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A GROWTH AGENDA: Four Goals for a Manufacturing Resurgence in America

A GROWTH Agenda: Four Goals for a Manufacturing Resurgence in America

This strategy is a blueprint for competitiveness that will unleash the economy and manufacturing’s outsized multiplier effect. Importantly, manufacturers’ aspirations—the four goals laid out in the pages that follow—are ones that all Americans who want to maintain our country’s economic advantage can rally around.

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Washington, D.C., -  The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) are joining forces to urge for long-overdue reforms to the overly complex and inefficient federal regulatory process. The partnership was announced during a panel event on federal regulations this morning. During the course of the upcoming year, the two organizations will utilize the full weight of their grassroots networks in an effort to engage with Congress and the Administration on the need for regulatory improvements.

Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the NAM, said, “This is a strong and necessary partnership because manufacturers and small businesses face a disproportionate burden of all regulatory costs. While manufacturers recognize the need for regulation, the scope and complexity of rules have made it harder to do business and compete in recent years. This is a trend that simply cannot continue and is easily solved with several common-sense fixes. We can achieve a streamlined regulatory process with increased accountability and transparency that will protect businesses, manufacturers and the consumers.”

NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner added, “Poll after poll indicates most Americans feel Washington is doing too much, too fast on regulations. Time and time again, we hear from our members about the complex regulatory climate and how, with a little more transparency and openness, the regulations would be more effective and work more efficiently for everyone. This is a bipartisan issue that Congress can rally behind and move quickly to address.”

This morning’s event, which included opening remarks by House Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), fell during the House of Representative’s week-long focus on regulations. Panelists included former Virginia Gov. George Allen; former U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR); Susan Dudley, the Director of the George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center and the former administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA); Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen; and Philip Howard, author of The Death of Common Sense.

Navigating federal regulations continues to be one of the top problems facing small business owners and manufacturers. The regulatory process leaves businesses mired in uncertainty and spending precious time and money trying to navigate applicable regulatory requirements. This results in fewer resources being invested in hiring new employees or growing their business. In 2013 alone, business owners and manufacturers spent more than 67 million hours filling out paperwork at a cost to the economy of approximately $112 billion. And according to a study by the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI), compliance costs for manufacturers have increased an average of 7.6 percent per year since 1998, while manufacturing output has grown at an anemic 0.4 percent.

The NAM and NFIB intend to talk about how small businesses and manufacturers need regulations that are thoughtfully crafted, analyzed, implemented, and enforced to protect the public, workers and the environment as intended. Too often today, rules are drafted without input from the sectors responsible for implementing them and without a review of the compounded impacts with other regulations. More federal regulations are not always needed, and priority should be placed on reviewing and enforcing those already on the book.

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