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

Timmons Delivers 2020 NAM State of Manufacturing Address in Iowa

Speech Marked 125th Anniversary of NAM’s Founding and Highlighted ‘Creators Wanted’ Campaign to Address Growing Workforce Shortage

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Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons delivered the eighth-annual NAM State of Manufacturing Address today at equipment manufacturer Vermeer Corporation in Pella, Iowa. Speaking to Vermeer Corporation employees, business and community leaders and local manufacturers, Timmons highlighted the NAM’s ambitious plan to address the industry’s growing workforce crisis with the groundbreaking, multimillion-dollar “Creators Wanted” campaign.

In his remarks, Timmons said:

“For 125 years, your NAM has led the business community and fought for all who make things in America. And all of you in this room, and the 13 million men and women in our industry, some of whom are watching today, are part of the storied history of building an exceptional nation. And Vermeer, this very company, embodies the story of manufacturers’ progress.”

. . . .

“In this pivotal year, the NAM and The Manufacturing Institute, our workforce and education partner, are setting out on an unprecedented campaign to inspire a new generation—and tell the real story of our industry. . . . Our historic effort, called “Creators Wanted,” is a capital campaign that will support the programs of the Manufacturing Institute—including the STEP Women’s Initiative, youth engagement and Heroes MAKE America, which trains our returning servicemembers for high-paying manufacturing jobs.”

. . . .

“Just yesterday, in his remarks at the World Economic Forum, President Trump touted manufacturing’s growth and success during his presidency. As I’ve said before, from tax reform to regulatory certainty to leveling the playing field, promises made to manufacturers have been promises kept—and the employment and output numbers show it.”

. . . .

“Here’s what I will say about this election . . . It’s not the label next to a candidate’s name—whether an “R,” a “D” or an “I”—that determines whether he or she will be a good president or even a good member of Congress. The test is whether he or she will work to uphold the values that make America exceptional. These are the same four values, the same four pillars, that make our industry’s success possible.”

Timmons also noted the generous contributions made by Vermeer and Pella Corporation to the NAM’s Creators Wanted campaign.

“And I am proud to announce today that Vermeer Corporation, along with your foundation and Mary and Dr. Dale Andringa, have contributed $100,000 to this cause. And another local manufacturer, Pella Corporation, is also leading by example with a $100,000 contribution of their own,” said Timmons.

Vermeer Corporation President and CEO Jason Andringa thanked Timmons for his visit and the NAM’s commitment to ensuring the long-term success of manufacturing in the United States.

“Thank you to Jay Timmons and the National Association of Manufacturers for visiting Vermeer Corporation and recognizing the incredible work of our team members and manufacturers across the country,” said Andringa. “These men and women truly demonstrate the impact our industry makes every day and represent the success of American manufacturing.”

To read the full address, 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 $2.37 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 Manufacturers or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

Manufacturers Commend Trump Leadership on China Trade Reform

Timmons: “Results Matter. This Is an Indisputable Win for Our Country.”

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Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons commended President Trump and United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer for successfully negotiating the unprecedented “phase one” trade agreement with China, noting “no other administration has achieved this level of success with—and accountability of—America’s primary economic adversary in the past three decades.” Timmons was at the White House today for the signing of the historic agreement.

Timmons wrote to President Trump two years ago urging him “to consider pursuing a truly modern, innovative and comprehensive bilateral trade agreement with China that wholly restructures our economic relationship.” Shortly after, the NAM released a full negotiating objectives framework for such an agreement.

In his January 2018 letter to President Trump, Timmons declared “when our workers have a level playing field, no one—absolutely no one—can beat us. China must follow the same rules as everyone else and must be held accountable when it cheats. China has proven one of the most troubling markets in the world for manufacturers, due to its lack of commitment to free markets, fair competition and reform. From unfair subsidies and massive overcapacity in sectors such as steel and aluminum, to intellectual property theft and market-distorting policies that shield Chinese companies, manufacturers and workers in the United States face an unfair playing field that has harmed U.S. manufacturing and held us back.”

“Results matter,” said Timmons today. “We are proud that the ‘phase one’ deal includes core elements of the NAM’s proposed framework. Because of the President’s tenacity and focus, this is an indisputable win for our country and a momentous day in the U.S.–China economic relationship. It is a remarkable turning point for manufacturers, with the unprecedented and enforceable commitments on critical intellectual property protections to which China has agreed.

“The NAM looks forward to reviewing the final text of this agreement and to working with the administration in holding China accountable for its ambitious commitments. Additionally, we are committed to achieving more progress in reducing trade uncertainty as the focus of the administration and the NAM now turn to ‘phase two.’”

