all approach challenging situations in good faith, guided by an unwavering commitment to a greater purpose.

There will be challenges, and how they are approached will determine progress or stagnation. While factory production has more than doubled since 1979 (see TMD Sept. 2016 editorial: https://goo.gl/oXU3Ag), there’s still work to be done regarding policies that promote reshoring, support R&D, protect intellectual property (IP), and build a strong manufacturing workforce.

Our country can progress, but it’s all about how we treat each other. That means everyone needs to be willing to work together. What are your plans to help manufacturing stay strong and get stronger? Drop me a line and let me know at emodic@gie.net. ~ Elizabeth