Branstad to host presidential candidate forum 11.1.11

The National Association of Manufacturers plans to host a candidate forum on 11.1.11 in Pella, Iowa, the home to Vermeer Manufacturing.  Vermeer’s president & CEO  is Mary Andringa.  Andringa is currently the board chair of the National Association of Manufacturers.  (Republicans who eventually convinced Terry Branstad to seek a fifth term as governor in 2010 had tried to get Andringa to run for governor.  She was among the advisors to Branstad’s 2010 campaign.)  Now, the question:  which candidates will agree to participate?

Washington, D.C., 04/13/11 –  The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and its Board Chair Mary Andringa will host a forum for the 2012 Republican presidential candidates in Pella, Iowa, on Nov. 1, 2011. The forum will be moderated by Iowa Gov. Terry E. Branstad.

Vermeer Corporation’s headquarters will be the site for this important discussion. Vermeer is a family-owned manufacturing company that produces construction, agricultural and environmental equipment. Its products are used on job sites in more than 60 nations around the globe. Vermeer Corporation also operates sales manufacturing facilities in several countries and employs more than 2,400 people worldwide.  Mary Andringa is Vermeer’s president and CEO and also serves as chair of the NAM Board of Directors.

“Manufacturing is vital to the American economy, and we expect issues that affect manufacturers – from tax reform to energy security to job growth – to play a central role in the presidential election,” said Vermeer Corporation President Mary Andringa. “We look forward to welcoming the candidates to Vermeer and learning about their visions for keeping manufacturing in America strong.” 

“I am pleased to have been asked to participate in Vermeer Corporation and the National Association of Manufacturers’ Republican presidential candidate forum,” said Iowa Gov. Terry E. Branstad. “This is an excellent opportunity for all of the candidates to discuss manufacturing, trade, tax reform and other issues that are critically important to the state of Iowa and the United States’ economic prosperity.”

The forum will provide an opportunity for the candidates to talk with manufacturers about their positions on critical issues. The NAM’s comprehensive “Manufacturing Strategy for Jobs and a Competitive America” outlines three goals to keep manufacturing in America competitive which include making the United States: the best country in the world to headquarter a company and attract foreign direct investment; the best country in the world to innovate, performing the bulk of a company’s research and development; and a great place to manufacture, both to meet the needs of the American market and serve as an export platform for the world.

“In today’s global economy, manufacturers are facing unprecedented challenges and costs imposed from Washington that hurt their ability to compete,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “We are excited to have the opportunity to discuss our goals for policies on taxes, trade and regulations that will promote sustained economic growth and job creation here in the United States.”

The major Republican candidates running for President in 2012 will be invited to participate in the forum. The NAM will also extend an invitation to President Obama to meet with manufacturers to discuss issues critical to manufacturing competitiveness.

The United States is the world’s largest manufacturing economy, producing 21 percent of global manufactured products. Nearly 12 million Americans are employed directly in manufacturing. Manufacturing in Iowa employs more than 200,000 people and accounts for more than 20 percent of Iowa’s economy.    

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.