-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 and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 62.5% 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 Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Policy and Legal

Manufacturers Carry Policy Win Momentum Into 2020

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Aric Newhouse speaks on stage at the 2019 Fall Board Meeting

Aric Newhouse is the senior vice president of policy and government relations at the National Association of Manufacturers. Here he breaks down manufacturers’ biggest policy victories in 2019 and what is ahead for 2020.

Manufacturers saw many big achievements in the final weeks of 2019. What is the impact of these and was it a surprise?

The Democratic-led House of Representatives approved the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement with a strong bipartisan vote of 385-41. The trade agreement still needs to be approved by the Republican-led Senate. This was a major accomplishment, especially considering that about two years ago many thought that the U.S. was on the verge of withdrawing from NAFTA and the entire North American trading relationship, which support 2 million manufacturing jobs, was at risk of crumbling.

On top of the USMCA, the Trump administration reached a “phase one” trade deal with China. This is another achievement many thought would be impossible. But now we have real, enforceable intellectual property protections in place in China and a foundation for a “phase two” deal.

Right before Congress left for the holidays, they passed a year-end government funding bill, which included a seven-year reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank and the repeal of the medical device tax, “Cadillac” tax and health insurance tax. Some of those taxes were poised to hit hard in 2020, so this comes as a big relief for manufacturers.

And was all this a surprise? I am sure it surprised many people that all of this got done in the middle of a contentious political moment. However, the NAM has spent a long time, in some cases years, laying the groundwork to make these wins possible, so we had some confidence that the agenda of manufacturers and their workers would win the day.

There was a time when USMCA passage was in doubt. How did you win over lawmakers?

The NAM, in close coordination with our members and with their incredible support and work, made clear to policymakers that the USMCA was not about politics but was about our growth, our exports and our people. Successfully doing so turned the discussion around the deal from skepticism to support and was critical to its passage. Granted, we did not get everything we wanted, but we achieved our number one goal: protecting our biggest trading relationship with a modernized trade agreement.

What is ahead for 2020?

Number one, we will get the USMCA passed in the Senate. We will provide support for a “phase two” trade deal with China that further levels the playing field, provides enforceable rules and secures relief from costly tariffs. And we will continue our advocacy on manufacturers’ other top priorities, including infrastructure investment, immigration and health care reform. We want to see more regulatory certainty from the federal agencies so that manufacturers can continue investing confidently in the future.

Press Releases

Manufacturers Claim Bipartisan Victory in History-Making USMCA

Timmons Urges Swift Senate Action to Restore Certainty for Manufacturers

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Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on House passage of the U.S.–Mexico–Canada Agreement:

Months ago, when others predicted nothing but partisan gridlock, manufacturers mobilized to make sure that the U.S.–Mexico–Canada Agreement won the overwhelming support it deserved. Today, the NAM’s efforts helped secure a strong bipartisan vote for this historic agreement. Democrats and Republicans alike voted to protect the millions of manufacturing jobs that depend on North American trade.

The NAM’s nationwide efforts activated manufacturing workers and supporters, reaching members of Congress with thousands of pro-USMCA letters, calls and meetings. In doing so, we drove the narrative, making the USMCA not about partisan politics but about good policy for growing manufacturing in America. The Senate should act swiftly; manufacturers have waited long enough, and passage of the USMCA will help restore trade certainty and empower our industry, the backbone of the America economy, to continue growing here in the United States.

-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 multiplier 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 Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

NAM Survey: Manufacturing Stabilizes in Fourth Quarter

With Progress on USMCA, China and Ex-Im Bank, Manufacturers Are Well-Positioned Heading into 2020

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Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers today released the results of the Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey for the fourth quarter of 2019. The survey shows that manufacturing optimism has stabilized with nearly 68% of manufacturers reporting a positive outlook for their business, essentially the same rate as the third quarter release. The inability to attract and retain a quality workforce remained manufacturers’ top business concern (63.8%) for the ninth straight quarter. The survey was conducted prior to announced agreements on the U.S.–Mexico–Canada Agreement, “phase one” trade deal with China and long-term reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank—important progress that will boost certainty for manufacturers entering the new year.

