Manufacturing advocate Jay Timmons touted an industry comeback Tuesday, but warned lawmakers that overly burdensome regulations and high federal taxes are stifling its power and hurting the economy.

"There are speed bumps slowing us down, so let's get rid of them," Timmons, CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, said at Indiana's Perdue University Tuesday. "Starting with achieving a sane regulatory environment."

The regulations in place cost small manufacturers nearly $35,000 per employee per year, he said. "Today's system is unnecessarily complex and inefficient."

Timmons represents 14,000 large and small manufacturers in all 50 states, and said small manufacturers are hit especially hard by regulations: "Those family businesses ask me all the time: how can we make the government understand that their regulations hurt small businesses more than anyone?"

The Obama administration's regulation of greenhouse gasses and proposed ozone standard — the costliest regulation in history — could shut down entire facilities and halt planned expansions, he said. (RELATED: EPA Sneaks 'Costliest Regulation Ever')

And an "outdated" tax code, which has the highest corporate rate in the world, and treats two-thirds of manufacturers as individuals, is driving manufacturers out of the country. "Every business leader in the world wants access to our market," he said. "But every one of them has to ask: what is the cost of doing business in America?" (RELATED: Obama Would Nearly DOUBLE This Tax)

Timmons warned students that Obama's propensity to raise taxes to spend more money will cost them job opportunities: "You're getting a world class education at Purdue, but it won't matter if taxing and spending in Washington limits your opportunities. The President's budget plan will shut the doors you want to walk through."

At the same time, he denied the idea that manufacturing in the United States has reached and passed its prime, touting its contribution of $2 trillion to the economy, and its important place in American history.

"When the world needs America to help make it out of a rough patch, it's manufacturers in the United States who make the things that make it happen," he said. "They're the ones who make anything possible."

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