The NAM’s Competing to Win Tour in Europe moved on to London early this week, highlighting the imperative to shore up the U.S.–U.K. relationship—and to urgently address other barriers, like permitting reform and workforce shortages, to enable the U.S. to help allies in the face of Russian aggression and other geopolitical threats.
The issue: Russia’s unprovoked war in Ukraine, the aftermath of the worldwide pandemic and China’s quest for global leadership create a new urgency for expanded trade opportunities between democratic countries.
- The U.S. and the U.K. must work together to shore up supply chains, enhance energy security, boost resiliency and create growth, as NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons emphasized.
The details: Timmons crisscrossed London on Monday and Tuesday, promoting the manufacturing industry and reinforcing its priorities with senior government ministers and officials, including:
- Nigel Huddleston MP, the U.K. minister of state for international trade
- Jonathan Reynolds, Labour Party shadow business secretary (one of the architects of the Labour Party’s industrial plan)
- Jane Hartley, U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s
Support at home: During his visit, Timmons did an interview with CNN International to discuss the NAM’s new Outlook survey, which found that 77% of manufacturers want to see more trade agreements with Europe.
Making industry connections: At the NAM’s sister organization Make UK, Timmons joined a roundtable with CEO Stephen Phipson and addressed some of Britain’s leading manufacturing companies.
- He spoke about how the U.S. and the U.K. can unlock new trading opportunities going forward and bolster democracy by strengthening commerce.
- The two groups also reaffirmed their commitment to share market intelligence, data and policy work, as well as to facilitate visits for economic delegations promoting trade, investment and commercial opportunities.
- They also voiced their continued and mutual support of the Ukrainian people and of the democratic institutions in their own countries.
What they said: “The ties between the UK and United States go back a long way and we have significant political, economic and trade connections,” said Phipson. “Relations with the US are vital and its market is the second most important for UK goods. In a post-Brexit world, it is likely to assume ever greater importance as part of our efforts to boost global trade.”
- “As world events have made abundantly clear, strengthening democracy, the free enterprise system and strategic alliances in our countries and around the world is essential to our future and the fight against tyranny,” said Timmons. “As the U.S. and the U.K. take steps to build a stronger, more open and secure economic relationship, the NAM urges our leaders to move toward a new U.S.–U.K. market-opening trade agreement that includes strong, clear and enforceable outcomes.”
Meeting manufacturers: In addition, Timmons met with manufacturers that have operations or pending operations in both the U.K. and the U.S. Energy security and regulatory certainty, as well as the worker shortage in the industry, also took center stage in these discussions.
Bottom line: “The tour’s time in London matters to manufacturers in the United States because it strengthens the ‘special relationship’ between the U.S. and the U.K. and boosts the prospects for enhanced cross-Atlantic trade, supporting manufacturing jobs in both countries,” said Ken Monahan, NAM Vice President of International
The NAM’s Competing to Win Tour in Europe continued this week with a stop in Poland, where NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons highlighted manufacturers’ support for Ukraine both in his high-level meetings and in media interviews.
Solidarity with Ukraine: At the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, Timmons and U.S. Ambassador to Poland Mark Brzezinski met to advance manufacturers’ shared solidarity with Ukraine and the importance of strengthening U.S. commercial relationships with Poland and other democratic allies.
- During a meeting with Poland’s Minister of Economic Development and Technology Waldemar Buda, Timmons discussed the direct support and investment by U.S. manufacturers in Poland, which they can use as a base for rebuilding Ukraine after Russia’s defeat.
Humanitarian work: A visit to UPS Poland highlighted the company’s humanitarian work to support refugees from Ukraine.
- UPS has suspended operations in Russia and Belarus and has partnered with several organizations on the ground in Ukraine to provide emergency funding, in-kind support and core relief supplies to refugees.
- UPS has transported and donated millions of meals, winter coats, medical supplies, blankets and other items to aid refugees, while also providing support to its Ukrainian employees and their families.
Interview on “Morning Joe”: Live from Warsaw, Timmons appeared on “Morning Joe,” where he emphasized the power of commerce, and manufacturers, to preserve, protect and expand democracy.
- “[T]he most important thing is to support our allies that believe in democracy. I’m very concerned right now that we have a divide between democracies and authoritarian regimes,” said Timmons. “And American business, I think, can help lead the way to strengthen and support democracy.”
- “I don’t think that there’s any threat quite as grave as what we’re seeing coming out of Russia right now,” he continued. “President Xi, and his visit from China to Moscow, I think really sends a pretty big warning signal for the West.”
