Trade

With a level playing field and an accessible market, manufacturers in America can out-perform any competitor. That’s why we need smart trade deals that expand opportunities to sell our products around the world and ensure global trade is open, fair and free.

Press Releases

Manufacturers: China Is Not Following Through on Important Commitments Made in the 2020 U.S.–China “Phase One” Agreement

Washington, D.C. –  Following remarks today by U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement:

“China is not following through on important commitments made in the 2020 U.S.–China ‘Phase One’ agreement, and it also remains a hub of bad behaviors—from intellectual property theft to market-distorting industrial subsidies—that harm manufacturers and their employees here in the United States. Manufacturers agree with Ambassador Tai that we need a new, holistic and pragmatic approach to our relationship with China. We are pleased that the Biden administration’s approach reflects key priorities for manufacturers in the U.S., including holding China accountable on the ‘Phase One’ deal, allowing manufacturers to seek tariff relief, stepping up direct U.S. engagement with Chinese officials and working with our allies to ensure that the U.S. shapes the global rules for trade. We look forward to working with USTR on robust measures to ensure quick action in each of these areas to hold China accountable and to strengthen manufacturers and manufacturing workers in America.”

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.4 million men and women, contributes $2.52 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector 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.

News

“The Culture Is the Company”: An Interview with ALOM’s Hannah Kain

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With 19 global locations, ALOM Technologies Corporation specializes in technology-driven supply chains for Fortune 100 companies. ALOM President and CEO Hannah Kain recently sat down with the Manufacturing Leadership Council to share her thoughts on the state of the industry and the keys to successful leadership.

Taking on challenges: Over the long term, Kain sees workforce development—finding and training the next generation of manufacturing leaders—as a significant priority. But in the short term, she cites COVID-19- and trade-related supply chain disruptions as the most pressing issues.

  • “Shifts in demand have increased the need for agility in manufacturing, yet U.S. infrastructure, from ports and roads to cybersecurity, is under extreme strain, and geopolitics have made goods movement more complex,” she said.

Meeting the moment: During the COVID-19 pandemic, ALOM manufactured millions of COVID-19 test kits for the medical sector while ensuring its own workers remained safe, Kain said. The company also met the past year’s challenges by investing in digitization to improve its productivity.

Finding opportunities: Kain cites a range of opportunities for manufacturers of the future, from fast-improving technologies to the availability of new manufacturing talent—if manufacturers can find and harness it.

The importance of culture: Kain believes in what she calls “servant leadership”—seeing yourself as a supporter of stakeholders like customers, employees and suppliers and working to put their needs first. She strives to create a culture of collaboration within her own company.

The last word: “In the end, culture is the company, and the company is the culture,” said Kain. “Our culture is inclusive, collaborative, improvement-oriented and quality-focused, with a strong sense of ownership. Supporting that culture may be the most important thing I do.”

Press Releases

Manufacturers: President’s Budget Rightly Prioritizes Bold Infrastructure Investment

Washington, D.C. – Today, following the release of President Joe Biden’s budget for FY 2022, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement:

“A budget is an important statement of a president’s priorities, and manufacturers are pleased to see President Biden prioritizing bold investments in infrastructure. The president’s clear commitment to ‘investing in ourselves’ is encouraging—and infrastructure is the right place to start. Manufacturers will continue working with both parties to secure a strong infrastructure deal.

“We know the president wants America to succeed and lead, and we agree. There are differences of opinion, however, on how to accomplish that laudatory goal. That is why we remain steadfast in our view that the competitive tax structure for businesses in America that was enacted in 2017 must not be disturbed. After the 2017 tax reform law, America saw the best year for manufacturing job creation in more than two decades, and the NAM’s recent tax study showed that tax increases under consideration would eliminate 1 million jobs in just the first two years. We can’t truly move forward as a country if we take a giant step backward with archaic tax laws.

“Manufacturers are confident that by working together in a bipartisan manner, we can find common ground that lifts everyone up and leaves no one behind. We look forward to continuing to work with the administration and members of the House and Senate from both political parties to accomplish exactly that.”

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.3 million men and women, contributes $2.35 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

Manufacturers: WTO/TRIPS Waiver Will Not Solve Crisis

Washington, D.C. – Following the announcement by the United States Trade Ambassador that the Biden administration will support waiving intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:

“We are all horrified by the images that we are seeing in India and in other places around the world hard-hit by COVID-19. The proposed WTO/TRIPS waiver would not solve this crisis and would exacerbate the core manufacturing and distribution challenges, as well as introduce serious new safety concerns.

