Regulatory and Legal Reform

Policy and Legal

NAM Helps Avert Compliance Crisis

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Manufacturers across many sectors were surprised in recent weeks by a ban on products containing a chemical called PIP (3:1), which was slated to go into effect after March 8, 2021. Due to the incredibly short compliance window and because PIP has not been regulated elsewhere in the world, it is a major challenge even to identify its potential presence in supply chains.

The sudden ban could have caused significant disruption in the manufacturing industry and snarled the economic recovery, NAM Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Rachel Jones tells us. Here’s what you need to know.

Why it matters:  While there is no PIP chemical manufacturing in the United States, it can be found in a broad array of components that are used in electronics; robotics and manufacturing equipment; gaskets, clamps, tubes, harnesses, cables and casings; and in many other applications for flame retardant purposes. The ban would have a serious impact on manufacturers in the United States, forcing them to scrutinize every component of their supply chains for PIP, rework manufacturing processes and find new materials in an impossibly short timeframe.

The COVID-19 angle: Many of the products that would be impacted by this rule are being used to conduct research into COVID-19, whether that involves an examination of COVID-19 variants or developing, producing, storing and distributing COVID-19 vaccines. If this rule goes forward without being fixed, some of these products could become unavailable at a time when they are needed most.

What we did: The consensus from some experts was that changing the Biden EPA’s approach on this matter was a futile effort. But the NAM pressed forward and asked the EPA to issue a “no action assurance” for downstream manufacturers until the PIP rule can be amended to include a reasonable compliance timeframe. At the same time, the NAM moved forward in court to preserve relief options and to ensure that manufacturers affected by the rule can be made whole.

The results: After the NAM’s intervention, the EPA announced a 180-day “No Action Assurance” and opened a new 60-day comment docket to reexamine the rule. The NAM will continue to work with the EPA to find a reasonable approach that supports manufacturers and upholds critical standards.

The last word: Jones says, “When manufacturers are willing to speak up on challenging issues, we can solve complex problems. I have zero doubt that EPA’s extraordinary action was in response to our work with many NAM members and collaborative solutions-focused advocacy. While we celebrate this important interim victory, it is only a 180-day window of relief and manufacturers need more time.”

Press Releases

Manufacturers Share Biden Administration’s Goal of Strengthening Manufacturing Supply Chain

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement after President Joe Biden signed an executive order on supply chains.

“Manufacturers have led the nation’s response to COVID-19 by ramping up production of critical supplies, developing treatments and vaccines and continuing to produce the essentials for daily life. But the pandemic has also exposed serious challenges facing supply chains and the serious consequences when they are disrupted. We are encouraged to see that the Biden administration is taking action to address these challenges. Last year, the NAM released policy proposals for ‘Strengthening the Manufacturing Supply Chain,’ and our plan can continue to serve as a roadmap as we move forward while ensuring that we do not close off access to critical components or resources that our lifesaving and life-changing products require.

“The administration’s goal of increasing manufacturing investment in the United States is one we share. And their focus on key sectors, like the pharmaceutical manufacturers whose incredible innovation is saving lives and arming us against COVID-19, will help us emerge stronger from this crisis. We look forward to working with the Biden administration to bolster supply chains and create new job opportunities in America.”

-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 12.3 million men and women, contributes $2.32 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 NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

In Fight Against COVID-19, Partnership on DPA Is Critical

Timmons: “Manufacturers stand ready to continue doing our part.”

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on the Biden administration’s use of the Defense Production Act:

“Manufacturers have consistently advised the federal government that the Defense Production Act is most productive if deployed in a way that fosters partnership and provides incentives—rather than imposing demands or punitive measures.

“With this announcement, the Biden administration is demonstrating that they have listened to manufacturers and are seeking a true partnership in defeating COVID-19.

“These measures will strengthen our ability to continue providing the treatments and vaccines that we need to save lives, the equipment we need to protect frontline workers and the food and supplies that families need for their everyday lives. Manufacturers stand ready to continue doing our part.

“We will also continue to set the standard for safe behaviors—wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands and, when able, getting vaccinated.”

Background: In December 2020, the NAM sent a letter to members of the Biden COVID-19 Advisory Board, providing manufacturers’ insights on constructive uses of the DPA.

-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 12.3 million men and women, contributes $2.32 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 NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

Manufacturers Stand Ready to Support Administration’s Efforts to Defeating COVID-19

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on President Joe Biden’s executive orders aimed at combatting COVID-19:

“Manufacturers commend the Biden administration for their laser focus on defeating the pandemic and for treating COVID-19 with the seriousness it deserves. Manufacturers stand ready to continue doing our part—from keeping workplaces and communities safe to providing the food, supplies, vaccines and treatments needed to sustain life. We will also continue to set the standard for safe behaviors—wearing masks, distancing, washing hands and, when able, getting vaccinated.

