Health Care

We need to reduce soaring health care costs, improve the efficiency of the current system and enhance the quality of care. The NAM is working aggressively to drive down health care costs and ensure reforms to America’s health care system are smart and effective—and work for manufacturers and our employees.

Business Operations

COVID-19 Testing: What Manufacturers Need to Know

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How can manufacturers help their workers get tested for COVID-19 and keep their communities safe? Many manufacturers are wondering about this, but information about testing is often unavailable, confusing or soon out of date. So we asked NAM Vice President of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources Policy Robyn Boerstling to tell us what’s really going on.

What kinds of tests are available?  “The situation changes weekly, if not daily,” warns Boerstling.

  • New tests are in development and “coming online with greater frequency,” while the FDA is working to expand their availability quickly. A useful resource: the FDA’s primer on testing basics. The FDA has authorized approximately 113 tests to date.
  • Meanwhile, HHS continues to focus on public-private partnerships that send tests to drive-up facilities in parking lots and similar places, she adds. A list of available community testing sites can be found here.

Currently, it’s still very hard for employers to get tests for onsite facilities, and the FDA has warned that tests bought from overseas suppliers may be unreliable. As Boerstling notes, the city of Laredo, Texas discovered that the tests it bought from China for half a million dollars were only 20 percent accurate.

Is anyone verifying the accuracy of these tests? Yes, but the process is ongoing and the FDA is adapting to a rapidly changing environment, says Boerstling.

  • This week, the FDA announced a new verification tool for developers to improve testing accuracy.
  • “The NIH is working with the FDA to validate existing tests, as well as with private researchers, including a group funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative,” she notes.
  • “Manufacturers should visit the FDA website frequently or check in with the NAM, which is monitoring this issue closely.”

Will the tests be processed in a timely manner? “The time it takes to process a test is changing regularly and depends on the capacity of the lab being used and the type of test,” says Boerstling.

  • “Many NAM members have noted uneven lab capacity across the country.”
  • As of now, more than 245 labs are currently providing testing under the policies set forth by HHS.

What is the federal government doing about this? Congress has provided aid to boost testing capacity, but its impact will be gradual, Boerstling cautions.

  • “The recently enacted $484 billion COVID-19 relief package included $25 billion for broad testing initiatives. Currently, the NAM is working to see how employers fit into this equation,” she elaborates.
  • Earlier this month, the administration announced that it sent $11 billion to states for testing support this month, along with about 12 million swabs.

Related: Of course, testing isn’t the only important tool for keeping employees safe. NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons has been stressing the importance of face coverings and other types of PPE as a COVID-19 mitigation strategy. Watch a recent video here.

Press Releases

NAM’s Timmons Named to COVID-19 Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups

Timmons: Manufacturers Will Drive Next Phase of American Renewal

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on the NAM being included in President Trump’s Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups.

“Throughout this crisis, manufacturers have been leading the way. Much of the sector has been fully operational, making critical personal protective equipment, medical supplies and ventilators, in addition to producing food and household essentials. Manufacturers have many examples of safe and healthy practices to share.

“Throughout the past month, the NAM has provided the White House, FEMA, the Coronavirus Task Force, DHS and other agencies with our legislative solutions for economic stabilization and future growth, as well as a database of available PPE supply and connecting the supply chain with OEMs.

“Over the past three years, manufacturers have produced impressive gains in investment, job creation and wage growth here in the United States. As the nation prepares to move from relief to recovery and bringing our $22 trillion economy out of its ‘induced coma,’ I look forward to working with the Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups, including the 44 NAM member companies that were also named, to drive this next phase of American renewal, while putting the health and well-being of the American people first. Ultimately, manufacturers, the backbone of this economy, want to be able to invest, grow and hire—right where we left off.”

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.37 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

Manufacturers Call for $1.4 Trillion COVID-19 Resiliency Fund

Includes Desperately Needed Liquidity for Small and Medium-Sized Manufacturers

Washington, D.C. – Today, the National Association of Manufacturers is calling for additional aggressive actions from the federal government to help the industry respond to COVID-19 and future public health emergencies.