“Rather than rushing to suspend critical protections and standards, investing in even greater production capacity would result in expanded vaccine access. Pharmaceutical manufacturers continue to work around the clock to help the world get armed against COVID-19. We should do everything possible to build on that heroic work, not undermine the protections that make this innovation possible in the first place.”

-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 12.3 million men and women, contributes $2.33 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Policy and Legal

A Bottleneck at California Ports Squeezes Manufacturers

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The ship stuck in the Suez Canal may have gotten all the attention, but it wasn’t the biggest shipping problem of the year. That honor goes to the massive traffic jam at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which has dragged on since late 2020.

As NAM Director of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources Policy Ben Siegrist tells us, this bottleneck is a huge problem for manufacturers in the U.S.—one that is costing our economy many billions of dollars. Dozens of ships are waiting in the harbor for days before they are able to unload, exporters are struggling to get their goods out of the country, and other manufacturers are waiting months for parts or finished goods to arrive.

The problem: The numbers tell the tale: at one point in mid-April, there were 23 ships waiting to dock at the ports, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription), down from around 40 back in February. For comparison, Siegrist explains, the normal number of ships waiting in harbor is somewhere between 0 and 1.

Why it’s happening: Much of the congestion results from the pandemic—there has been an uptick in e-commerce during the lockdowns, and the economic stimulus has boosted consumption. Meanwhile, the typical increase in shipments during the holiday season just made things worse.

However, other factors are making this congestion particularly hard to fix, says Siegrist. These include:

  • A shortage of shipping containers: First of all, shippers don’t have enough containers in the absolute for all of these goods. But in addition, some of them are finding it cheaper to unload in the U.S. and then send the empty containers back to Asia—to the disadvantage of U.S. manufacturers that want to load those containers with exports.
  • A shortage of chassis: The trucks that transport containers to warehouses require special chassis to move the containers, but the ports also don’t have enough of these.
  • A labor shortage: Like many other Americans, port workers had to deal with COVID-19 infections or exposures as well as cope with family responsibilities during the pandemic.

Logistical complications: Meanwhile, the logistics of international shipping are incredibly complicated, Siegrist explains. There are fewer ocean carriers today—only nine, down from more than 20 a few decades ago—which means manufacturers have fewer competitive shipping options. And the complex relationships between the multiple carriers, port operators and equipment owners are not easy to disentangle or control.

What do we do? Thanks in large part to the complexity of international shipping, there’s no easy answer, says Siegrist. Right now, the NAM is in discussions with the many federal agencies involved in international commerce, including the Department of Transportation, the Department of Commerce, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and a lesser known but vital agency called the Federal Maritime Commission. “We’re trying to create opportunities for our members to have a dialogue with policymakers,” says Siegrist.

  • The eventual policy options might range from fines or fees for international carriers to legislative updates to the 1984 Shipping Act.
  • It will also be important to strengthen the domestic supply chain for equipment like containers—almost none of which are now made in the U.S. The NAM is “talking more holistically about supply chains with the Biden administration,” notes Siegrist.

Stay tuned: The FMC will release its investigation into pandemic-related shipping delays in the coming weeks.

Press Releases

Manufacturers React to President Biden’s First Speech to Congress

Timmons: “Manufacturers are focused on building the next, post-pandemic world.”

Washington, D.C. – Following President Joe Biden’s first presidential address to Congress, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement:

“Thanks to the leadership of vaccine manufacturers and the Biden administration’s successful vaccine distribution efforts, Americans are getting back to the activities and the people they love. Though the capacity limits in the House chamber tonight remind us that we still have a long way to go, our future is looking brighter.

“We look forward to working with President Biden to achieve historic infrastructure investment, including the many priorities offered in our ‘Building to Win’ plan, which, in addition to identifying areas of investment, also provides multiple funding solutions.

“Manufacturers have also provided roadmaps on critical issues ranging from immigration to climate change. We’re ready to work with President Biden and members of any party to deliver bipartisan progress on these issues and more, all while ensuring we’re strengthening the manufacturing workforce, not jeopardizing manufacturing growth in the United States.