“A smart, targeted partnership between the administration and manufacturers can shape the use of the Defense Production Act to maximize its potential and effectiveness. Leveraging government purchasing power and investment to increase the production of personal protective equipment, vaccines and other critical supplies while collaborating with manufacturers that are eager to contribute in every way possible can help us all achieve the goals outlined today.

“A similar approach is necessary from OSHA as well. Manufacturers’ highest priority remains the health and safety of our teams, families and communities. Throughout the pandemic, we have set the standard in developing protocols to provide workers with facilities free from hazards and to safeguard their operations. What manufacturers need now is clear, science-based information on how COVID-19 spreads, and any rules or standards should provide the flexibility necessary for companies to implement health protocols tailored to the unique circumstances of their shop floors and work environments.

“We look forward to continuing to be a source of information and insight for the Biden administration as we work to unite the country around a successful strategy to save lives and rebuild the economy.”

Background:

In April 2020, the NAM released its “American Renewal Action Plan,” which outlined policy recommendations to combat COVID-19 and spur economic growth.

In December 2020, the NAM sent a letter to members of the Biden COVID-19 Advisory Board, providing manufacturers’ insights on constructive uses of the DPA.

In January, the NAM sent a letter to Labor Secretary nominee Marty Walsh outlining manufacturers’ views on OSHA’s approach to COVID-19 safety protocols.

-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 12.3 million men and women, contributes $2.32 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 NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org

Press Releases

Manufacturers Outline Executive Action Policy Priorities for Incoming Administration

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers called on President-elect Joe Biden to help ensure the future strength of manufacturing in America by extending key executive orders into the new administration and rescinding those that have harmed manufacturing.

“For decades, we have worked with policymakers from across the ideological spectrum to craft policies that encourage the growth of manufacturing in the United States,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons in a letter to the incoming administration. “Now more than ever, America needs leaders in Washington who are focused on increasing American jobs, wages and investment.”

The letter outlines executive orders that have had a significant impact, positive or negative, on manufacturers over the past four years, and it urges the president-elect “to reverse the most harmful of these orders and keep or expand those that create an environment that is conducive to growing America’s manufacturing sector.”

The NAM’s recommendations will help manufacturers continue to respond to the devastating pandemic and will also power the United States’ economic recovery by setting the stage for manufacturing growth.

To read the full letter, click here.

Background:

The NAM has requested President-elect Biden repeal the following executive orders and consider executive orders for extension.

Executive Orders

Rescind:

  • “Rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program”
  • E.O. 13950 – “Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping”
  • E.O. 13672 – “Revocation of Federal Contracting”
  • E.O. 13769 – “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”
  • “President’s Report to Congress on the Proposed Refugee Admissions for FY 21”
  • Presidential Proclamation 10052 – “Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak”
  • E.O. 13944 – “Ensuring Essential Medicines, Medical Countermeasures and Critical Inputs Are Made in the United States”
  • E.O. 13948 – “Lowering Drug Prices by Putting America First”
  • E.O. 13957 – “Creating Schedule F in the Excepted Service”

Extend:

  • E.O. 13771 – “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”
  • E.O. 13805 – “Establishing a Presidential Advisory Council on Infrastructure”
  • E.O. 13766 – “Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals for High-Priority Infrastructure Projects”
  • E.O. 13845 – “Continuing the President’s National Council for the American Worker and the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board”
  • E.O. 13932 – “Modernizing and Reforming the Assessment and Hiring of Federal Job Candidates”
  • E.O. 13777 – “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda”
  • E.O. 13806 – “Assessing and Strengthening the Manufacturing and Defense Industrial Base and Supply Chain Resiliency of the United States”
  • E.O.s – “Strengthening the Federal Government’s Anti-Counterfeiting Efforts”

-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 12.3 million men and women, contributes $2.32 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 62% 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.

Press Releases

Manufacturers on Judge Garland’s Nomination for Attorney General

Washington, D.C. – Following President-elect Joe Biden’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to serve as the 86th attorney general of the United States, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement:

“America will be well-served by Judge Merrick Garland’s background as a prosecutor, especially his experience in the prosecution of the Oklahoma City bombers, given the need to focus on effective justice after yesterday’s domestic terrorism at the U.S. Capitol.