- The show covered Ukrainian President Zelenskyy’s recent address to the NAM Board of Directors and spotlighted the NAM’s leadership on the world stage—as well as that of individual companies.
Roundtable discussion: Timmons’ last event in Warsaw was a roundtable discussion at AmCham Poland with representatives of manufacturers in the United States that operate in Poland.
- The meeting highlighted the importance of supply chain resilience, energy security and robust, market-opening trade agreements in the work ahead in rebuilding Ukraine, which require a mobilization of capital, industry and governments not seen in Europe since 1945.
- The meeting also covered opportunities for American businesses to support Poland in these efforts and to promote democratic values.
The last word: “Forty years ago this month, President Reagan warned the world not ‘to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire,’” said Timmons. “A [statue of President Reagan] stands across the street from the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw.”
- “As Poland generously absorbs and supports nearly 2 million Ukrainian refugees who have been displaced by Russia’s barbaric and unprovoked war, Reagan’s words are just as important today as they were then.”
Official transcript of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s address to the American business community at the National Association of Manufacturers Board Meeting on Tuesday, Feb 28, in Boca Raton, Florida.
Jay Timmons, President and CEO, National Association of Manufacturers:
For more than a year now, the courage and resolve of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine has inspired and rallied the free world to support the cause of the Ukrainian people.
He has reminded us all that the system that makes our way of life possible cannot be taken for granted. Ukraine’s fight is our fight because this is far more than a war between two countries.
It is a battle between freedom and tyranny. So America, and the American business community, stands with Ukraine today, tomorrow, through the end of the war and as Ukrainians rebuild their country after Russia is defeated.
And today, the NAM Board of Directors is honored to welcome President Zelenskyy to speak with us live via video link.
As he shares this address—to manufacturers and to the American business community—we reaffirm this Board’s resolve from a year ago, “denouncing Russia’s invasion.”
We reaffirm our support for the “sanctions implemented against Russia” and for Ukraine’s “fight to preserve freedom and independence.”
And we reaffirm our “commitment … to safeguarding democracy and democratic institutions not only here at home, but also abroad.”
Ladies and gentlemen, his Excellency, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine. Mr. President, the floor is yours.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine:
Thank you so much!
Thank you, Mr. President [Timmons], thanks everybody!
Thank you for your kind words and support!
Ladies and Gentlemen!
I greet you from free Ukraine. Thank you for your attention and support of our struggle for freedom and independence.
I’m sure that none of you doubt that we will win despite. Ukraine is indeed the place where democracy will defeat tyranny. The united democracy — Ukrainian, American, all our allies and partners.
But what will our joint victory mean? This is not a purely ideological battle.
Yes, we will prove that democracy is stronger than tyranny.
When Russia loses, we will prove that terrorist states cannot overcome the power of a united democratic world.
And when we restore our territorial integrity, we will also restore the full power of international law, which is equally important for everyone in the world.
However, the battle is for much more, and there will be more winners in it.
The human nature is yet another battlefield where the confrontation continues right now.
In the world, will that creativity of the human mind be more successful in solving good or evil?
What will give more prospects, hard work or complicity in making money from the aggression?
This confrontation is going on right now. And that is why right now we are calling on all businesses to come to Ukraine and to leave the Russian market.
It is obvious that post-hostilities, reconstruction of Ukraine will give an extraordinary moral advantage to all businesses that will be in.
And it is also obvious that every business that is now helping the Russian tyranny in any way will not be able to avoid problems and their reputation crisis.
The American business has every opportunity to take on leadership positions both in the reconstruction of the Ukrainian economy and infrastructure, and in demonstrating to the world that human nature should serve worthy goals and that it produces, and will always produce, the best result.
The Ukrainian life will inevitably get a new start after this war.
We need to rebuild the energy system of Ukraine based on new security principles.
It is in Ukraine that we will combine green transformation with security transformation and create an example for the same transformation in other countries, such as to protect a specific country from any aggression against the energy industry.
And such that protects all humanity under that framework of a smart climate policy. For example, on the virtual power plants market, 7 out of 15 key companies are American.
This is the experience that Ukraine needs.
Ukraine is an opportunity that will give a historic impulse to the entire industry — solar power plants, wind power plants, small hydroelectric power plants, biomass burning plants.
Our modernized and centralized energy system is a project worth hundreds of billions of dollars and with the potential of replication for other nations.
We need to restore hundreds of thousands of industry, infrastructure and social facilities, residential buildings, whole cities’ industries.
This is a colossal task but realistic. Ukraine is interested in projects to create a full production cycle of titanium, lithium, aluminum and ferrous metals.