In just the past week, our leaders have taken major steps toward bolstering manufacturers’ optimism and confidence. Now we need them to build on that progress by passing the USMCA, signing the ‘phase one’ deal with China and voting to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank. All of these actions have the power to reduce the trade uncertainty we see in this survey, said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. To tackle manufacturers’ number-one challenge, the NAM is supercharging our workforce strategy in 2020 through Creators Wanted, our nationwide tour and campaign to inspire a new generation of modern manufacturing workers. So between trade and workforce, next year will be a critical opportunity to build the foundation for manufacturing growth for years to come.

To date in 2019, manufacturing has had an average of 483,500 open jobs—a highly elevated level that included the all-time high number in June (515,000). Manufacturing had 477,000 open jobs in October, according to the most recent JOLTS data, and a landmark report published last year by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute—the workforce and education partner of the NAM—found that 2.4 million manufacturing jobs could go unfilled by 2028.

Ahead of its 125th anniversary and the 2020 elections, the NAM recently launched the “Creators Wanted Fund,” a multimillion-dollar campaign to inspire and drive more Americans to pursue careers in modern manufacturing. The campaign aims to cut the skills gap by 600,000 workers by 2025; increase by 25% the number of students enrolling in technical and vocational schools; increase by 25% the number of students enrolling in apprenticeships and reskilling programs; and raise to 50%—from 27%—the number of parents who would encourage their children to pursue a career in modern manufacturing.

Conducted by NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray, the Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey has surveyed the association’s membership of 14,000 large and small manufacturers on a quarterly basis since 1997 to gain insight into their economic outlook, hiring and investment decisions and business concerns. The NAM releases the results to the public each quarter. Further information on the survey is available 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 multiplier 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 Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

NAM Applauds Vote to Reauthorize Ex-Im, Repeal Onerous Taxes

Timmons: “Manufacturers Continue to Rack Up Victories”

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Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed government funding legislation that includes a long-term reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank and repeals the medical device tax, health insurance tax and “Cadillac” tax:

Manufacturers continue to rack up victories for the men and women of our industry as the year comes to a close. Congressional leaders are to be commended for including so many of our top priorities in this must-pass bill. Securing a long-term reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank will safeguard manufacturing jobs in America and help level the playing field with other countries, especially China and Germany, so it could not come at a more critical time.


For nearly a decade, manufacturers have led the charge for the permanent repeal of onerous taxes on Americans’ health care. Winning these long-sought repeals will reduce the cost of providing quality benefits to manufacturing employees and delivering lifesaving medical technologies to patients.


Above all, this vote proves once again that even in a fiercely divided Washington, manufacturers can break through and get important work done for the good of our industry and the American people. Now the Senate must do its job so we can secure the President’s signature and ring in 2020 as a stronger, more competitive industry.

-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 multiplier 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 Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

Manufacturers: President Trump Has Landed Historic Deal

Timmons: Agreement Will Protect Manufacturing Innovations and American Jobs

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Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement welcoming the trade announcement from the United States and China:

President Trump has landed an historic, enforceable deal that protects a broad range of U.S. intellectual property, such as trade secrets, and provides strong, new tools to tackle counterfeiting of our products. The agreement also ensures tough enforcement to protect manufacturing innovations and, most importantly, the jobs of American workers today and into the future. For two years, manufacturers have been the leading voice for an enforceable agreement to make China play by the rules and stop cheating once and for all. This is an enormous step forward to achieving that goal.

The NAM first called for the administration to pursue a bilateral trade agreement with China in a letter from Timmons to President Trump in January 2018. The NAM has released a full negotiating objectives framework for an agreement that will address China’s unfair trade practices and level the playing field for manufacturers in the United States.

Today’s announcement represents real progress, and manufacturers look forward to working with President Trump and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to achieve additional concrete outcomes on other key unfair trade practices that translate into a lasting, game-changing agreement.

-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 multiplier 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 Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

Manufacturers Welcome Progress on USMCA Agreement

Timmons: “A Ratified USMCA Will Deliver Increased Certainty for Manufacturers”

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Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement welcoming the announced deal to move forward the U.S.–Mexico–Canada Agreement:

Manufacturers support the USMCA, and we are encouraged that the administration and House Democrats have forged a path forward, with the support of Canada and Mexico as well. To be sure, as with any agreement of this nature, not every objective that we sought was met. For instance, we are extremely disappointed that the agreement missed an opportunity to set the gold standard for the protection of American-made lifesaving innovations and inventions. Protection of intellectual property is a key principle and critical for the long-term vitality of the manufacturing industry and the men and women who work in our sector.

Nevertheless, a ratified USMCA will deliver increased certainty for manufacturers—especially for the 2 million manufacturing workers whose jobs depend on North American trade.

