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

NAM Notches Win Against 2015 WOTUS Rule in Federal Court

Ruling Protects Manufacturers’ Right to a Fair and Transparent Rulemaking Process for Major Regulations

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers Vice President for Litigation and Deputy General Counsel Peter Tolsdorf released the following statement after the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2015 Waters of the United States rule violated the Administrative Procedure Act:

For nearly four years, the Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action has battled the overreaching WOTUS rule in the courts, and manufacturers have claimed another important victory, said Tolsdorf. The court’s ruling protects manufacturers’ right to a fair and transparent rulemaking process for significant environmental rules with multibillion-dollar impacts.

This rule was unreasonable on its face—it was a water regulation that went so far as to attempt to regulate dry land. This made compliance nearly impossible and put manufacturing jobs at serious risk. Manufacturers will continue to fight for fair, clear regulations that empower us to be responsible stewards of the environment while continuing to grow the U.S. economy.

In October, the NAM filed a motion for summary judgment in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas to invalidate the 2015 WOTUS rule.

Specifically, the court found that the EPA did not provide the public with reasonable notice and an opportunity to comment on the final rule’s definition of jurisdictional “adjacent waters.” The court also concluded that the EPA violated the APA by releasing the technical basis for the proposed rule only after the public notice and comment period had closed.

The NAM’s legal arm, the Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action, has been in active litigation against the rule since July 2015, helping lead a large coalition of business groups to sue the EPA. Arcane procedural obstacles prevented the courts from hearing the merits of our legal challenge for several years. In early 2018, however, the MCLA scored a significant legal victory before the U.S. Supreme Court, which resolved those issues and has allowed litigation against the substance of the rule to proceed. The MCLA is also challenging the rule in a separate federal court in Georgia and has filed supporting amicus briefs in other legal challenges to the rule. To learn more about the MCLA, click 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 $2.38 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters 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 Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

NAM Statement on EPA Cost-Benefit Rule Memorandum

Timmons: “This Announcement Isn’t Deregulation; It’s Better Regulation”

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on EPA’s memorandum outlining reforms to how it conducts cost-benefit analysis:

Reforming the way the EPA performs cost-benefit analysis is likely to have a greater positive impact on the future of manufacturing in America than any single EPA regulatory action, said Timmons. This announcement isn’t deregulation; it’s better regulation. Through this new initiative, the EPA will get regulations done right the first time, delivering clarity and transparency for manufacturers. Our industry will spend less time working through complicated rules and more time doing what we’ve promised the America people we’ll do: create new jobs, raise wages and benefits and invest in new operations while protecting our air and water.

-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 $2.38 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters 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 Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Policy and Legal

Manufacturers Stand Up for Equality

Get the Latest News

Sign Up Here

Manufacturing businesses have long been proponents of equality in the workplace. As legislation to codify protections for LGBT individuals passes through the House of Representatives, the National Association of Manufacturers joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, and other members of the business community in advocating its passage, forging coalitions and providing congressional testimony.

Introduced with bipartisan support in the U.S. House and Senate in March, the Equality Act includes federal protections for individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity under the existing framework of the Civil Rights Act, which already provides protection against discrimination on the basis of religion, national origin, race, color or sex. The goal of the legislation is to ensure that no person can face legal discrimination based on their gender or sexual orientation, setting a clear federal standard to enable individuals to succeed based on their abilities and qualifications to perform a job.

“Employers understand the importance of creating an environment in which the very best people can succeed based on merit,” Patrick Hedren, NAM vice president, labor, legal and regulatory policy, said. “At the same time, manufacturers know that discrimination in any form is antithetical to the values that we work to uphold every day: equality of opportunity, individual liberty, free enterprise and competitiveness.”

In March, more than 40 other industry associations rallied to support the Equality Act, providing an important boost for the groundbreaking legislation. In the weeks since, manufacturing representatives have testified before the House Education and Labor Committee and signed a coalition letter to the House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services calling for the Act’s passage. As Congress considers the way forward, manufacturers have made clear that they intend to advocate forcefully on behalf of the legislation and uphold their commitment to workers of every gender identity and sexual orientation.

