Regulatory and Legal Reform

Unnecessary regulations and excessive red tape prevent us from reaching new levels of achievement and make it harder for small businesses to compete. We need regulatory and legal reforms that unleash our industry and supports the work of men and women nationwide.

Press Releases

Manufacturers Release New Economic Analysis Pushing Back on SEC Bond Rule Interpretation

NAM and Kentucky Association of Manufacturers File Rulemaking Petitions to Protect Private Companies from Harmful Public Disclosure Mandate

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers released a new economic analysis on the damaging impact of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s attempt to force private companies to disclose financial information publicly.

The SEC’s new rule interpretation would apply to private companies that raise capital via corporate bond issuances under SEC Rule 144A. If the new interpretation takes effect as scheduled in January 2023, these businesses will face decreased liquidity and increased borrowing costs—leading to significant job losses and a decline in U.S. GDP.

Key Findings:

These impacts will be felt across the economy, resulting in 30,000 jobs lost each year over the first five years the new interpretation is in effect. The job losses will increase over time—rising to 50,000 jobs lost each year after five years and 100,000 jobs lost each year after 10 years.

These job losses are attributable directly to the decreased liquidity and increased borrowing costs associated with the SEC’s new interpretation.

NAM Speaks Out:

NAM Managing Vice President of Tax and Domestic Economic Policy Chris Netram released the following statement:

“At a time of rising interest rates and economic uncertainty, manufacturers cannot afford for the SEC to roil the bond markets arbitrarily. With tens of thousands of jobs at stake, the SEC must act by year’s end to reverse this misguided interpretation.”

NAM Action:

Today, the NAM and the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers are filing two petitions for rulemaking with the SEC seeking to stop the harm this new rule interpretation would cause.

The NAM and the KAM are calling on the SEC to reverse course by clarifying—either by rule or by exemptive order—that Rule 144A issuers are not required to make public financial disclosures. The NAM and the KAM are also seeking emergency interim relief to prevent the new interpretation from taking effect in January.

Background:

  • SEC Rule 15c2-11 requires broker dealers to ensure that key information about issuers of over-the-counter equity securities is current and publicly available prior to quoting those issuers’ securities freely.
  • SEC Rule 144A allows for resales of securities (primarily corporate debt issuances) to qualified institutional buyers—large financial institutions that own or manage more than $100 million in securities. Retail investors cannot purchase Rule 144A securities. Notably, under Rule 144A, issuers are obligated to make their financial and operational information available to QIBs.
  • In September 2021 and December 2021, the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets issued no-action letters applying Rule 15c2-11 to Rule 144A debt; the new requirements take effect in January 2023. This decision contradicted the historical application of Rule 15c2-11 to OTC equity securities and bypassed important rulemaking safeguards required by the Administrative Procedure Act.
  • The NAM has weighed in with the SEC and Congress seeking to reverse this damaging interpretation.

-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 12.9 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.

Policy and Legal

What Manufacturers Want Out of an Immigration System

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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.

Policy and Legal

Manufacturers Unite to Protect Intellectual Property

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Manufacturing associations across almost 40 states joined with the NAM in calling on the White House to safeguard intellectual property at the World Trade Organization.

What’s happening: The WTO is considering waiving IP rights for COVID-19-related vaccines and treatments—an action that would harm American manufacturers that have led the fight against COVID-19.

What we’re doing: The NAM has previously pushed back aggressively on the proposal, and alongside manufacturers nationwide, we are stepping up our work. In a letter addressed to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai and other senior Biden administration officials, the NAM joined nearly 40 state manufacturing organizations in arguing that waiving these IP rights will negatively affect American manufacturing—as well as the overall fight against COVID-19.

  • “This proposal would weaken critical global rules for IP protections that support innovation in a range of manufacturing sectors by including not only broad new categories of COVID-19 products, but also their upstream supply chains. Furthermore, an expanded waiver allows commercial rivals like China to unfairly seize American innovation to benefit their domestic economies.”

The importance of IP: Those manufacturing associations argue that IP gives an incentive for manufacturers to broaden research and development and a reason to invest in expanding industries. American manufacturers are concerned that the IP waivers would expose them to unfair competition from foreign rivals and would take away employment opportunities from Americans.

The last word: “Our organizations strongly urge the Biden administration and Congress to stand with manufacturers and workers to firmly oppose an expanded IP waiver at the WTO. We stand ready to work with you and your agencies in support of real solutions to the pandemic and future health crises—and to advance U.S. leadership in manufacturing and innovation.”