This has been a long process, and manufacturers will continue to work closely with the administration and both the House and Senate to approve the USMCA by the end of this year. We deeply appreciate the hard work of the Trump administration, particularly the United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Bob Lighthizer, as well as leaders of both parties in Congress who have brought us to this point and continue to listen to manufacturers.

-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 multiplier 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

Small Manufacturers Highlight Ex-Im Bank’s Essential Role

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On Nov. 21, the President signed a stopgap funding bill. In addition to keeping the federal government funded through Dec. 20, the bill includes provisions to keep the Export-Import Bank of the United States open for another month while lawmakers debate its authorization moving forward. The Bank would have shuttered this week without congressional action, but what manufacturers ultimately need is a robust, long-term reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank rather than repeated short-term extensions.

The House of Representatives recently passed a 10-year robust reauthorization of the Bank, and the Senate has introduced a bipartisan reauthorization bill that similarly extends the Bank’s charter for a decade. Both bills have received the NAM’s public support. Here’s why manufactures are urging Congress to act.

The Export-Import Bank is the “lender of last resort” for U.S. businesses competing for overseas contracts, supporting millions of American jobs since 2000. Without a fully functioning Ex-Im Bank, small and large manufacturers across the country could lose business opportunities that allow them to hire more workers and increase investment in their communities.

One such manufacturer, California-based energy equipment supplier FirmGreen, employs 11 workers and relies on the Ex-Im Bank to create a level playing field when competing for international business.

“Without the Ex-Im Bank to supply the necessary finances, potential clients have chosen to do business with South Korea, Europe and other countries with foreign agencies that could supply the finances,” said FirmGreen Chairman & CEO Steve Wilburn. “We lost many potential projects when Ex-Im was hobbled, and that’s had a direct impact on jobs.”

U.S. Bridge, an Ohio-based steel manufacturer with 75 employees, has relied on the Ex-Im Bank to develop strong trade relationships internationally and support jobs here at home. A third-generation family-owned business, U.S. Bridge highlights the important work of the agency in supporting small manufacturing companies.

“Ex-Im Bank has played a critical role in helping us make foreign sales in tough markets, doing everything possible to promote U.S. sales that support our manufacturing here. Without the Ex-Im Bank, we would have lost new opportunities and a critical trading relationship would be unsustainable,” said Richard Rogovin, Chairman of U.S. Bridge. “In addition to financial support, the staff is very knowledgeable about foreign trade, ready and willing to be helpful, and provides expertise that we could not afford to employ otherwise.”

“With more than 100 foreign export credit agencies seeking to help their industries at our expense, and more than 90% of the Ex-Im Bank’s transactions directly supporting small businesses, manufacturers see the bank as a key tool for maintaining a robust American workforce by helping manufacturers compete anywhere and everywhere,” said Linda Dempsey, Vice President of International Economic Affairs Policy at the National Association of Manufacturers.

Manufacturers are facing significant challenges—driven in part by global economic headwinds and trade uncertainty—and a long-term reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank will strengthen America’s manufacturing industry. That’s why the NAM continues to call for a robust, long-term reauthorization.

Press Releases

Manufacturers Applaud House Passage of Long-Term Ex-Im Reauthorization Bill

“The members of Congress who cast their vote for reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank stood with America’s manufacturing workers today.”

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the United States Export Finance Agency Act (H.R. 4863), legislation to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank for 10 years:

The members of Congress who cast their vote for reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank stood with America’s manufacturing workers today. The Ex-Im Bank is a vital tool for ensuring manufacturers in America can compete on a level playing field. Around the world, 100 other export credit agencies are in operation, so shutting down the Ex-Im Bank is akin to unilateral disarmament. It would hand a victory to China. That is why the Senate must now act. Manufacturers strongly support both the just-passed House bill and the bipartisan Senate Ex-Im Bank reauthorization bill introduced by Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) that similarly provides for a 10-year robust reauthorization. Manufacturers urge the Senate to act on a long-term and robust reauthorization to provide certainty and improve American competitiveness.

Quick facts about the Ex-Im Bank:

  • The agency has supported 2.5 million jobs over the past 20 years.
  • On average, more than 90% of the Ex-Im Bank’s transactions directly support small businesses.
  • The agency has generated $9.6 billion for taxpayers since 1992.
  • Foreign competitors are stealing America’s competitive advantage by devoting hundreds of billions of dollars to official export credit agency financing for their domestic manufacturers.
  • The agency’s default rate is better than many commercial lenders and far below the 2% maximum rate set by Congress.

-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 multiplier 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.

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