Among the additional actions in the NAM’s updated and expanded “COVID-19 Policy Action Plan Recommendations,” the NAM is requesting the federal government create the “Manufacturing Resiliency Fund,” which would include $1.4 trillion in loans to provide desperately needed liquidity to manufacturers and small businesses, protecting the nearly 13 million men and women working within the industry and ensuring their financial security. Manufacturers are also calling on the government to adopt a federal designation that deems the manufacturing supply chain “essential” to help mitigate any interruptions in providing the supplies that are critical to the health and safety of America.

“As manufacturers mobilize to protect the health and well being of our communities and country, the NAM is releasing an expanded set of ‘Policy Action Plan Recommendations’ for Congress and federal agencies,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “Our leaders have already acted on many of our original proposals, and if they continue to move swiftly and boldly, manufacturers will be able to rise to this challenge and keep our country healthy, all while ensuring the resilience of our workers, our industry and our economy. This is a crisis unlike anything we’ve seen, and it demands a response of historic proportion.”

The NAM’s updated and expanded “COVID-19 Policy Action Plan Recommendations” identifies five key policy areas where legislative and administrative action would help combat COVID-19 and future public health emergencies:

  • Recognize Manufacturers’ Critical Role in the COVID-19 Response
  • Protect Manufacturers from Insolvency
  • Ensure Economic Security for Manufacturing Workers
  • Reduce Regulatory Burdens
  • Set the Stage for Economic Growth

The NAM released its original action plan on March 9.

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.37 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Business Operations

Food Manufacturer Details Measures to Combat COVID-19

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To protect the health of workers and customers, food manufacturers in the United States are strict about sanitation every day. But the COVID-19 pandemic has made the issue even more critical as our country works to contain this crisis, and food manufacturers in America are demonstrating how effective workplaces can adjust during emergencies.

New Jersey-based Premio Foods is a maker of specialty Italian sausage products with about 1,000 employees. In addition to continuing its regular rigorous sanitation practices, the manufacturer has stepped up its efforts to sanitize operations and maintain hygienic conditions by increasing the use of protective clothing and ensuring maximum face coverage.

“We’ve stepped up expectations about changing out protective clothing and gloves, so that people cycle through them more quickly,” said Premio Foods Senior Vice President of Operations Eric Fidoten, who is also a member of the Board of Governors of the National Association of Manufacturers’ Manufacturing Leadership Council. “We have our employees sanitize their hands, then sanitize the glove itself—and do all this more frequently than usual. We instructed people to cover their entire head except eyes and forehead. Where we don’t mandate safety glasses, we now encourage our associates to use them.”

The company has held meetings to demonstrate proper procedures and conducted “audits” throughout the day to check that employees are thoroughly protected. It has also instituted rotating breaks and lunches to reduce large gatherings at its facilities and is ensuring high-use surfaces in breakrooms and lunch areas are frequently sanitized.

“Manufacturers across the country are committed to the highest standards of safety and sanitation,” said David R. Brousell, Vice President and Executive Director of the NAM’s Manufacturing Leadership Council. “Businesses like Premio Foods are a great example of the way manufacturers lead during times of need, implementing critical measures to keep workers and communities safe and healthy. As we grapple with this global health challenge, that example is more important than ever.”

In addition to leading by example, Premio Foods has recommended that other businesses and organizations work to step up their responses as well. They can do so by taking steps such as contacting a sanitation consulting company for a tailored sanitation plan, restricting vendors and other visitors from entering the facility and offering a brief how-to on sanitation procedures to any necessary visitors.

Of course, the standard measures are the most important—and achievable by anyone: wash your hands frequently, eliminate physical contact at work and observe social distancing, sanitize frequently-used surfaces and rooms and ensure that anyone who shows signs of illness stays home.

For more information, including best practices, CDC resources and more, go to nam.org/coronavirus.

Demystifying Data

How Coronavirus is Affecting Manufacturers

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Manufacturers across the country are working to keep their teams and communities safe and healthy and also contending with the full range of effects—to the economy, to their supply chains, to their operations and more—of the COVID-19 outbreak. A newly released survey of manufacturing leaders conducted by the National Association of Manufacturers reveals the state of the industry as the situation unfolds.

In the survey, which was in the field from Feb. 28 to March 9, 78.3% of respondents say that the COVID-19 outbreak is likely to have a financial impact on their businesses; 53.1% of manufacturers are anticipating a change in their operations in the coming months; and 35.5% say that they are already facing supply chain disruptions.