“Throughout his years on the bench, Judge Garland has demonstrated a strong commitment to upholding the Constitution and rule of law—the cornerstone of our country’s strength and success. In our country today, there is an urgent need to bolster trust in our institutions, and in picking Judge Garland to be our nation’s chief law enforcement officer, President-elect Biden will help build greater trust and confidence in the U.S. Department of Justice. Manufacturers congratulate him on this nomination.”

-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 12.2 million men and women, contributes $2.35 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 62% 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.

Policy and Legal

Mobs Attack Capitol and the NAM Responds

As the whole world already knows, a mob seeking to thwart the certification of the U.S. presidential election overwhelmed police and broke into the Capitol building yesterday, forcing the evacuation of Congress and Vice President Mike Pence. Here are some stories to get you up to speed quickly.

Trump’s actions: The Wall Street Journal (subscription) has a useful overview of the horrifying events, including the outgoing president’s actions. After goading the insurrectionists to action throughout the day and attacking Vice President Pence for refusing to overturn the election results, President Donald Trump eventually released a video in which he issued a half-hearted call for “peace” while telling the mob, “We love you.” Twitter and Facebook both temporarily locked his social media accounts.

Democrats respond: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who is slated to be the next Senate majority leader, called for the removal of President Trump. Other lawmakers have also called for his removal.

  • “The quickest and most effective way—it can be done today—to remove this president from office would be for the Vice President to immediately invoke the 25th amendment. If the Vice President and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president,” said Schumer.

Republicans respond: Some senior Trump officials have resigned, including Special U.S. Envoy to Northern Ireland Mick Mulvaney, who previously served as White House chief of staff.

  • In an interview this morning, Mulvaney told CNBC: “We didn’t sign up for what you saw last night…. We signed up for making America great again; we signed up for lower taxes and less regulation. The president has a long list of successes that we can be proud of. But all of that went away yesterday….”

Other officials are considering resigning, according to The Washington Post (subscription), while some have also proposed invoking the 25th Amendment.

Businesses respond: Businesses and trade associations strongly condemned the rioters and President Trump, according to Fox Business. Business leaders nationwide demanded that elected leaders, including the president, call for an end to violence and support the peaceful transfer of power.

  • “These were destructive acts against our shared principles and beliefs of a peaceful transition of power,” said Ford Motor Company CEO Jim Farley. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said, “Our leaders must call for peace and unity.”

The NAM’s call: The NAM led the business community in a statement condemning the assault on American democracy. It urged our leaders to seriously consider next steps and reiterated its call for an orderly transition. NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons said:

  • “Throughout this whole disgusting episode, Trump has been cheered on by members of his own party, adding fuel to the distrust that has enflamed violent anger. This is not law and order. This is chaos. It is mob rule. It is dangerous. This is sedition and should be treated as such.”
  • “Vice President Pence, who was evacuated from the Capitol, should seriously consider working with the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to preserve democracy.”

Read the full statement here.

The bottom line: The NAM is committed to the millions of men and women who make things in America, and who have helped build a country that offers opportunity and freedom for all. The United States cannot function—as a nation or as a people—without respect for the rule of law and the ties that bind us together. Those who lead us must be especially strong in their support for our sacred institutions—or the country will not survive.

Policy and Legal

Manufacturers Await Possible COVID-19 Regulations

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The NAM is preparing manufacturers for a possible Emergency Temporary Standard that could be issued at the outset of the Biden administration.

What it is: An ETS is a set of mandatory rules and regulations for employers, issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Department of Labor.

What it’s for: An ETS would be intended to protect the health and safety of workers. While manufacturers are encouraged to follow CDC guidance as they develop and implement their own tailored plans to protect against COVID-19, an ETS could impose compulsory requirements on manufacturing operations, HR departments and safety protocols.

What it includes: There’s no concrete information yet about the text of an ETS, but possible new requirements for manufacturers might include:

  • Written plans for stopping the spread of COVID-19;
  • A comprehensive assessment of COVID-19 hazards throughout the workplace and a clear plan for diminishing or eliminating those hazards;
  • Expanded definitions of terms like “positive COVID-19 case,” “high-risk exposure period” and “physical distancing”;
  • Requirements that employees are tested for COVID-19 in some scenarios and paid for the time spent taking tests;
  • Increased recordkeeping and reporting on safety procedures; and
  • Additional requirements for employees to receive paid leave and testing.

What we’re doing: The NAM has already begun its outreach to the incoming Biden administration to discuss the workplace investments, increased safety protocols and best practices that manufacturers have implemented during the pandemic.

  • As part of those conversations, the NAM will also make sure the incoming administration understands the impact of an ETS on vaccine and therapeutics production, supply chains and other essential manufacturing operations.
  • It will also educate NAM members via webinars, direct outreach and labor and employment updates so they can be prepared for any changes.

