PMA member urges Congress to bring manufacturing back to U.S.

March 18, 2014

Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) member Kevin Harberts, president and CEO of Kryton Engineered Metals Inc., Cedar Falls, Iowa, has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access about reshoring, or bringing outsourced manufacturing work back to the U.S.

In his testimony, Harberts stated, “This time a year ago we had 63 employees; today we have grown to 71 and hope to hire another 8 to 12 this year. We attribute this growth directly to reshoring a product line which left the U.S. a decade ago and came back to America’s heartland.”

Kryton Metals is a manufacturer of spun and fabricated metal products. Company sales were hurt by the economic downturn in 2008-2009, and Harberts was forced to lay off a large number of employees. His business turned around when a foreign manufacturer moved production from Europe to his plant in Iowa.

“While politicians argue among themselves, employers like me are stuck in a holding pattern,” he said. “We don’t know whether Congress will extend the R&D Tax Credit, we’re unsure what new rules OSHA and the EPA will impose on us, and we can’t find qualified workers in large part because Congress has not updated our job training laws in over a decade.

“To improve manufacturing’s forecast, we must look to overseas opportunities and convince foreign customers that the U.S. is the place for manufacturing. Manufacturers are doing our part to encourage reshoring — now it's Washington’s turn.”