Tax

Policy and Legal

The NAM Outlines Post-Election Priorities

Get the Latest News

Get involved

Though some midterm races remain uncalled, the NAM is preparing the next phase of its competitiveness agenda. Last Thursday, it offered members a breakdown of the election results so far and what they mean for manufacturing policies and priorities in the United States.

The briefing: Hosted by NAM Vice President of Government Relations Jordan Stoick, the conversation provided members with an overview of the NAM’s key issue areas, presented by several of the NAM’s policy experts.

  • Tax: According to NAM Managing Vice President of Tax and Domestic Economic Policy Chris Netram, the NAM is pushing Congress to approve key tax incentives for manufacturers in a year-end package, including the reversal of a harmful change in the treatment of R&D expenses that took effect earlier this year and an extension of 100% bonus depreciation. Beyond the lame-duck session, the NAM will be fighting to make tax reform permanent, he added.
  • Trade: According to NAM Vice President of International Economic Affairs Policy Ken Monahan, the NAM will be advocating reauthorization of the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill. Going forward, priorities will include guarding against the TRIPS waiver at the World Trade Organization (which would harm manufacturers’ intellectual property rights), defusing regulatory and market access challenges in Mexico and promoting a robust market-opening agenda overall.
  • Energy: NAM Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Rachel Jones said energy security is likely to remain a key focus of policymakers. She highlighted permitting reform as a possible area for bipartisan progress and noted that implementation of new climate incentives and programs will likely come with heightened oversight from the new Congress next year.
  • Infrastructure: NAM Vice President of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources Policy Robyn Boerstling noted that supply chain challenges are the most difficult issue facing manufacturers at the moment. She also provided an update on rail negotiations, addressed the National Labor Relations Board’s robust pro-labor agenda and spoke out in favor of the NAM’s commonsense immigration approach, among other issues.

The outlook: “The good news is that regardless of the outcome, the NAM remains uniquely positioned to continue to effectively advocate on your behalf with the Biden administration and with both parties, whoever’s in control on Capitol Hill,” said Stoick.

  • “We’ve worked successfully with the administration and the current Congress over the past two years to achieve important policy wins on things like infrastructure and the CHIPS semiconductor and competition bill. And we’ve been successful at pushing back on harmful policies and overreach, including stopping what should be considered some of the worst parts of the tax increases that were proposed over the past two years.”
Business Operations

A Small Manufacturer on What Policymakers Can Do for Her Company

Get the Latest News

Get Involved

Courtney Silver runs a precision machining company that has been in business for 75 years, so she knows how fast the manufacturing industry evolves. The Ketchie, Inc., president, who serves as the vice chair of the NAM’s Small and Medium Manufacturers Group, has a clear message for policymakers and manufacturers alike.

  • To stay competitive, “manufacturers must have policies that incentivize us to save for emergencies, like pandemics, and to use profits productively to invest in machines, technologies and people,” she says.
  • “Small manufacturers know what to do, to invest our profits and grow”—and policymakers should let them get on with it.

We caught up with Silver earlier this fall and chatted about her plans for Ketchie, the policies that would support manufacturers’ competitiveness and more.

The history: Seventy-five years ago, her late husband’s grandfather came home from World War II to work in a local textile mill, Silver tells us.

  • The former Air Force captain quickly observed that local manufacturers needed a “job shop” to provide precision machined solutions. In 1947, he founded the company.
  • Since then, and through many upgrades in technology, the business has grown considerably. It now supports several industries, including “textile, rail, heavy machinery, agriculture and industrial equipment,” says Silver.

In the family: Silver joined the business in 2008, then took over as president after her husband passed away in 2014. Through all her years there, she says, “investing in the lives of the people I work with and providing them with opportunities to develop and grow their God-given talents has been what matters the most” to her.

  • That dedication spills outward into the community. Silver and the company are deeply invested in their work with the North Carolina Manufacturing Institute, numerous local schools, the local Boys & Girls Club and the Cooperative Christian Ministries.

What do small manufacturers need? To help small manufacturers stay competitive and keep contributing to their communities, “we need a tax structure that works for us,” says Silver.

  • The 2017 tax reform law benefited Ketchie by allowing large manufacturers to expand, meaning they had more orders for Ketchie. The company was able to hire more workers as well as provide raises and bonuses.
  • However, small manufacturers need further support from policymakers, according to Silver. “Smaller manufacturers have access to less capital,” she explains, so they must often use their profits for crucial short-term investments, like new equipment.
  • But they also need help from policymakers for longer-term efforts, such as saving for emergencies (including pandemics) and using their profits to aggressively attract and retain a high-quality workforce.

The absence of a tax structure that supports all these endeavors together “hinders innovation and growth and limits our ability to compete,” Silver points out.