“To that point, raising taxes on manufacturers—including many small businesses that pay at the individual rate—would stop our recovery in its tracks; we would lose 1 million jobs in just the first two years alone. Small manufacturers would be especially hard hit at this critical juncture, restricting their ability to raise wages and benefits, hire more workers and invest in their communities. Similarly, changes to the longstanding tax rules on the transfer of family businesses to the next generation of manufacturers would cost American jobs.

“Returning to archaic tax policies and one of the highest business tax rates in the developed world is not the way to build our future, nor are federal policies to force workers to join a union. Anti-worker policies like the PRO Act would inject uncertainty by driving a wedge in established employee–employer relationships and curtail future manufacturing investments that support our communities and families.

“As we continue to get armed against COVID-19, manufacturers are focused on building the next, post-pandemic world—one that affords even greater opportunity for all Americans.”

Background:

The NAM continues to put forward commonsense proposals to educate and inform policymakers on ways to strengthen manufacturing in America while achieving our shared objectives.

-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 12.3 million men and women, contributes $2.35 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Policy and Legal

NAM Pursues Free and Fair Policies on China

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NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons sent a letter to President Biden on Wednesday urging the president to develop and implement a post-pandemic strategy regarding the U.S. relationship with China.

Why it matters: As the letter notes, China has signed new trade and investment agreements with a variety of nations in Europe and Asia over the past few months, increasing pressure on the United States to engage in a thoughtful and effective way to preserve America’s influence worldwide. But the U.S. relationship with China is also both delicate and complex, requiring the U.S. to challenge China in some areas even as we work to collaborate in others.

A combative adversary: “For manufacturers, China has long been a hub for unfair industrial subsidies and government-fueled overcapacity in areas like steel and aluminum that distort global markets. China continues to promote discriminatory industrial policies, forced technology transfer and intellectual property theft that harm manufacturers and workers in the United States. Increasingly, China is also using global institutions and its economic influence to build alliances that challenge American interests, human rights and democratic values.”

An important partner: “Yet, China will also be a key player in tackling global challenges that matter for manufacturers, from COVID-19 to climate change. And China is a major destination for U.S. exports, with nearly $90 billion in manufactured goods going there in 2020, placing it behind only Canada and Mexico in the ranks of our biggest trade partners and supporting hundreds of thousands of well-paying U.S. manufacturing jobs.”

The big picture: “America’s strategy must reflect the realities of the moment and the future: as we take stock of new post-pandemic realities, China will be a necessary partner, a fierce economic competitor and a major rival challenging American global influence.”

Read the whole thing for a list of the NAM’s policy proposals.

Press Releases

Timmons Opening Statement to U.S. Senate Committee on Finance Hearing on Made in America: Effect of the U.S. Tax Code on Domestic Manufacturing

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons delivered the following opening statement at a U.S. Senate Committee on Finance hearing entitled Made in America: Effect of the U.S. Tax Code on Domestic Manufacturing.

Click here to watch the hearing.

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

Good morning. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I’m joining you virtually because of the pandemic that this country has endured for more than a year now. But this pandemic is far more than a story of economic hardship and painful loss. It’s also a story of communities and companies rising to the challenge.

America’s manufacturing workers mobilized in ways reminiscent of their resolve during World War II, when manufacturers became the arsenal of democracy. The companies joining me today are part of this effort. Ford remade shop floors to make ventilators and face shields. Intel accelerated access to technology to combat the pandemic. From iconic global brands to family-owned shops, manufacturers answered the call.

Today, one year after health restrictions began, the light at the end of the tunnel is growing brighter by the second—thanks to the innovation of pharmaceutical manufacturers. Their heroic work, combined with the previous administration’s Operation Warp Speed and this Congress and this administration’s focus on and investment in vaccine distribution, is now saving about 2 million American lives every single day.

Manufacturing workers’ achievements are all the more impressive when you consider the disruptions they had to overcome. This pandemic exposed and exacerbated serious supply chain issues that we now must address as we work to build the next post-pandemic world.

In spring 2020, the National Association of Manufacturers released our plan for strengthening manufacturing supply chains. I’ve discussed it directly with some of you.

Our goal is your goal: Ensuring that the next dollar invested in manufacturing is invested in America.

The plan is comprehensive, from taxes to workforce. The central premise is that incentives—not punitive measures—will allow us to achieve our shared goal.

Let me call out three key recommendations.

Number one: We must recognize the importance of predictability and stability in the tax code. Tax reform made manufacturers more competitive, driving historic job creation, wage growth and productivity in its immediate aftermath. Let’s not undo that progress.