The last word: “Manufacturers are playing a critical role in fighting this pandemic, even as they go above and beyond to support the health and safety of their employees,” said NAM Director of Labor and Employment Policy Drew Schneider.

“The NAM will never stop working to ensure manufacturers have the tools and support they need to take on that challenge. And we will make sure that the incoming administration, the Labor Department and OSHA have the best possible information about how their actions impact the manufacturing industry and the nation.”

Policy and Legal

Congress’s Funding Package: What Manufacturers Should Know

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Congress’s new funding package, which covers COVID-19 relief and much more, will provide Americans with much-needed security during this holiday season. Manufacturers are among the major beneficiaries, as Congress recognized that the sector is essential to keeping our country healthy, fed and functional throughout the pandemic.

The NAM’s policy team reports that legislators closely followed the NAM’s recommendations in a wide variety of policy areas. Here are a few highlights.

The Paycheck Protection Program: This program was reauthorized with $284 billion in new funding and extended through March 31, 2021. It also lets businesses choose when to spend the loans, expands the list of acceptable uses for the loans and simplifies loan forgiveness.

Taxes: The last round of stimulus, called the CARES Act, included a payroll tax credit for “eligible employees” affected by the virus. This new package extends that credit through June 30, 2021, while also upping the percentage from 50% to 70%. Meanwhile, it increases the amount of workers’ pay that qualifies for this tax credit from $10,000 for the year to $10,000 per quarter.

And that’s not it for taxes. This package also extends or makes permanent many other provisions. For example, it extends the deadline by which workers must pay back deferred payroll taxes, while also extending the temporary, refundable tax credit for small and medium-sized employers that are providing required paid leave.

Labor: As you’ve probably read by now, the package gives workers on unemployment $300 per week on top of their state benefits. These payments will last until March 14, 2021.

Vaccines/COVID-19 care: And now for the measures that will help end this pandemic for good. The package includes $20 billion for the purchase of vaccines, making them free for all who need them; $8 billion for vaccine distribution; $20 billion to assist states with testing; and a $20 billion distribution from the existing provider relief fund.

And we’re still not finished . . .

Long-term fixes: Congress also included manufacturing priorities that predate the pandemic and remain absolutely crucial.

  • Energy: This is the big one—the first comprehensive modernization of U.S. energy policy in well over a decade, and an upgrade that the NAM has long fought for. We can’t cover all of its many provisions here, but they include everything from energy storage to nuclear development to carbon capture to renewable energy. It’s a major victory for manufacturers and the NAM.
  • Environment: The legislation also includes a provision for phasing down hydrofluorocarbons—greenhouse gases used in refrigeration. Relatedly, it creates new R&D programs for technologies that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the power sector. Both are high priorities for manufacturers’ sustainability efforts.
  • Anti-counterfeiting measures: These measures are designed to protect manufacturers’ intellectual property, and they include the empowerment of the Federal Trade Commission to take action against bad actors exploiting the pandemic.
  • Transportation: As part of this package, Congress passed the bipartisan Water Resources Development Act, which provides a two-year authorization for ports, inland waterways and important water infrastructure investments.
  • Broadband: And lastly, the package funds the improvement of digital infrastructure and broadband access, including for underserved and rural populations. It also includes a support program for those experiencing hardship due to COVID-19.

What’s missing? Since you ask, the package does not include the liability protections that the NAM advocated. But the NAM will continue working on this priority next year.

The last word: NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons said of the legislation, “Some are stirring up controversy over aspects of the spending text to drum up ratings or score political points. But the bottom line is manufacturers—and all Americans—need relief now. This package gives manufacturers and many other Americans a lifeline in the face of the disaster this pandemic continues to wreak on lives and livelihoods. There is unfinished work for sure. But it makes no sense to hold up an action that can bring real relief to this country.”

You can read a more expansive list of policy wins here.

Press Releases

Manufacturers Encouraged by EPA’s Proposal to Keep Obama Ozone Standard

Jones: “This decision, based on sound science, advances important goals while supporting sustainable domestic growth.”

Washington, D.C. – Today, the EPA announced its final decision to retain the clean air standards for ozone. NAM Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Rachel Jones released the following statement:

“Manufacturers’ commitment to clean air is why we support the EPA’s decision to keep the ozone standards established under the Obama administration. This decision comes after careful review and consideration of the most current available scientific evidence and risk and exposure information, as well as consultation with the agency’s independent science advisors.

“This decision, based on sound science, advances important goals while supporting sustainable domestic growth. We have long supported smart policies that protect the environment and improve public health, and the policy announced today is the right approach.”

-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 12.2 million men and women, contributes $2.35 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 62% 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

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