The 4-part plan to keep US manufacturing supreme

Manufacturers in the United States are by far the most productive in the world. But the people who dream, invent and build our future could do so much more if Washington finally delivered the products lawmakers can make: legislation to drive widespread economic prosperity for generations.

That will be the message of more than 400 manufacturers—from small businesses all along Main Street to large employers across the country—who are in Washington this week for the National Association of Manufacturers' (NAM) 2015 Manufacturing Summit. We'll be reminding lawmakers what the people in their districts need to create jobs and increase standards of living for everyone.

A worker at GM's Fairfax assembly plant in Kansas City, Kansas.
Dave Kaup | Reuters
A worker at GM's Fairfax assembly plant in Kansas City, Kansas.

Legislation—on several fronts—is moving on Capitol Hill at an almost dizzying speed. Yet every day that manufacturers, and indeed all Americans, have to wait for pro-growth policies is another day we cede more of our global economic leadership to competitor nations. From tax policy to regulatory policy, from expanded trade to a 21st-century infrastructure, many nations are applying the lessons we taught them on how to seize competitive advantage and jobs.

It's time to renew that vision of America that puts us back on the pathway of leadership, with the lens of ideals that make us unique and still the envy of the world: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity. The clock is ticking.

Read MoreAn outfitter says good-bye to the Letterman show

That's why the NAM, the largest industrial trade association in the United States, with a history spanning 120 years, is unveiling our vision—and four goals for the future of manufacturing and American Exceptionalism. It's a straightforward plan with an outsized impact if Washington helps us realize our promise.

There are four goals:

  • The United States will be the best place in the world to manufacture and attract foreign direct investment.
  • Manufacturers in America will be the world's leading innovators.
  • The United States will expand access to global markets to enable manufacturers to reach the 95 percent of consumers who live outside our borders.
  • Manufacturers will have access to the workforce that a modern economy demands.

There's no time to delay. Congress can make measurable progress on these goals right now.

Read MoreA new cold war front for US and China: Ice buckets

"About 12 million Americans are employed in manufacturing. Our industry boasts the highest multiplier effect of any economic sector."

The House can send the renewal of Trade Promotion Authority to the president's desk and make it clear that America is "Open for Business," igniting a new round of trade agreements that will enable manufacturers to sell more of our products to other countries. Congress can stop dithering with theory and politics and preserve for manufacturers in the United States the same resource and tool that more than 60 of our foreign competitors utilize to win new business orders, by passing a long-term reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank.

On tax policy, Washington can make our system work better for today's families and businesses. That means lowering the corporate rate to create more jobs in every community. It includes easing the burden on small and medium-sized manufacturers who pay an even higher individual rate. And we must adopt a modern, competitive international tax system; enact a strong, permanent research and development incentive; and implement a robust capital cost-recovery system to allow our nation's job creators to pursue a larger number of profitable projects and increase both investment and employment.

It shouldn't take crumbling roads, bridges, ports, railways and runways to pass a multiyear surface transportation authorization to keep people safe and our nation competitive.

And when it comes to achieving a sane regulatory system that protects workers and our environment and unleashes economic growth, there's a lot Congress can do. Whether it's by pushing back against the Environmental Protection Agency's unwise greenhouse gas regulations and unnecessarily costly ozone regulations, opposing the ever-expanding regulatory burdens into ditches and streams of just rainwater or updating a 38-year-old approach to regulating the chemical industry to promote innovation and help workers and employers thrive, the answers are clear.

About 12 million Americans are employed in manufacturing. Our industry boasts the highest multiplier effect of any economic sector. For every $1 spent in manufacturing, another $1.37 is added to the economy. No other sector even comes close.

Read More1 kids' sport breeds success

But our numbers could be even better, and the lives we can improve could be yet again unmatched, if Congress gives us a hand.

Manufacturers aren't here for a handout. When we see a problem, we fix it. We expect Congress to do the same.