Ukrainian oil refineries, which were destroyed by Russia missile strikes, and the capacious domestic market provide the opportunity to restore this industry on a modern technological basis.
Machine building in Ukraine, agricultural processing in Ukraine, weapons production in Ukraine, including modern drones–IT in Ukraine, infrastructure and transport in Ukraine, a localization of business in Ukraine, convenient logistics with other markets from Ukraine, human capital of Ukraine.
All these are not just investment opportunities, not just industries and not just growth. This is a wide space for victories. Your victories, American business.
And I urge you to prepare for these victories now, to come to Ukraine now so that by the time we restore peace, your hard work has already yielded results.
And I believe that it will be soon. Thank you for your attention. I invite all of you to Ukraine. Glory to our brave soldiers. Glory to Ukraine.
Jay Timmons, President and CEO, National Association of Manufacturers:
Mr. President, your leadership is not only inspiring your people in face of the unspeakable, but also inspiring us. It is inspiring the world.
Manufacturers in America will continue to stand with Ukraine, and we will be there after Russia is defeated so that we can help you and your people build a stronger nation forever rooted in our shared democratic values.
And, I want the Board to know that at President Zelenskyy’s request, we will be sharing the video of his remarks with our members so that they too can hear his powerful words.
Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on President Biden’s visit to Ukraine:
“President Biden’s visit to Ukraine the week of the anniversary of Russia’s brutal and unprovoked invasion shows the world that the United States stands with the Ukrainian people and that our support is unwavering.
“The struggle in Ukraine is more than a war between two countries. It’s a struggle between freedom and tyranny. Manufacturers believe that there are two systems evolving in this world—one that enriches lives and lifts people up into freedom and prosperity, and the other that is oppressive and robs people of their liberty. We must continue to support the Ukrainian people, ensuring that critical supplies keep moving and investing in and rebuilding this war-torn country.
“Manufacturers in the U.S. have a long and proud history of standing firm in support of democracy, the rule of law, transparency, freedom and opportunity. The NAM and our members have demonstrated our unwavering support for Ukraine and its people, and the NAM spoke out firmly against the war with our Board of Directors passing unanimously a resolution at our meeting in March 2022. We supported sanctions against Russia, called for the suspension of Permanent Normal Trade Relations with Russia and mobilized humanitarian relief to Ukraine. Additionally, the NAM’s Emergency Response Committee has worked with NAM members and Project HOPE to support the resettlement of Ukrainians in the U.S. As an industry, we are committed to working with our partners to ensure that the Ukrainian people have the support they need to build a future of freedom and prosperity.”
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 nearly 13 million men and women, contributes $2.81 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 55% 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 NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org
The Environmental Protection Agency’s recently issued rule governing regulation of “navigable waters” is unnecessary, confusing and inconsistent—and the NAM stands ready to work with Congress to overturn it.
The background: In December, the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced the new regulation, which repealed the Navigable Waters Protection Rule and altered the definition of “Waters of the United States.”
- This month, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) introduced a joint resolution of disapproval of the rule under the Congressional Review Act. An identical measure was introduced in the Senate.
- The NAM this week hailed the congressional moves. “Manufacturers welcome action from Congress to challenge the EPA’s proposed WOTUS Rule,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons.
What’s going on now: Ahead of a Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing Wednesday, NAM Senior Director of Energy and Resources Policy Nile Elam urged the “educat[ion of] the public and policy stakeholders regarding the immense permitting regulatory efforts necessary under local and state jurisdictions, and the need for a complementary WOTUS rule that advances permitting protections at the federal level while providing certainty for the regulated community.”
- Though many Supreme Court decisions have “touched on” the definition of navigable waters, neither the court nor the EPA has clarified sufficiently, Elam told Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman David Rouzer (R-NC) and Ranking Member Grace Napolitano (D-CA).
- The new rule also “expands federal jurisdiction beyond traditional navigable waters,” Elam said. “Because of these expansions and ambiguous terms, the careful balance between local and state regulators is unpredictable and can leave permit seekers with little guidance, aside from the need for more time and money to achieve their permitting requests.”
What should come next: Congress must work with stakeholders, the EPA and the Corps on creating clear, predictable and common-sense WOTUS regulations, Elam told the committee. Doing so will “enhanc[e] manufacturers’ ability to deliver their goods, expand their operations and grow their workforce.”
Manufacturers in the U.S. are united with their counterparts in Ukraine as that country continues to grapple with the destruction caused by Russia’s invasion.
That was the message of “Rebuilding Ukraine: Inaugural Conference of Manufacturers in the U.S. and Ukraine,” an event that took place yesterday thanks to the partnership between the NAM and the Ukrainian League of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.