“The Equality Act creates a clear federal standard that matches the sentiments manufacturers already share: gender identity and sexual orientation have no impact on an employee’s abilities and discrimination is not welcome on the manufacturing floor,” Hedren said. “We look forward to working with Congress as this important legislation moves ahead.”

Press Releases

NAM Welcomes House Judiciary Committee Markup of Equality Act

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers released the following statement on the House Judiciary Committee’s markup of the Equality Act (H.R. 5):

The Equality Act creates a clear federal standard that matches the sentiments manufacturers already share: gender identity and sexual orientation have no impact on an employee’s abilities, and discrimination is not welcome on the manufacturing floor, said NAM Vice President of Labor, Legal and Regulatory Policy Patrick Hedren. This bill’s basic approach of including protections under the existing framework of the Civil Rights Act is sensible. By making these protections consistent with those for other protected classes, it takes advantage of decades of judicial precedent to provide as much clarity as possible to the businesses that must ultimately comply.

In March, the NAM joined more than 40 other business trade associations in support of the Equality Act, and the list of support has since grown. In April, the NAM testified in support of the legislation before the Education and Labor Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services.

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) 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 million men and women, contributes $2.25 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters 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 Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

NAM to Key-Vote Against H.R. 1

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers announced in a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives today that it will key-vote against House passage of H.R. 1, the For the People Act of 2019.

At its core, this proposed legislation would threaten and place limits on rights guaranteed by the First Amendment, wrote NAM Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Relations Aric Newhouse. The Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized that voluntary associations are key participants in public debate and has struck down attempts to curb participation in them. Certain provisions in this legislation would create new reputational risks for companies that wish to join associations and participate in the political process as part of the voice of an industry, rather than as an individual actor. These provisions would have a chilling effect on important and protected speech. 

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) 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 million men and women, contributes $2.25 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters 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 Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

NAM: Manufacturers Concerned by Treasury’s ‘Modernized Drawback’ Rule

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) released the following statement on the U.S. Treasury Department’s new “Modernized Drawback” rule:

Congress intended drawback for taxes paid on distilled spirits, beer, wine and other products because of their importance to driving U.S. exports, so it should come as no surprise that manufacturers have serious concerns with Treasury’s rule, said NAM Vice President of Labor, Legal and Regulatory Policy Patrick Hedren. We are exploring all options to resolve this issue so that manufacturers’ competitiveness is not impacted negatively.

In September, the NAM submitted 84 pages of comments to the U.S. Treasury Department outlining manufacturers’ concerns with the proposed rule.

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) 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 million men and women, contributes $2.25 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters 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 Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

Timmons: Proxy Advisory Firms Pose Threat to Main Street Investors

Excerpts from The Hill

By: NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons

December 12, 2018

“. . . Today, institutional investors—including the brokerages and money managers that maintain Americans’ retirement accounts—control nearly 80 percent of the stocks and equities traded on U.S. exchanges.

“With such large stakes in American businesses, they have a big say in corporate decision-making and governance when a vote is put before shareholders. They often turn to outside advisers, called proxy advisory firms, to guide those decisions.

“Seeking outside advice makes sense, but many of the practices of these proxy advisory firms do not. That can lead them to give advice that isn’t in the best interest of a company, which in turn harms a Main Street investor saving for retirement.

. . .

“[S]ome proxy firm reports have been found to be riddled with errors. They can get basic facts about a company wrong—and some won’t even let companies correct those errors without paying a fee, if at all.

. . .

“In addition, proxy advisory firms often have conflicts of interest and can let views of political activists on issues unrelated to a company’s business color their recommendations.

“Such conflicts lead to advice—sometimes ultimatums—that could harm a company’s growth, which, again, is why Americans invest in the stock market in the first place. They want those companies, and therefore their savings, to grow.

“With all this power, proxy advisory firms should be subject to reasonable government oversight.

. . .

“And why do manufacturers care? First, we employ more than 12.5 million people, two-thirds of whom participate in a workplace retirement plan. We want manufacturing workers to have confidence that their retirement savings are going to help them achieve the retirement they hope to have.

“Second, the capital raised through the stock market helps manufacturers grow right here in America. It means jobs. It means investments in communities. It means new factories and new equipment.