A promising future: When asked how new technologies are helping small manufacturers innovate, Silver responds enthusiastically: “That’s why I love the industry so much—the machining technology is transformational for small businesses in our industry.”

  • Ketchie has kept up with the latest innovations throughout its history. Back in the 1980s, that meant purchasing its first CNC (computer numerical control) machines for more efficient, precise machining.
  • Today, it’s automation. The company’s first machine-tending collaborative robot will debut on the factory floor in November, taking over machinists’ “least favorite” part of the job—changing parts while the machines run. The robot will free up workers for more challenging and skilled work around the shop, as well as dramatically increase productivity by running unattended after shift hours, Silver says.
  • Technology has “opened up” manufacturing, as she puts it. Automation, 3D printing, additive machining and more have “sped up the lifecycle from the idea to the finished part.”

People first: Technology may be evolving rapidly, but the need for a high-quality workforce remains the same. When asked about her plans for Ketchie’s future, Silver says that “the number-one challenge, again and again, is workforce.”

  • Silver aspires to strengthen Ketchie’s community outreach by teaching semester-long classes in the shop for high school students, which will include mentorships and a character development curriculum along with job shadowing on the shop floor.
  • Ketchie also plans to continue its leadership role in its community as an active member of the school program board, and by continuing to open its doors to tours, interns and apprentices.
  • “Making these long-term investments in our youth, in our industry and in our team is foundational to who we are, and we are thankful for all of the opportunities to help shape our future workforce in manufacturing,” says Silver.

The next generation: For the president of a family company, this question must be inevitable: Will Silver’s children run the business, too?

  • “Time will tell for sure. They both show strong leadership qualities and are interested in what we are accomplishing at Ketchie. My son has a lot of fun with a 3D printer at home, and my daughter already has excellent problem-solving skills. It’s going to be interesting to see!” 

At the NAM: About her work at the NAM, Silver says, “I want to see a genuine opportunity for small and medium manufacturers to grow, thrive and successfully compete.”

  • “Each SMM member should feel truly valued and know they have a place at the NAM. Their story, and what they do every day, matters to manufacturing in America.”
News

Manufacturers Call for Repeal of Anti-Competitive R&D Tax Policy

Get the Latest News

Get Involved

In an industry where technology and processes can change quickly, manufacturers in the United States must be able to invest, grow and maintain their edge against foreign competitors. At a time when China is providing extensive support for its manufacturing industry, the NAM is pushing to ensure that the men and women who make things in America have the tools they need to succeed. 

The challenge: Right now, China’s tax policies offer significant incentives for research and development. For example, China offers a super deduction for manufacturers performing R&D by allowing them to deduct 200% of their R&D expenses. This policy makes it more attractive for manufacturers in China to invest in innovation—and to out-compete manufacturers in the United States.

The comparison: Meanwhile, U.S. manufacturers, who drive more innovation than any other sector, face a harmful tax change that if not reversed will hurt jobs, innovation and competitiveness.

  • Up until January 2022, a business in the United States could deduct 100% of their R&D expenses in the year during which those expenses occurred.
  • But a change in the tax code that took effect this year now requires businesses to spread those deductions over a period of years—the so-called amortization requirement—making investment in innovation more expensive to conduct.

Recent action: This week, the NAM rallied the business community to urge Congress to repeal the recent tax change, so that businesses can continue to innovate, bolster the economy and create well-paying jobs.

  • “Failing to reverse this change will cost well-paying jobs and reduce future innovation-directed R&D,” according to the NAM’s letter, which was signed by more than 400 companies and business organizations.
  • “Requiring the amortization of research expenses will reduce R&D spending and lead to a loss of more than 20,000 R&D jobs in the first five years with the number of lost jobs rising to nearly 60,000 over the following five years. Moreover, when accounting for the spillover effect from R&D spending, nearly three times as many jobs will be affected.”
  • “At a time of increasingly fierce global competition for research dollars, this change will make it harder for the next R&D dollar to be spent in the U.S. which will ultimately hurt future U.S. competitiveness.”

What we’re saying: “Research and development is the lifeblood of manufacturing,” said NAM Senior Director of Tax Policy David Eiselsberg. “It is what drives innovation, competitiveness, economic growth and the creation of high-paying jobs. But that is all at risk unless Congress quickly acts to repeal the harmful change in the tax treatment of R&D expenses.”

Finer point: “If Congress and the administration do nothing, small manufacturers will face a huge tax increase at the end of the year,” NAM Executive Vice President Erin Streeter warned. “This will have a crippling effect—and we’re mobilizing support at the NAM across the industry to get another hard-fought priority done.”