When asked about resources that they need, survey respondents cite reliable information, including nonpolitical and non-sensationalized facts; clear and timely updates on new restrictions and health advisories; information about how other companies are reacting; clear guidelines from expert agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health; and early detection resources to help stop the spread of the virus.

The survey findings helped inform the NAM’s “COVID-19 Policy Action Plan Recommendations,” released earlier this week, with policy proposals for lawmakers to help contain the spread of coronavirus and ensure economic resilience.

“Already, manufacturers are grappling with disruptions to their businesses due to the COVID-19 outbreak, with many anticipating financial and operational consequences—even before some of the developments of this week,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “The federal government can take steps to further equip manufacturers to deal with COVID-19 by implementing the NAM’s ‘COVID-19 Policy Action Plan Recommendations.’ Across the country, manufacturers are stepping up to keep their employees and their communities safe and healthy, and working closely with elected officials, we can ensure the resilience not only of our companies but also our country.”

Within a day of the plan’s release, leading members of Congress began pushing for one of its key elements, tariff relief, and both the administration and members of Congress voiced their support for key legal protections for manufacturers of protective N95 masks.

As policymakers address these issues, the NAM is continuing to convene coronavirus resources for manufacturers, connecting these businesses with guidance from appropriate government officials and agencies and providing updates on the state of the manufacturing industry.

For more information, including best practices, CDC resources and more, go to nam.org/coronavirus.

Press Releases

Manufacturers’ Survey Reveals Current Industry Impact of COVID-19

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers released the findings of a survey of manufacturing leaders examining the economic and operational impacts of COVID-19. This survey informed the NAM’s “COVID-19 Policy Action Plan Recommendations” released earlier this week, which highlighted key policy areas where legislative and administration action would help combat COVID-19 and future public health emergencies successfully.

Survey highlights include the following:

  • 78.3% of manufacturers anticipate a financial impact
  • 53.1% of manufacturers anticipate a change in operations
  • 35.5% of manufacturers are facing supply chain disruptions

“Already, manufacturers are grappling with disruptions to their businesses due to the COVID-19 outbreak, with many anticipating financial and operational consequences—even before some of the developments of this week. The federal government can take steps to further equip manufacturers to deal with COVID-19 by implementing the NAM’s ‘COVID-19 Policy Action Plan Recommendations,’” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “Across the country, manufacturers are stepping up to keep their employees and their communities safe and healthy, and working closely with elected officials, we can ensure the resilience not only of our companies but also our country.”

Read the full survey results here.

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.37 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

Manufacturers Release Policy Action Plan in Response to COVID-19

“We hope our elected leaders can unite to meet this moment.”

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers is calling on the federal government to take legislative and administrative steps to equip manufacturers to respond to COVID-19 and future public health emergencies, including specific actions in five key policy areas.

“When our country faces difficult challenges, manufacturers strive to be the solution,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “For the good of our communities and our country, we are committed to bringing people together as we battle the COVID-19 outbreak. Neither government nor industry can solve this challenge alone. This is a path forward to ensure Americans’ health, our business stability and our economic resilience, and we hope our elected leaders can unite to meet this moment.”

The NAM’s “COVID-19 Policy Action Plan Recommendations” identify five key policy areas where legislative and administration action would help combat COVID-19 and future public health emergencies successfully:

  • Keeping Our Workforce Safe and Healthy
  • Protecting Our Communities
  • Providing Economic Stability
  • Encouraging Resilient Growth in the United States
  • Encouraging Long-Term Job Growth

Read the full policy action plan here.

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.37 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

Manufacturers: Congressional Action Needed to Aid COVID-19 Response

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on the federal government’s response to the presence of the COVID-19 virus in the United States:

Congress can immediately help manufacturers respond to the COVID-19 virus by passing critical liability protections for manufacturers of health care equipment recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Across America, manufacturers are already working to support the response to this public health challenge and to find additional ways to expand those efforts. With the inclusion of these vital legal protections in the supplemental appropriations bill, manufacturers can confidently increase new production of even more desperately needed equipment to save lives and keep our communities—and our world—safe, secure and healthy.”