Press Releases

Manufacturers Notch a Critical Victory in Washington Alliance of Technology Workers v. DHS

Following Intervention by the NAM and Other Business Groups, D.C. Circuit Upholds STEM OPT Program

Washington, D.C. – Following a 2–1 decision by the D.C. Circuit affirming the validity of a program that provides hundreds of thousands of skilled workers for manufacturers and other American businesses, National Association of Manufacturers Chief Legal Officer Linda Kelly released the following statement:

“The NAM Legal Center is incredibly proud of today’s victory, which helps ensure the continued availability of hundreds of thousands of highly skilled workers for manufacturing roles. As manufacturers continue to experience significant labor shortages, the STEM OPT program remains a critical talent pipeline, providing opportunities for high-skilled graduates to enhance their education through hands-on work. Today’s win builds on the NAM’s impressive track record of defeating unlawful restrictions and meritless attacks on critical visa programs.”

Background:

Without the STEM OPT program, manufacturers would be unable to fill critical positions requiring specialized training in science, technology, engineering and math. So, in 2018, after an anti-immigration activist group brought a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security seeking to invalidate the entire STEM OPT program, the NAM and two other business groups moved to intervene as defendants in the case. That motion was granted, and in December 2020, the District Court for the District of Columbia granted the NAM and its co-intervenor defendants’ motion for summary judgment, ruling that DHS acted within its statutory authority and in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act by continuing the STEM OPT program. The plaintiff activist group appealed to the D.C. Circuit, and today, the court issued its decision—rejecting the plaintiff’s bases for invalidating the STEM OPT rule and affirming the lower court’s judgment.

-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 $2.77 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.

Policy and Legal

NAM Achieves Victory in Proxy Suit

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The NAM notched a significant legal victory yesterday when a federal judge vacated the Securities and Exchange Commission’s suspension of a 2020 rule regulating “proxy advisory firms.”

The background: Proxy firms advise institutional investors on how to vote their shares in publicly traded companies, but those firms have long been unregulated and unaccountable.

  • In 2020, in large part through the advocacy of the NAM, the SEC finalized a rule increasing oversight of these firms—but in 2021, the SEC’s new leadership announced that the agency would not enforce the rule.
  • Suspending the rule without public notice and comment was a violation of administrative law—and the NAM stepped up to challenge this circumvention of the Administrative Procedure Act in court.

The win: Yesterday, the NAM won its case against the SEC in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. The decision makes clear that the SEC acted unlawfully by suspending the compliance date for the proxy firm rule without following the notice-and-comment procedures required under the APA.

  • As the court said in its opinion, “[agencies] do not have the inherent power to stay or delay a final rule absent notice-and-comment rulemaking.”

What’s next: The NAM has also filed suit against the SEC’s 2022 rescission of critical components of the 2020 rule. That case is still ongoing, with oral arguments scheduled for December—but this week’s decision ensures that the SEC will not be able to re-suspend the 2020 rule if the NAM is successful in its challenge to the rescission.

Our take: “Today’s decision is a victory for the rule of law, and the NAM Legal Center was proud to lead this effort for the industry,” said NAM Chief Legal Officer Linda Kelly. “Federal agencies are bound by the Administrative Procedure Act—standards the SEC failed to meet by indefinitely delaying the compliance date for the 2020 proxy firm rule without notice-and-comment rulemaking. Manufacturers depend on regulators to promulgate and enforce reliable rules of the road, and the NAM looks forward to similarly holding the SEC to account in our ongoing case against the agency’s unlawful rescission of the 2020 rule.”

Press Releases

Manufacturers Celebrate Victory in NAM v. SEC

Judge Overturns SEC’s Suspension of 2020 Proxy Firm Rule

Washington, D.C. – Following a decision granting the National Association of Manufacturers’ motion for summary judgment in NAM v. SEC and vacating the Securities and Exchange Commission’s unlawful suspension of its duly promulgated proxy advisory firm rule, NAM Chief Legal Officer Linda Kelly released the following statement:

“Today’s decision is a victory for the rule of law, and the NAM Legal Center was proud to lead this effort for the industry. Federal agencies are bound by the Administrative Procedure Act—standards the SEC failed to meet by indefinitely delaying the compliance date for the 2020 proxy firm rule without notice-and-comment rulemaking. Manufacturers depend on regulators to promulgate and enforce reliable rules of the road, and the NAM looks forward to similarly holding the SEC to account in our ongoing case against the agency’s unlawful rescission of the 2020 rule.”

