The Trump administration has released details of its budget proposal and it doesn’t look good for manufacturers. An Associated Press review showed that only the departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs and the Treasury would see funding increases.
While State, Education and Justice departments, Housing and Urban Development and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are facing huge cuts, there’s one area that particularly effects the manufacturing sector. Under this new budget, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) doesn’t make the cut. The MEP assists small and mid-sized manufacturers, as well as the Economic Development Administration and the Minority Business Development Agency.
For every dollar invested from the federal government in 2016, the MEP helped to generate over $9 billion in new and retained sales, $2.3 billion in new sales alone! For every $1,501 invested, MEP creates or retains one manufacturing job. Founded in 1988, MEP has has helped with $96.4 billion in sales and $15.7 billion in savings. It has helped the U.S. retain more than 797, 994.
Cutting the MEP means there will be a large impact on our economy. Most of the companies in manufacturing are fairly small. In 2014, there were a total of 251,901 firms in the manufacturing sector. Out of that number, all but a mere 3,749 firms were considered to be small (having fewer than 500 employees). Overall, 18.5 million jobs are currently supported by manufacturing. United States manufacturing currently stands as the ninth largest economy in the world, comprising nearly 12% of our GDP. In short: MEP has been a huge help and now it is in trouble.
The administration says that closing the MEP would save over $120 million and that its role is already provided by other institutions and organizations. “In 2018, the National Institute of Standards and Technology will work to transition MEP centers solely to non-Federal revenue streams, as was intended when the program was first established,” the administration said.
Additionally, sweeping cuts to nearly every government agency are also being made.
Follow on Twitter: @NIST_MEP