BACKGROUND: The NAM supports efforts to apply liability protections for National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health–certified respiratory protective devices used in the current public health emergency by amending the PREP Act. Under a PREP Act declaration, the federal government assumes liability for covered items identified as countermeasures in a public health emergency. Currently, only FDA-regulated items, such as vaccines, drugs and other products, are eligible for PREP Act coverage. NIOSH-certified respirators are not covered but are recommended by the CDC to keep health workers safe from airborne exposures. Additional legal certainty provides the necessary incentives to the market in the effort to add manufacturing capacity by diversifying and expanding the current supply.

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.37 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

 

Press Releases

NAM Statement on the 2020 State of the Union Address

Manufacturers: In 2020, Partisan Division Does Not Have to Be a Barrier to Progress

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement reacting to the 2020 State of the Union address:

“With the historic USMCA, unprecedented China deal, game-changing tax reform and ever-growing regulatory certainty, manufacturers have been given powerful tools to keep investing in our people and our communities. We are ready to join the President in building on this progress and achieve the brighter, more optimistic future he envisioned tonight. It is up to manufacturers to continue keeping our promises—to invest in America, hire American workers and raise wages and benefits, while also providing environmental stewardship alongside economic growth.

“The manufacturing agenda is a post-partisan agenda, and one we have spelled out clearly for candidates and elected leaders in ‘Competing to Win.’ When we agree, as we often did with the President tonight, we will work together, regardless of party. For instance, President Trump is right to issue a bold call to action on infrastructure, and as the USMCA proved, partisan division does not have to be a barrier to progress. On the other hand, we must not curtail our pharmaceutical manufacturers’ ability to conduct vital research and development to cure diseases and fight future epidemics similar to the coronavirus. And on immigration, the solution must be comprehensive, as outlined in the NAM’s ‘A Way Forward.’

“All of us must come together to solve the most pressing challenge facing manufacturers: our workforce crisis. Through the NAM’s historic ‘Creators Wanted’ campaign, we are embarking on a sustained, nationwide effort to reach millions of Americans, to narrow the skills gap and inspire a new generation to pursue the high-tech, high-paying jobs of modern manufacturing.

“For manufacturers, it’s not about politics or personality or process—it’s about good policy, policy that puts us on a trajectory to exceed even our loftiest ambitions. That’s what we expect from our presidents and politicians, and we will hold them accountable, just as we promise to hold ourselves to account as well.”

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.37 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Policy and Legal

Manufacturers Prepare for Iowa Caucuses

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Today, the Iowa caucuses will kick off the Democratic presidential primary, beginning the months-long process to decide which candidate will represent the party in November. As is so often the case, the men and women who make things in America are in a position to have their voices heard and play a leading role in determining the outcome—in Iowa and across the country.

Manufacturers account for almost 19% of Iowa’s total economic output, and the 233,000 manufacturing jobs in Iowa make up about 14% of the state’s workforce. Between those manufacturing workers and the tens of thousands more jobs and households supported by manufacturers’ indirect impact on Iowa’s economy, manufacturing voters are poised to play an important role in shaping Iowa’s election-night decision—and manufacturers are positioned to lead on solutions with voters and candidates alike.

“Support for pro-growth policies should span the political spectrum, and for the most part it does,” said Doug Neumann, executive director of the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance. “During his NAM State of Manufacturing Address, Jay’s message on ‘post-partisanship’ really resonated with the Iowa business community. In my community, we try to lead this way with our elected officials and work with whoever is elected to get things done.”

According to Nicole Crain, executive vice president of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry, the business community in Iowa wants a candidate who supports manufacturing issues and understands their challenges.

“Business leaders like certainty and the ability to plan investments in their business five, ten years into the future,” said Crain. “As the election gets closer, leaders will be looking for a candidate who understands business, is open to hearing the concerns of employers and considers their positions when proposing policies for the country.”

Trade, immigration and workforce are top of mind for manufacturers.

“Iowa manufacturing voters have a crucial role to play during the caucuses and throughout the 2020 election season,” said Michael O’Brien, NAM assistant vice president of advocacy. “That’s why the NAM will work diligently throughout the year to make sure that manufacturing voters understand the issues and the stakes for manufacturing come Election Day.”

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