Press Releases

New Study | Stricter Interest Expense Limits Costs Half Million Jobs

Failing to Address EBIT-Based Limitation Harms Manufacturers’ Competitiveness

Washington, D.C. – Following the release of an analysis on the economic impact of failing to reverse a stricter limitation on deductions for interest on business loans that took effect earlier this year, National Association of Manufacturers Managing Vice President of Tax and Domestic Economic Policy Chris Netram released the following statement.

Key Findings:

The stricter EBIT-based 163(j) interest expense limitation before market adjustments would cost:

  • 467,000 jobs;
  • $23.4 billion of employee compensation; and
  • $43.8 billion in GDP.

“Manufacturers are already facing incredible economic headwinds due to increased input costs, rising interest rates, labor shortages and snarled supply chains. This analysis shows that failing to reverse the damaging change to the tax treatment of interest on business loans disproportionately harms manufacturers at a perilous time—costing hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic growth.

“America is an international outlier in imposing such a strict interest expense limitation. With nearly half a million American jobs at stake, Congress must act by year’s end to reverse the stricter EBIT-based limitation and allow manufacturers to continue to invest for growth.”

EY’s Quantitative Economics and Statistics group prepared the analysis.

Background:

Prior to 2022, the interest expense limitation was calculated based on a company’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA). This year, a stricter limitation based on a company’s earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) took effect. By excluding depreciation and amortization from the calculation, the stricter limitation increases the tax burden on manufacturers that make investments in long-lived capital equipment.

-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 Competes to Win on Taxes

Get the Latest News

Get involved

The NAM is leading the way forward on a range of policies to help boost innovation, opportunity and competitiveness for manufacturers in the United States—and that includes tax policies that ensure manufacturers can continue to compete and win.

The record: During tax reform, the NAM achieved its key priorities—a lower corporate income tax rate, a reduced tax burden on pass-through business income, the adoption of a modern territorial tax system, the retention of the R&D tax credit and the adoption of incentives for capital equipment purchases.

  • Thanks to a more competitive tax code, manufacturers across America have been investing in jobs, facilities and their communities.

The road ahead: Of course, the NAM isn’t taking its eye off the ball. We are committed to protecting our gains and furthering progress—and that means ensuring the tax code continues to incentivize manufacturers’ ability to invest in innovation and growth. We’re focusing on three important tax priorities in the months ahead.

Research and development: On Jan. 1 of this year, a harmful tax change went into effect that makes R&D more expensive in the United States by requiring businesses to deduct their R&D expenses over a period of years.

  • The NAM has been leading the charge to ensure the tax code continues to support innovation by allowing businesses to fully deduct their R&D expenses in the year in which they are incurred. Check out these company stories on the importance of tax policies that support R&D.

Interest deductibility: When manufacturers borrow funds to buy capital equipment, the interest they pay on those loans is tax deductible up to a certain limit. But a recent change in the tax law modified how that limit is calculated—shrinking the deduction, making debt financing more expensive and leaving less capital for job creation and investment.

  • The U.S. is the only OECD country with such a strict interest limitation, so the NAM is working with members of both parties in Congress to reverse the new limit calculation and enhance manufacturers’ ability to compete. Read more about the NAM’s work on this provision here.

Full expensing: Under present law, manufacturers can deduct 100% of their investments in assets with long useful lives, supporting their ability to acquire vital equipment and strengthening their competitiveness. However, the ability to deduct 100% of these costs begins to phase down at the beginning of 2023 and is set to completely expire in 2027.

  • The NAM is leading the business community in advocating for full expensing permanency, joining with members of Congress to support legislation that would create certainty for manufacturers. See how full expensing has benefited small manufacturers in the United States here.

The last word: “The NAM is fighting to protect manufacturers across the country,” said NAM Senior Director of Tax Policy David Eiselsberg. “Protecting R&D, interest deductibility and full expensing will provide the tax certainty necessary for manufacturers to continue to invest in jobs and growth.”

Learn more: Check out the NAM’s full tax agenda in “Competing to Win.”

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

Press Releases

Manufacturers Remain Staunchly Opposed to the Inflation Reduction Act

Timmons: These new taxes will still deliver a blow to our industry’s ability to raise wages, hire workers and invest in our communities

Washington, D.C. – Following the release of the text of the Inflation Reduction Act, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:

“The NAM remains staunchly opposed to the IRA. It increases taxes on manufacturers in America, undermining our competitiveness while we are facing harsh economic headwinds such as supply chain disruptions and the highest rate of inflation in decades.

“We appreciate that the ‘book tax’ has been revised to reflect the importance of job-creating investments in machinery and equipment. But that is insufficient. These new taxes will still deliver a blow to our industry’s ability to raise wages, hire workers and invest in our communities. In addition, the proposed direct negotiations over prescription drugs are a form of price setting and antithetical to the open marketplace of the Medicare Part D program. Pursuing price control policies could threaten future innovation and cures.