Number two: Manufacturers in America can only remain at the cutting edge if our tax code supports innovation. Unfortunately, it will do just the opposite starting next year.

A looming change to the tax treatment of research costs will make it more expensive to perform R&D—potentially costing America its innovation edge.

Number three: Let’s recognize a simple truth—policies that are successful in growing manufacturing will require significant capital expenditures by the small and medium-sized firms that are the backbone of our domestic supply chain.

But two other looming changes to the tax code will make those expenditures difficult. More stringent limitations on interest deductions and the phase out of immediate expensing will take effect in the years ahead. If not reversed, these changes will make it hard to grow manufacturing.

Ultimately, ensuring that next manufacturing dollar is invested right here in America requires looking at the entire business climate.

And that means that this Congress will have to address other pressing questions.

Will tax rates for businesses of all sizes remain competitive—or better yet, become more competitive—so that we can keep attracting investment?

Will the regulatory system provide certainty and clarity?

Will health care become more affordable—without compromising free market principles?

Will this nation finally make the bold investments in infrastructure that are long overdue?

Will energy be abundant, affordable and reliable?

Will export opportunities increase while we enforce our existing trade agreements to protect American workers?

And will we achieve comprehensive immigration reform to ensure that those hidden in the shadows or brought here as children can become permanent, productive members of society?

If the answer to those questions is “yes,” if we tackle these fundamental issues, then I’m certain that this Next World that we are building in the aftermath of the pandemic will be built by American workers in American factories, restoring American leadership in the world.

Thank you, and I look forward to your questions.

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.3 million men and women, contributes $2.32 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

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

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

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

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

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.3 million men and women, contributes $2.32 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Policy and Legal

What to Expect on Trade Policy in 2021

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There’s a new administration in town, and the NAM also has a new trade policy leader—who is already out promoting manufacturers’ agenda. Ken Monahan became the NAM’s Vice President of International Economic Affairs in January after nearly six years at the organization, and he is perfectly equipped to represent the industry on these crucial issues.

Monahan recently spoke to us about the organization’s priorities for the year ahead. Here’s what you need to know.

The big picture: “The NAM’s priority is to stand up for manufacturers and manufacturing workers in the United States by ensuring that our trading partners hold up their end of the bargain, while also working to open markets for American-made exports and promote U.S. supply chains,” says Monahan.

USMCA and Trade Enforcement: The NAM achieved a victory when Congress passed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, but although the agreement is already being implemented, the NAM’s work is not yet finished. The focus now turns to ensuring that Mexico and Canada follow through on their USMCA commitments, while also holding other U.S. partners accountable as well.

  • “Manufacturers continue to face trade barriers and other measures in countries with which the United States has trade agreements, notably in Mexico,” said Monahan. “We stand ready to work with the Biden administration and Congress to ensure that U.S. trade agreement partners treat our industry fairly, which will support manufacturers and manufacturing jobs here in America through an increase in exports.”

China: Given the rise of China, U.S. ties to the country and the size of the Chinese market, we need a strong strategy going forward. The United States must put consistent, targeted pressure on China – directly and with allies – to reverse its illegal subsidies, intellectual property theft and discriminatory industrial policies, says Monahan.

  • “We must work with allies to set a clear, strong strategy on China, leveraging our strengths to halt problematic Chinese behaviors and level the playing field for manufacturers,” said Monahan. “We need strong American leadership to ensure that the United States – and not China – is writing the rules of global trade to benefit manufacturers and employees in America.”

Opening New Markets: Beyond China, it is vital that U.S. policymakers work to open new markets and ensure that the rules-based global trading system allows manufacturers to confront challenges in markets around the world, says Monahan.

  • “We need to revitalize the rules-based international trading system and pursue new trade agreements to reverse unfair barriers, enhance the role of free market forces, promote respect for the rule of law and propel manufacturing innovation around the world,” said Monahan. “This is all the more important given that our competitors are pursuing their own deals with countries with which the United States does not have trade agreements.”

The bottom line: “As we engage with the Biden administration and legislators of both parties to promote a trade policy that opens markets for American-made exports and promotes U.S. supply chains, we must put a spotlight on the American manufacturing employees whose jobs depend on trade,” said Monahan. “We want to tell their stories. We want to share at every opportunity how trade is lifting up these employees and their communities. That’s our focus, and we’re excited to get to work alongside the NAM’s members.”

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