FILE - Belvidere (Ill.) Assembly Plant

An FCA US employee installs the lower trim bezel on a Jeep Cherokee using one of 82 new skillets at the Belvidere (Ill.) Assembly Plant. Two all-new skillet conveyor lines run through general assembly, adjusting each skillet to the optimal height for the operator, resulting in improved quality and better ergonomics. Belvidere Assembly began production of the Jeep Cherokee on June 1, 2017, after it moved from the Toledo (Ohio) Assembly Complex as part of the Company’s plan to increase manufacturing capacity of trucks and SUVs. (2017)

(The Center Square) – Illinois manufacturers are concerned that presumptive President-elect Joe Biden will not only hike taxes and create more red tape than President Donald Trump but would take a weaker stance on Chinese companies stealing their products and illegally recreating them.

In a survey conducted last month, 62% of the 162 Illinois-based manufacturers who responded say they’ve got less confidence in their business’ outlook under a Joe Biden presidency. 

The survey didn’t elaborate on specifics but the Technology Manufacturer’s Association of Illinois, who conducted the survey, said employers fear Biden’s administration would hike taxes, introduce new regulations, and fail to keep the pressure on China for their theft of intellectual property. 

“This really comes as no surprise from our Illinois manufacturers because our members for the most part supported the President’s pro-business agenda because it was best for their companies. Under a Biden presidency, manufacturers are expecting taxes to go up and regulation to increase,” said Steve Rauschenberger, President of TMA.

A 2012 report to the U.S. Senate on IP theft estimated the average company lost $101.9 million in revenues and $1.4 million in costs associated with identification and enforcement of intellectual property rights.

Dennis LaComb, vice president of government affairs for TMA, said, “Joe Biden needs to reassure manufactures that he will stay tough on China, not dramatically change the taxation and regulatory policies of the Trump administration, and continue efforts to engage in trade agreements that prioritize American manufacturers.”

On the campaign trail, Biden has said his administration would work with other ally countries to bring a collaborated pressure on China’s IP theft. 

The TMA also conducts a monthly Manufacturers’ Outlook Report, which found industry optimism fell from an eight-month high of 80% in October to 64% last month. The National Federation of Independent Business’ Illinois chapter’s Small Business Optimism Index also declined 2.6 points in November but remains well above the 47-year historical average.

Regional Editor

Cole Lauterbach is a regional editor for The Center Square covering Arizona, California, and Nevada. For more than a decade, Cole has produced award-winning content on both radio and television.