Background:

The NAM has long called for increased oversight of proxy advisory firms. In July 2020, the SEC issued final regulations to enhance transparency and accountability for proxy firms, a move NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons called a “long-sought, major win for the industry and millions of manufacturing workers.” In October 2020, the NAM filed a motion to intervene in ISS v. SEC (ISS’s attempt to overturn the rule) in support of these reforms.

In June 2021, the SEC announced that it was suspending enforcement of the 2020 rule; the NAM filed suit against the SEC in October 2021 challenging this unlawful suspension. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas today issued an opinion granting the NAM’s motion for summary judgment and vacating the SEC’s suspension of the rule. As the court explained, “[Agencies] do not have the inherent power to stay or delay a final rule absent notice-and-comment rulemaking.”

In July 2022, the SEC rescinded critical portions of the 2020 rule, a move that Timmons said “epitomizes ‘arbitrary and capricious’ rulemaking.” The NAM has filed suit challenging the rescission; a summary judgement hearing in NAM v. SEC is scheduled for December 9, 2022.

-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 $2.77 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.

Policy and Legal

Kigali Ratification a Win for Manufacturers

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The Senate voted yesterday to ratify the Kigali Amendment—an international greenhouse gas–reduction accord that is more meaningful than any the U.S. had agreed to before. Long advocated by the NAM, this ratification is a major step forward for manufacturers and their ability to compete effectively and sustainably.

A climate-action model: In a strong bipartisan 69–27 vote, the Senate approved the amendment, a change to the 1987 Montreal Protocol that phases down the use of hydrofluorocarbons (commonly used refrigerants) in favor of more efficient next-generation alternatives.

  • The measure, which the NAM called for in its climate change roadmap, “The Promise Ahead,” “could help avoid a half-degree Celsius of global temperature increases by the end of this century,” according to POLITICO Pro’s E&E News (subscription).
  • The ratification builds on a move for which manufacturers also pushed, the 2020 legislation requiring the Environmental Protection Agency to issue rules to phase down nonessential HFCs by 85% by 2036.

Manufacturers approve: Many manufacturers were delighted by this move. “Trane Technologies applauds senators on both sides of the aisle for voting to ratify the Kigali Amendment,” Trane Technologies Chair and CEO Dave Regnery told Input.

  • “In addition to creating 33,000 U.S. jobs, stimulating $12.5 billion in new investment in the U.S. economy and boosting U.S. exports by 25%, ratifying Kigali aligns with our bold commitments to reduce emissions through sustainable innovation.”

Accountability for China, India: Critically, the legislation fortifies “our global leadership and put[s] the U.S. in a position to hold countries like China and India accountable,” NAM Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Rachel Jones said in a communique to Congress—which was quoted by Environment & Public Works Committee Chairman Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) on the Senate floor Tuesday.

  • The amendment will also “protect American workers, grow the economy and improve our trade balance all while encouraging further innovation to strengthen America’s technology leadership,” Jones wrote.

Inside the NAM’s advocacy: “We were able to leverage our longstanding policy experience, strategic partnerships and our depth of relationships in the Senate to adeptly navigate the ever-changing and challenging politics,” said NAM Senior Vice President of Policy & Government Relations Aric Newhouse.

  • “Ultimately, the NAM’s support and long-term engagement was able to shepherd this crucial priority for manufacturers across the finish line in a bipartisan way that doesn’t force a false choice between environmental protection and economic growth.”

The last word: “This action proves that if we work together—if we rise above politics and partisanship and focus on solving problems—we can make our vision of a brighter tomorrow into reality,” Jones said in a statement.

Policy and Legal

What Manufacturers Need from Regulatory Reform

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While smart regulations can enhance manufacturers’ competitiveness, there are far too many cases of unwieldy or unnecessary rules getting in their way. That’s why the NAM is standing up for regulatory reform and providing policymakers with a list of solutions to pursue today.

The challenge: The annual regulatory cost burden for an average U.S. firm represents 21% of its payroll, forcing manufacturers to divert resources away from important investments. For smaller manufacturers, the burden can be disproportionately painful, creating barriers to growth and development.

Our work: At the NAM, we’re advocating for a predictable regulatory agenda that is based on science and facts and that offers flexibility for innovation.

  • The NAM’s agenda, contained in its policy blueprint Competing to Win, seeks to combat the fundamental problems in our outdated regulatory system.
  • That includes ensuring that regulations focus on outcomes and rely on data; improving regulatory analysis; minimizing unnecessary burdens; strengthening industry outreach; preserving the ability of companies to grow; and reducing the abuse of our legal system.

