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

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.

Press Releases

SEC Ruling Puts Manufacturers First

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) decision to withdraw 2004 no-action letters on proxy firms:

The SEC’s action today is a major victory for manufacturers and Main Street investors. For far too long, proxy advisory firms have exerted undue influence over manufacturing companies, trying to force business decisions without any regard to investors’ best interests. This is a threat not only to manufacturing growth, but also to the savings of millions of American workers. The SEC has taken an important step to fix this unfairness, and we encourage them to continue working to ensure the voices of Main Street investors are not drowned out by third parties who have little stake in a company’s success. Manufacturers support increased SEC oversight over proxy advisory firms to restore fairness to the system.

-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 Welcome Administration Action On Unfair Postal Rates

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Vice President for Labor, Legal and Regulatory Policy Patrick Hedren released the following statement on the White House memorandum issued Thursday instructing the administration to work to eliminate unfair rules that essentially subsidize shipments from China and other countries that operate in the global postal system:

Manufacturers have struggled in recent years with the rapid growth of counterfeit goods pouring in to the country through the U.S. postal system from countries like China. This problem is fueled by heavily subsidized shipping rates and it displaces American innovators from online marketplaces, said Hedren. The NAM has been working for months to address the terrible Universal Postal Union deal that results in these unfair rates, and to raise awareness of the growing threat from counterfeit goods—and even drugs—entering the country. Manufacturers are pleased to see that this issue has been elevated to the very highest levels in the Trump administration, and that the president himself has instructed key members of his Cabinet to take the initial tough steps to finally fix this broken system. Manufacturers look forward to working with the administration to finally end the subsidy China receives from the U.S. Postal Service and to create an environment with fair and nondiscriminatory shipping around the world.

In April, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons sent a letterto Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who leads the President’s Task Force on the United States Postal System (USPS), stressing the importance of ending the subsidy China receives from the USPS.

-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 Welcomes DOL Repeal of Onerous “Persuader Rule”

Manufacturers Score Another Key Regulatory Win Under Trump Administration

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement after the Department of Labor (DOL) rescinded the 2016 Persuader Rule:

Manufacturers have fought for this victory for many years in the courts, in Congress and with two administrations, using the full weight of our policy, government relations and legal teams, said Timmons. The NAM’s Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action was able to halt the rule in court in 2016.And in 2017, the Trump administration, as part of its broader regulatory relief agenda, thankfully began the process of unwinding the rule. This overreaching rule threatened to impose serious burdens on manufacturers and upend employee–employer communications. Now manufacturers are relieved that this threat to workplace communications is finally and officially off the books. Commonsense steps like this to rein in onerous regulations are a major reason why manufacturers are reporting record-high business optimism.

In 2016, the NAM testified on the harmful impacts of the rule before the House Small Business Committee and the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

The Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action (MCLA) is the leading voice of manufacturers in the courts and engages in a range of activities, including direct party litigation and operating a robust amicus program, as well as educating manufacturers about emerging legal trends. The MCLA is led by NAM Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly and NAM Vice President of Litigation and Deputy General Counsel Peter Tolsdorf. More information on the MCLA can be found here.

-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 House Passage of WRDA

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) announced in a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives today that it will key-vote House passage of H.R. 8, the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2018.

Reliable and consistent authorizations for Army Corps civil works projects are required to upgrade and modernize harbors and ports as well as aging inland waterway lock systems, many of which have been around since the Depression’s public works expansion era or post-World War II, wrote NAM Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Relations Aric Newhouse.

H.R. 8 upholds the two-year legislative authorization cycle to ensure certainty for manufacturers who rely on the movement of goods through ports and inland waterways. It authorizes Army Corps of Engineers civil works projects, as well as studies to initiate such projects, added Newhouse.

The NAM has been a leading advocate in the business community for increased infrastructure investment in the United States. Click here to read the NAM’s “Building to Win” blueprint for Congress and the administration to repair our roads, bridges, rails, airports, ports, waterways, pipes and pipelines and revolutionize the infrastructure that makes the American Dream possible.

-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 Files Amicus Brief in Millennium Bulk Terminals Case

Brief Supports Proposed Coal Terminal Against Stonewalling from Gov. Inslee’s Administration

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) has filed an amicus brief in an important case before the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Washington. The brief, led by the NAM’s Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action, is in support of Millennium Bulk Terminals’ lawsuit against Gov. Jay Inslee’s (D-WA) administration for blocking the company’s proposed coal terminal. NAM Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary Linda Kelly released the following statement:

Manufacturers need smart energy and trade policies to keep growing and creating jobs in the United States and remain globally competitive. Unfortunately, some states have made it nearly impossible to get a permit to do just about anything, and infrastructure projects like coal export terminals have been subjected to politically-motivated delays. At seemingly every point in the decision-making process for the Millennium Bulk Terminals project, Washington state regulators have distorted the law to achieve their political goal of killing this job-creating project. Washington state’s reckless disregard for the rule of law directly impedes interstate commerce and the free trade of goods and services, which will have serious consequences for manufacturing workers—and sets a dangerous precedent for desperately needed infrastructure projects across the country.

-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 Files Amicus Brief in Millennium Bulk Terminals Case

Brief Supports Proposed Coal Terminal Against Stonewalling from Gov. Inslee’s Administration

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) has filed an amicus brief in an important case before the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Washington. The brief, led by the NAM’s Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action, is in support of Millennium Bulk Terminals’ lawsuit against Gov. Jay Inslee’s (D-WA) administration for blocking the company’s proposed coal terminal. NAM Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary Linda Kelly released the following statement:

Manufacturers need smart energy and trade policies to keep growing and creating jobs in the United States and remain globally competitive. Unfortunately, some states have made it nearly impossible to get a permit to do just about anything, and infrastructure projects like coal export terminals have been subjected to politically-motivated delays. At seemingly every point in the decision-making process for the Millennium Bulk Terminals project, Washington state regulators have distorted the law to achieve their political goal of killing this job-creating project. Washington state’s reckless disregard for the rule of law directly impedes interstate commerce and the free trade of goods and services, which will have serious consequences for manufacturing workers—and sets a dangerous precedent for desperately needed infrastructure projects across the country.

-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.