“To develop life-changing products and technologies, manufacturers must invest in expensive research and development. A well-functioning stock market allows manufacturers to finance this growth.

“Proxy advisory firms can influence money managers’ decisions about a manufacturing company’s governance. If they are giving bad advice, bad decisions will be made.

. . .

“It is time for the SEC to act . . .”

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) 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 million men and women, contributes $2.25 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters 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 Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

SEC Forum Shows Risk of Proxy Advisory Firms to Main Street Investors

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement after the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) roundtable on the proxy process, which included a discussion of the role that proxy advisory firms play in the market and their impact on Main Street investors:

It is an encouraging sign that the SEC’s roundtable focused on the risks that proxy advisory firms pose for Americans’ retirement savings. Now manufacturers hope to see concrete action from the SEC to ensure that these firms do not undermine the retirement security of millions of Americans, including manufacturing workers. Main Street investors, retirees and pensioners deserve the peace of mind that comes from knowing that key decisions affecting their savings are based on accurate advice that is free from conflicts of interest. Manufacturers look forward to engaging with the SEC as it works toward bringing much-needed transparency to this critical component of the financial system. Given the stakes for manufacturers and manufacturing workers, the time to act is now.

The NAM has continued to ramp up its advocacy in favor of reforming the proxy process and instituting oversight of proxy advisory firms. The NAM applauded the SEC’s decision in September to withdraw guidance that had entrenched and empowered proxy advisory firms. In October, the NAM submitted technical comments to the SEC outlining manufacturers’ desired policy outcomes from the Commission’s proxy process roundtable. And last week, the NAM and U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched a nearly $1 million national print and digital advertising campaign outlining the risks proxy advisory firms pose to American workers’ retirement savings.

-NAM-

 The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) 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 million men and women, contributes $2.25 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters 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 Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action Supports Net Neutrality Repeal

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) today filed an amicus brief with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in Mozilla Corporation v. FCC supporting the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) repeal of the onerous 2015 net neutrality rule.

Internet-driven technology is at the heart of modern manufacturing, and the FCC’s decision to repeal the onerous 2015 net neutrality rule was a victory for the competitiveness of manufacturers in America, said NAM Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly. The previous administration’s decision to regulate the internet with a more than 70-year-old law designed to govern the use of rotary telephones only burdened manufacturers with uncertainty. We are confident the court will agree that the FCC acted within the law to end the Obama-era FCC’s heavy-handed approach that was neither appropriate nor necessary for the rapidly evolving, highly competitive broadband market.

Joining the NAM’s Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action (MCLA) on the amicus brief are the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable and the Telecommunications Industry Association. The MCLA previously filed amicus briefs in 2012 and 2015 in opposition to the previous administration’s net neutrality rulemaking.

To learn more about the MCLA, click here, and to learn more about the impact of net neutrality on manufacturers, visit our website.

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) 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 million men and women, contributes $2.25 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters 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 Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

NAM’s Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action Fights Onerous WOTUS Rule

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) today filed a motion for summary judgment in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas seeking to strike down the onerous 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule in its entirety.

Manufacturers finally have the opportunity to strike down this onerous rule and clear a path for the current administration to issue a sensible and clear replacement, said NAM Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly. For more than three years, the NAM’s Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action has fought the 2015 WOTUS rule because it goes further than the law allows, even attempting to regulate land that isn’t wet. The uncertainty created by this overreaching and unfair rule threatens manufacturing jobs, and it fails to adequately protect clean water. Manufacturers recognize we must responsibly manage water resources and have been working to protect clean water for decades. The NAM will continue to advocate for a new rule that is consistent with the Clean Water Act, protects our nation’s waters and provides clarity for manufacturers and landowners around the country.

The NAM’s Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action (MCLA) has been in active litigation against the 2015 WOTUS rule since July 2015. Arcane procedural obstacles prevented the courts from hearing the merits of our lawsuit for several years. In early 2018, however, the NAM scored a significant legal victory before the U.S. Supreme Court, which resolved those issues and has now allowed litigation against the substance of the rule to proceed.

To learn more about the MCLA, click here, and to learn more about the impact of federal water regulations on manufacturers, visit our website.

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) 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 million men and women, contributes $2.25 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters 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 Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

View More