What we’re saying: “Manufacturers in the United States should be able to grow, compete and win without being stymied by outdated and unnecessary regulations,” said NAM Director of Regulatory, Tax and Domestic Economic Policy Alex Monié.

  • “We are proud of the work that the NAM has done to reduce the burden on businesses while also protecting the men and women who make things in America.”
  • “We are committed to pressing forward so that every manufacturer can support their workforce, participate in market innovation, contribute to their communities, promote competitiveness and advance U.S. leadership.”

Learn more: Check out the NAM’s full regulatory reform agenda in Competing to Win—a strategic blueprint for the policies that manufacturers in America need to compete with the rest of the world.

Press Releases

Manufacturers Unveil Competitiveness Agenda Ahead of Midterm Elections

“Competing to Win” offers a path for bringing the country together around policies, shared values and a unified purpose

Washington, D.C. – Ahead of the midterm elections, the National Association of Manufacturers released its policy roadmap, “Competing to Win,” a comprehensive blueprint featuring immediate solutions for bolstering manufacturers’ competitiveness. It is also a roadmap for policymakers on the laws and regulations needed to strengthen the manufacturing industry in the months and years ahead.

With the country facing rising prices, snarled supply chains and geopolitical turmoil, manufacturers are outlining an actionable competitiveness agenda that Americans across the political spectrum can support. “Competing to Win” includes the policies manufacturers in America will need in place to continue driving the country forward.

“‘Competing to Win’ offers a path for bringing our country together around policies, shared values and a unified purpose,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “The NAM is putting forward a plan filled with ideas that policymakers could pursue immediately, including solutions to urgent problems, such as energy security, immigration reform, supply chain disruptions, the ongoing workforce shortage and more. Manufacturers have shown incredible resilience through difficult times, employing more workers now than before the pandemic, but continued resilience is not guaranteed without the policies that are critical to the state of manufacturing in America.”

The NAM and its members will leverage “Competing to Win” to shape policy debates ahead of the midterm elections, in the remainder of the 117th Congress and at the start of the 118th Congress—including in direct engagement with lawmakers, for grassroots activity, across traditional and digital media and through events in key states and districts as we did following the initial rollout of the roadmap in 2016.

The document focuses on 12 areas of action, and all policies are rooted in the values that have made America exceptional and keep manufacturing strong: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity.

Learn more about how manufacturers are leading and about the industry’s competitiveness agenda at nam.org/competing-to-win.

-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 $2.77 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

Regulatory and Legal Reform

Manufacturers Sue SEC on Proxy Rule Rescission

“The SEC has failed to provide any substantive justification for its dramatic about-face”

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers filed a lawsuit in federal court today challenging the Securities and Exchange Commission’s rescission of critical components of its 2020 rule on proxy advisory firms. Following the submission, NAM Chief Legal Officer Linda Kelly released the following statement:

“The SEC has failed to provide any substantive justification for its dramatic about-face. Manufacturers depend on federal agencies to provide reliable rules of the road, and the SEC’s arbitrary actions to rescind this commonsense regulation clearly violate its obligations under the Administrative Procedure Act. The NAM Legal Center is filing suit to preserve the 2020 rule in full and protect manufacturers from proxy advisory firms’ outsized influence.”

Background:

The NAM has long called for increased oversight of proxy advisory firms. In July 2020, the SEC issued final regulations to enhance transparency and accountability for proxy firms, a move NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons called a “long-sought, major win for the industry and millions of manufacturing workers.” In October 2020, the NAM filed a motion to intervene in ISS v. SEC (ISS’s attempt to overturn the rule) in support of these reforms. A summary judgment hearing in ISS v. SEC is scheduled for July 29, 2022.

In June 2021, the SEC announced that it was suspending enforcement of the 2020 rule; the NAM voiced concern about the agency’s “efforts to bypass the required notice-and-comment process to keep this lawfully issued rule on ice indefinitely.” The NAM later filed suit against the SEC in October 2021 challenging this unlawful suspension. The Western District of Texas held a summary judgment hearing in NAM v. SEC on May 25, 2022; we await the court’s opinion.

In November 2021, the SEC proposed to rescind critical portions of the 2020 rule, a proposal the NAM called “deeply troubling.” The SEC finalized its rescission rule in July 2022, a move that Timmons said “epitomizes ‘arbitrary and capricious’ rulemaking.”

-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 $2.77 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.

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