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U.S. manufacturers say uncertainty about the “fiscal cliff” of impending tax increases and spending cuts is standing in the way of the robust job growth that is needed to lower the unemployment rate.

On the heels of June’s disappointing jobs report, the leading trade group for manufacturers is arguing the lack of a firm plan from Democrats, Republicans or the White House to address the fiscal cliff is putting the brakes on economic growth.

“Congress and the administration’s inaction has led us to a fiscal cliff, and any further delay in forcefully dealing with the problem will only worsen the economic fallout that the United States is facing,” said Jay Timmons, chief executive and president of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).

“It’s time for Washington to provide the leadership necessary to ensure our economy does not fall off the impending fiscal cliff.”

Congress and President Obama are facing a year-end deadline to act on a number of big-ticket issues, including the first installment of $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts and the expiration of the George W. Bush-era tax rates. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has warned that the array of tax increases and spending reductions set to hit on Jan. 1, 2013, could drag the economy back into recession.

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