BANNOCKBURN, IL — Tech trade groups are responding positively to President Obama's emphasis on the importance of the manufacturing sector and call for free trade during his State of the Union address this week.

IPC president and CEO John Mitchell said that on behalf of the 800,000 people employed throughout the trade group's 2,200 member facilities in the US, IPC commends President Obama for highlighting the critical and continuing contribution of the manufacturing sector to the US economy, in his final State of the Union address." IPC was further pleased at the mention of the newly created National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, one of the president's key programs for the tech sector.

Obama said manufacturing has created nearly 900,000 new jobs in the past six years. He went on to praise the NNMI as an engine for entrepreneurship and further job growth, noting, “We've launched next-generation manufacturing hubs.”

IPC has been a proponent of the creation of the NNMI, and is a partner in the NNMI’s Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII).

The NNMI provides a manufacturing research infrastructure for US industry and academia to collaborate to solve industry-relevant problems. The NNMI is a network of hubs, each with a unique focus, but a common goal to create, showcase, and deploy new capabilities and new manufacturing processes.

The SIA said Obama's vision for America’s future includes priorities "of great significance" to the tech sector. "SIA applauds the President’s support for policies to advance US innovation. We also strongly support his call for congressional approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an enormous, landmark trade agreement that would strengthen the U.S. economy, bolster America’s global technology leadership, and help ensure the United States writes the rules for 21st Century trade.

SIA feels the TPP would ensure more products made in America – including semiconductors and other tech products – can be exported unencumbered by tariffs and other trade barriers. Semiconductors are America’s third-largest manufactured export.

Further, TPP would set "the rules of the road for trade," added SIA. "The TPP ... creates high-standard rules that are fair and forward leaning, rather than rules that threaten to chop up the world into small pieces. It also sends a resounding message to competitors abroad that market-based rules of the road must rule the day.

"The TPP is good for the semiconductor industry, the tech sector, the American economy, and the global economy. Congress should approve it."

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