Be honest: few of us really know what to expect from President Trump’s first address to Congress tonight, and that’s one reason the event is likely to get good ratings. We do know what he campaigned for and what he has chosen to emphasize in his first month in office. Those of us at Global Automakers are eager to hear more, especially about his ideas to grow American manufacturing.

When it comes to strengthening manufacturing in the United States, the member companies of Global Automakers stand at the forefront. International automakers accounted for 47 percent of total U.S. auto production last year, directly supporting 125,600 jobs across the country. In just the last ten years, vehicle production by international automakers in the United States has increased by 108 percent.  

A strong U.S. economy is deeply linked to a vibrant auto industry.  The auto industry is the foundation for a modern industrial base and modern manufacturing.  Yes, this industry is the biggest customer for, and biggest consumer of, just about everything that’s made in the modern economy.

  • Lightweight metals such as aluminum and high-strength steel, and composite materials such as carbon fiber?  Check.  
  • Semiconductors and chips and software that monitor and control engine and emissions systems, crash avoidance and survival systems, and the coming vehicle-to-vehicle and automated driving technologies?  Check.  
  • Coatings and textiles for exteriors and interiors?  Check.  
  • Chemicals and fluids for lubrication and cooling? Check.  

And with thoughtful policies on regulation, taxes, and trade, the United States can continue to lead in advanced manufacturing and innovative vehicle technologies. Each year, the American auto industry continues to grow, thanks to manufacturers who came to America with a vision and a belief that this country was a great place to build cars.  For decades, international automakers have been working to expand manufacturing in America.

So when the President talks about doing things to increase American manufacturing, we are of course intensely interested.