The background: In March 2022, in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the NAM Board of Directors voted unanimously in support of a resolution denouncing the invasion and supporting the people of Ukraine.
- In addition to affirming shared values of freedom and independence, the resolution expressed support for economic and financial sanctions against Russia, demanded removal of Russia from the World Trade Organization and called for the end of normalized trade between Russia and the U.S.
- In the months since the invasion, the NAM has stood consistently with Ukraine and supported actions against Russia.
The conference: Led by NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons and ULIE President Anatolii Kinakh, the conference included representatives from a diverse range of companies from both countries, who spoke to the challenges ahead and the need to support Ukraine as it rebuilds. The event also featured opening remarks from Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova and other senior Ukrainian government officials.
- Manufacturers in the U.S. described the support they have provided for Ukraine—from financial and technology support to equipment and humanitarian aid—and laid out areas in which they would like to continue to partner with Ukraine. These included R&D and university collaborations and sourcing for products and personnel.
- Ukrainian officials laid out urgent needs for their country, including rebuilding infrastructure, strengthening logistics and supporting areas such as clean energy, education and workforce training.
The result: The NAM and ULIE signed a Memorandum of Understanding that laid out common values and mutual goals.
- The organizations affirmed their shared “commitment to democratic values, the rule of law and the furtherance of democracy, freedom and opportunity for our citizens and other countries around the world.”
- The two groups agreed to create a “framework” to help explore areas of collaboration in business, trade and economic relations.
- The NAM and ULIE identified a series of steps the organizations can take to increase cooperation, from sharing information about each other’s services and activities to promoting visits between representatives and creating additional joint meetings and conferences.
What they’re saying: “Manufacturers have demonstrated their unwavering support for Ukraine and denounced Russian aggression,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “Manufacturers in the U.S. have a long and proud history of standing firm in support of democracy, the rule of law, transparency, freedom and opportunity. We stand with President Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian people as they defend those values today and as they work to rebuild their country in the years ahead.”
Said Kinakh: “This is the first business conference of Ukraine and the U.S. on such a scale. In our view, it will enable our partners in the U.S. to learn about the true situation in Ukraine, the business climate and our priorities. It will be the basis to shape direct ties, common interests and business plans that will boost economic activities of Ukraine.”
NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons traveled to Mexico City this week to participate in U.S.–Mexico–Canada business delegation meetings at the North American Leaders’ Summit.
The background: The trilateral summit brought together U.S. President Joe Biden, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to advance North American solutions to current challenges facing the region.
- The leaders’ meetings focused on issues including competitiveness, climate, immigration, development, the environment, health and diversity and inclusion.
The goal: The NAM was focused on conveying the critical importance of full implementation of the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement to support North American competitiveness, investment and supply chain resiliency. Timmons emphasized the need for an investment climate that is grounded in core principles like transparency and the rule of law.
Strengthening alliances: During a conversation with Prime Minister Trudeau, Timmons praised Canada’s partnership in launching USMCA consultations on Mexico’s energy policies and urged continued cooperation.
- “We firmly believe that the USMCA should be a model for how our three nations can capitalize on our close regional economic ties,” said Timmons during a meeting with the prime minister. “That means we have to make sure our governments are upholding their commitments under the agreement.”
Demanding accountability: In a meeting with U.S., Mexican and Canadian economic ministers, Timmons lauded free trade and pressed the nations to live up to the promises made under international agreements.
- “The USMCA can only reach its full potential if we all respect the agreements that have been made to bind our countries together,” said Timmons.
Laying out challenges: During the meeting, Timmons urged our North American partners to address a series of issues that have caused concern for manufacturers in the United States. He cited a number of challenges related to Mexico that spurred a lengthy exchange with new Mexican Economy Minister Raquel Buenrostro. These issues included:
- Mexican energy and power policies that have favored the interests of Mexican state-owned entities over U.S. companies;
- Labeling requirements for food and nonalcoholic beverages;
- Lack of competition in Mexico’s telecommunications market;
- Measures that would require overly costly and complicated electronic waybills (the “Carta Porte” issue);
- Mexico’s delayed approvals of biopharmaceuticals and other products; and
- Mexico’s bans on the sale of certain goods including chemicals and genetically modified corn.
Timmons also highlighted a number of differences with Canada in recent years, including on the regulation of plastics, patent reviews and dairy market access.
The big picture: During the trip, Timmons underscored the importance of capitalism and free markets, both in North America and more broadly, according to POLITICO (subscription).
