WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today joined a bipartisan group of Senators to announce the introduction of legislation that would help manufacturers hire new workers and expand operations. The American Job Creation and Investment Act, which was introduced today by Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Olympia Snowe (R-ME), is estimated to have the potential to create or save more than 230,000 jobs.

The legislation would allow companies in 2010 and 2011 to utilize their existing Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) credits to make investments in manufacturing facilities and equipment or to create new jobs.

“We need to work alongside manufacturers and small businesses to create new jobs,” Brown said. “The manufacturing industry helped build our middle class, but too many manufacturers struggle to access capital – limiting their ability to expand operations and hire new workers. This bill will allow our manufacturers to compete in the 21st century economy while putting Americans back to work.”

Companies that are still recovering from the economic downturn continue to face significant challenges in raising much-needed capital for new investments.  AMT credits are pre-payments on taxes, with which companies can offset their future tax liability.  The legislation would allow companies to access these funds for the purpose of job creation.  The act would also offer the option of calculating a company’s AMT credits based on current and previous employee wages, which provides an incentive for employers to hire and retain workers for at least one year. Credits would also feature an expedited refund process, in order to accelerate their economic effect. Because the credits are already in existence, the legislation would have no additional cost to the federal government. Every manufacturing job supports as many as four other jobs, and investments in the manufacturing sector have a multiplier effect for economic growth.

Recently described as “Congress’ leading proponent of American manufacturing,” Brown is leading the fight to help the American manufacturing industry compete in the 21st century.  During a televised question-and-answer session on February 3rd, Brown pressed President Obama on the need for a national manufacturing policy.  He is the author of the Investments for Manufacturing Progress and Clean Technology (IMPACT) Act, which would establish a $30 billion Manufacturing Revolving Loan Fund to help small-and mid-sizd manufacturers transition to the clean energy economy through retooling. The bill would also expand the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) in order to help manufacturers access new export markets.