Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) member Kevin Harberts called on Congress today to support industry efforts to bring manufacturing back to America—for good. Harberts, president and CEO of Kryton Engineered Metals, Inc. in Cedar Falls, Iowa, testified today before the U.S. House of Representative’s Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access about reshoring, or bringing outsourced manufacturing work back home 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 8–12 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.”
Founded in 1981, Kryton Metals is an industry leader in manufacturing spun and fabricated metal products. Company sales were hurt by the economic downturn in 2008-9 and Harberts was forced to lay off a large number of employees. His business turned around when a foreign manufacturer decided to reshore work and moved production from Europe to his plant in Iowa.
“Foreign manufacturers choose to reshore and source from U.S. suppliers for several reasons such as price, quality, availability of raw materials such as steel, and location,” said Harberts in his testimony. “The decision of our customer to supply from Kryton Metals will carry us into 2020.â …â We are going to save our customer money, grow our business, and—most importantly—create jobs in Iowa and throughout our entire U.S. supply chain.”
Harberts has high hopes for the future of Kryton Metals and the U.S. manufacturing sector but said that uncertainty in Washington has a chilling effect on American manufacturing growth and reshoring opportunities.
“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.”
Harberts concluded his testimony by appealing to Congress to take action and make the U.S. a coveted manufacturing location for global businesses.
“Domestic manufacturers can only lower their prices so far and we’re not changing our location,” he pointed out. “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.”