“Any desirable elements of this bill can and should be pursued as standalone legislation. As a whole, the bill simply does not position our industry or our country for future growth or global economic leadership and competitiveness, so we urge all lawmakers to stand with us and reject it.”

-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.

Press Releases

NEW: Arizona Snap Poll Shows Manufacturing Voters Strongly Oppose Reconciliation Tax

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers and Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry released a new snap poll today showing that an overwhelming majority of manufacturing voters in Arizona disapprove of the U.S. Senate’s plan to raise taxes on manufacturers. More than 90% of manufacturing voters opposed the tax, while 91% agreed that the tax would harm manufacturers’ ability to invest in their business, buy new machinery and upgrade facilities and put manufacturing jobs and economic recovery at risk.

“With the U.S. and Arizona economy already showing signs of weakening, this is the wrong time to further undermine growth and the manufacturing sector’s overall competitiveness. As the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation analysis has shown, the corporate minimum tax is disproportionately focused on manufacturers and will limit the sector’s ability to grow and invest—in Arizona and across the country,” said NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray. “As the survey shows and as other data indicate, it will make it harder to hire more workers, raise wages and invest in our communities. Arizona’s manufacturing voters are clearly saying that this tax will hurt our economy.”

According to recent analyses by the Joint Committee on Taxation and the NAM, the “corporate minimum tax” currently under consideration in the U.S. Senate will largely fall on the backs of manufacturers, cost almost 220,000 jobs and reduce GDP by nearly $70 billion, while reducing labor income by over $17 billion in 2023 alone.

“Arizona job creators will continue to urge lawmakers to reject this manufacturers tax and instead focus on policies that encourage job growth and strengthen our state and national economic competitiveness,” Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry President and CEO Danny Seiden said. “In the face of record-high inflation, supply chain backlogs and a major labor crunch, now is not the time to hammer manufacturers with new taxes.”

Background/Methodology:

Conducted by the NAM analytics team, this snap poll collected 223 responses from a statewide sample of Arizona manufacturing workers, managers and advocates. In total, 80% of the responses came via SMS text to web and 20% came via email.

-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

Book Tax Would Disproportionately Burden Manufacturers

Get the Latest News

Get Involved

The proposed “book tax” in the Senate’s reconciliation bill “would overwhelmingly hit U.S. manufacturers,” according to a new analysis by the Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress’s non-partisan tax scorekeeper.

What’s going on: The reconciliation bill, the outline of which was released Wednesday by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WVA), proposes a 15% minimum corporate levy, or “book tax,” on certain companies.

  • The provision is estimated to raise $313 billion, and JCT finds that manufacturers would be responsible for paying nearly half of it.

What it means: The impact would be swift and devastating to manufacturers and the economy as a whole, said NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray, who conducted his own analysis of the bill’s effects on the manufacturing sector.

Including direct, indirect and induced effects, in 2023 alone the impact would include:

  • A real GDP reduction of $68.45 billion
  • 218,108 fewer workers in the overall economy
  • A labor-income decrease of $17.11 billion

Targeting manufacturers: “‘This is a domestic manufacturing tax, plain and simple,’” said Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID), who asked for the JCT analysis.

  • “Despite Democrats’ claims, the book minimum tax does not close tax loopholes. Treatment of capital investments, like those made by American manufacturers, differ for book and tax purposes—for good reason,” according to a press release from Senate Finance Republicans.
  • “Congress intentionally designed tax depreciation rules to support domestic investment. Democrats’ tax on U.S. manufacturing would eliminate that benefit.”
Press Releases

Manufacturers: Lawmakers Who Support Manufacturing in America Should Oppose This Reconciliation Bill

Washington, D.C. – Following news of a potential reconciliation agreement among Senate Democrats, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:

“This proposal is nothing more than a repackaging of the same bad ideas with a new name slapped on it. It is especially harmful because it will undermine manufacturers’ competitiveness at a time when the industry is reeling from supply chain disruptions and record inflation. Manufacturers kept our promises after the 2017 tax reforms, hiring more workers, investing in our communities and raising wages and benefits. Raising taxes now will hurt manufacturers’ ability to keep delivering for our people and mean fewer opportunities for Americans already worried about their financial future.

“Government price controls on pharmaceutical manufacturers are no less destructive. They will weaken our ongoing work to develop lifesaving cures to complex diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s and harm our responses to health crises. It’s bad for Americans’ health. It’s wrong for our economy.

“While the language purportedly calls for comprehensive permitting reform to be passed by the end of the fiscal year, there is nothing that prohibits Congress from doing exactly that right now. Any member of Congress who is voting for the bill based solely on that language should not do so and should instead push to have a standalone bill considered.

“Lawmakers who support manufacturing in America should oppose this reconciliation bill. It will make manufacturing less competitive and America economically weaker.”

-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.

View More