- “The world is changing right now,” said Timmons. “We have democracies versus autocracies, we have freedom versus repression, we have capitalism versus a command economy. And I think our challenge is to really emphasize the power of free markets to lift everyone up and show how it creates opportunities and enhances the quality of life.”
Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on President Biden’s remarks on border security and enforcement.
“The NAM was encouraged when President Biden made immigration a ‘day one’ priority, and now we need members of Congress to do their part—especially with 779,000 open jobs in manufacturing and not enough Americans to fill these vacancies. President Biden’s announcements today, including on border enforcement, are important steps and reflect some of manufacturers’ concerns, but this still highlights the ongoing need for bipartisan congressional action on immigration. Manufacturers have the solution: our ‘A Way Forward’ plan includes post-partisan recommendations for immigration reform that can be acted on this year. I look forward to discussing this plan with world and business leaders next week in Mexico at the North American Leaders’ Summit.”
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 12.9 million men and women, contributes $2.77 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 58% 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 NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.
The NAM took its competitiveness agenda on a media tour last week. In appearances on CNBC, Bloomberg and Yahoo! Finance, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons called for policy moves that will benefit manufacturers and the U.S. as a whole.
Immigration and workforce: Timmons noted that despite the addition of 14,000 jobs in November, manufacturing continues to see a workforce gap of about 830,000 every month. But there’s a solution we’ve been overlooking, he continued.
- “We have 100,000 Ukrainians we invited here,” Timmons told Yahoo! Finance anchor Seana Smith. “We have 100,000 Afghans that we invited here. But we don’t give them the ability to work. We don’t give them a work permit. They’re in line, waiting to get that work permit. That’s just crazy. We have 200,000 people that could work today if we could just get through the bureaucracy.”
Talent: “Right now, things are very good in the sector, and I think it portends for a bright future for the economy,” Timmons told Michael Santoli on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.” However, filling open jobs remains a top priority.
- “The National Association of Manufacturers and the Manufacturing Institute have a ‘Creators Wanted’ campaign [that’s] trying to inspire that next generation, trying to bring more women into the workforce, trying to bring veterans into the workforce, working on second chance hiring,” Timmons said. “We’re doing everything we can to attract folks into the sector, and I think we’re being successful in doing that.”
Keep the change(s): Timmons also discussed the need to keep in place the tax reforms of 2017, some of which expire at the end of 2022. These changes have enabled many manufacturers to invest in their businesses, raise wages and grow.
- “We have had four consecutive years of record wage growth in the sector. That has been made possible … by the tax reforms enacted in 2017,” Timmons said on Bloomberg’s “Balance of Power.” “We have had record investment, record job creation and record wage growth because of those reforms that were made.”
- However, “[i]mmediate expensing, interest deductibility and the research and development tax credit are all coming to an end at the end of this month,” Timmons continued. “We need Congress to renew that to be able to keep those great reforms of 2017 in place.”
Generations of immigrants have enriched and strengthened manufacturing in the United States. That’s why the NAM has long focused on supporting an immigration system that offers opportunity for workers, support for businesses and certainty for our economic future.
Our priorities: The NAM is interested in immigration rules that prioritize national security and address workforce realities, while also dealing compassionately with the people seeking to come here for a better life.
- That means establishing a safe and secure border, making reforms to the legal immigration system, offering opportunities to attract and keep talent in the U.S., addressing uncertainty in immigration status and clearing immigration backlogs so that new cases can be addressed efficiently.
Our solutions: To accomplish these goals, the NAM has offered a series of solutions for national policymakers and other leaders, including:
- Fund border security via consistent appropriations;
- Increase employment-based immigration;
- Reform nonimmigrant visas and temporary worker programs to reflect employer needs, including a fund to support domestic STEM education programs;
- Provide a permanent and compassionate solution for people facing uncertainty, including Dreamers (people brought here as children); and
- Reform asylum and refugee programs for a more orderly and humane system.
Making progress: Already, we’ve seen important success. Recently, after NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons pressed Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas about the need to reduce the visa backlog to ensure the industry can get the workers it needs, U.S. Customs and Immigration Services announced that it is on track to disburse all available green cards this year.
- “Addressing the green card backlog and providing green cards to hardworking and talented immigrants in the manufacturing workforce is an important step to address the current workforce crisis and support a stronger economy,” said Timmons.
- “With the workforce crisis contributing to inflationary pressures and economic uncertainty, we truly cannot afford to let more green cards go to waste and leave talented individuals who contribute to our economy on the sidelines.”
Learn more: The NAM recently released an updated version of its immigration policy roadmap “A Way Forward.” You can also find more information in “Competing to Win”—the NAM’s blueprint for policies that support manufacturing in America.