Manufacturer Optimism Hits Record High After Tax Reform Plan Revealed

President Trump touts tax reform proposal at National Association of Manufacturers meeting today

Getty Images

Manufacturer optimism is at a record-high after President Donald Trump's tax reform plan has been revealed, according to a survey from the National Association of Manufacturers.

Optimism for small and large manufacturers over the last three economic quarters has averaged a record high of 90.87 percent, which is the highest seen in 20 years. It's also significantly higher than 59.77 percent optimism seen in the first three quarters of 2016.

The survey found that 64.3 percent of manufacturers said the promise of tax reform would allow them to expand their business, 57.3 percent said they would hire more workers, and 52.2 percent said they would increase wages and benefits for employees.

The survey results were presented at the National Association of Manufacturers board of directors meeting Friday where both manufacturing members and President Trump touted tax reform and the framework that was released on Wednesday.

"We are so excited, so optimistic—our nation is a coiled spring and we're about to launch," said Drew Greenblatt, president and owner of Marlin Steel Wire Products. "Our company is buying one million dollars’ worth of new equipment this week to take advantage of this wonderful new tax reform."

"That means new jobs will be created in our city," he said. "That means we'll be more efficient, more effective, and our employees will have the best tools in the world."

Greenblatt said one of the things in the tax reform proposal that makes him optimistic is instant expensing.

"That means when we go buy something, we don’t have to take a beat down on our taxes over 10 years, we can instantly expense it," he said. "This gives us enthusiasm to do it now, to move these huge investments right here, what happens then is your employees have better tools now."

"These are all the good things that come out of instant expensing, so bottom line is we're extremely optimistic. Bottom line is its great for our nation and wonderful for the middle class," Greenblatt said.

Chuck Wetherington, president of BTE technologies, said the overhead structure for the medical devices his company provides can be very expensive, and the tax reform plan makes him optimistic because of its lower tax structure and R&D credits. Instead of only being able to work on one product development plan at a time, Wetherington forsees that the tax reform plan will allow him to work on two or three of those projects at a time.

"For me it means innovation, new products, new products means more business, and more business means more jobs," he said.

Rich Gimmel, chairman of Atlas Machine and Supply, a company that has been operating for 110 years, says the tax reform plan will allow companies to create more taxpayers.

"What we are lacking in this country is taxpayers, half of the country does not pay any taxes," Gimmel said. "If we're given the opportunity to expand, to hire people which we desperately need to do, we're going to create taxpayers."

"Manufacturing jobs are solid middle-class jobs, our people pay far more taxes than they consume," he said. "We're seeing right now a huge surge of optimism among manufacturers from relaxing regulatory burdensome regulations that we've seen over the last six to eight years."

"Manufacturers are more optimistic now than they've ever been in the history of manufacturing," Gimmel said. "The government is going to quit stacking things against us in terms of our ability to be globally competitive, and they're going to start getting on our side and give us the tools we need to really compete globally."

President Trump said the tax reform framework will make America more competitive globally and will be best for everyday hard-working American families.

"Manufacturing confidence is at an all-time high, America is finally back on the right track," Trump said. "We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to pass tax reform that is pro-growth, pro-jobs, pro-worker, pro-family, and pro-America."

"We will cut taxes on American businesses to restore our competitive edge and create more jobs and higher wages for the American worker," said the president. "When it comes to business tax, we are now dead last among developed nations. We have the highest tax of any nation in the world—our rate is the least competitive rate."

"It is time to go from dead last to pretty much the front of the pack," he said. "We will dramatically cut our business tax rate so that American companies and workers can compete with our foreign competitors. This is a revolutionary change and the biggest winners will be everyday working families as jobs start pouring into our country."