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.

Policy and Legal

Manufacturers Call for IP Protections to Secure Innovation

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On Wednesday, National Association of Manufacturers Director of International Business Policy Ryan Ong testified before the Special 301 Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee on the global intellectual property challenges and priorities for manufacturers in the United States. While manufacturers have long called for stronger intellectual property protection, Ong’s testimony comes at a time when IP theft has been on the rise; a 2017 report by the Commission on the Theft of Intellectual Property found that stolen ideas, brands and inventions drain up to $600 billion from the U.S. economy—nearly double the amount found just four years previously.

In his testimony, Ong highlighted a growing tide of fake products sold in the United States, which has been estimated to cost the U.S. economy between $29 billion and $41 billion every year. He also detailed sophisticated attempts by bad actors to steal U.S. companies’ trade secrets; one 2014 study estimated that the economic loss from trade secret theft is between $180 billion and $500 billion. In addition, he discussed attempts at international organizations to weaken IP protections in the name of other policy priorities, from public health to environmental protection, and explained how these actions overlook the importance of innovation and create barriers to progress.

“The United States has long made vigorous protection of IP rights at home and abroad a cornerstone of our manufacturing competitiveness, but we must do more in the face of these and other challenges,” said Ong. “It is more critical now than ever before that the United States strongly defend intellectual property and innovation around the world in all available forums.”

Ong’s testimony was accompanied by a full list of recommendations on a country-by-country basis to protect the full scope of threats to manufacturers’ intellectual property.

Manufacturers have recently made important progress on intellectual property protections. For example, the “phase one” trade deal between China and the United States—which was a major victory for manufacturers—included Chinese commitments on trade secret protection, patent protection, trademark issues and judicial enforcement. Still, manufacturers continue to fight for robust support of American innovation.

“Every day, manufacturers across the country are transforming their operations to achieve greater efficiency, productivity and competitiveness while working to create a better tomorrow,” said Ong. “None of that is possible without U.S. leadership, driving strong rules to protect our IP and robust enforcement efforts. The success of our industry—and the strength of our economy—depend on it.”

Policy and Legal

Manufacturers Lead Fight Against Counterfeit Goods

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Recently, manufacturers took to Capitol Hill to do their part to combat counterfeit products entering the United States. Counterfeit goods are increasingly prevalent and pose a threat to consumers’ wellbeing and manufacturers’ competitiveness. To take a stand on this growing issue, Johnson & Johnson recently testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce. In their testimony, the company highlighted the challenges facing health care manufacturers and the dangers counterfeiting can pose to the health of patients and consumers.

“Illicit trade has increased dramatically in recent years, impacting nearly every industry,” said Johnson & Johnson Vice President of Global Brand Protection Rich Kaeser. “The problem is obviously a serious concern in the health care and personal care industries where patients and consumers can be injured or even die due to unsafe, counterfeit and illicit products. These situations demonstrate why businesses must partner with one another and with government, so collectively we can be a greater force to deter the growing threat of [counterfeiting].”

Beyond consumers, counterfeiting also seriously impacts private shippers like UPS as well as the manufacturers that rely on their services. A new report from the Department of Homeland Security outlines a series of actions on how the federal government can partner with the private sector to combat trafficking in fake goods.

“With the rise of e-commerce and a global economy, counterfeit goods are a significant problem for many of UPS’s customers, particularly small and medium-sized companies,” said Laura Lane, UPS President of Global Public Affairs. “UPS is pleased to see the administration taking action on counterfeits, including enforcing the collection of advanced electronic data, and assurances that packages coming into the U.S., whether through the private express industry or the global postal system, receive consistent treatment and that there is uniformity at U.S. borders to curb counterfeits and dangerous goods from getting into our country.”

With the administration’s breakthrough “phase one” trade deal with China, the U.S. gained strong, enforceable intellectual property protections to help counter the importation of fake goods, but there is still significant work to be done to protect consumers and manufacturers, including ensuring those commitments are honored. In order to achieve long-lasting reform, a broad coalition of public- and private-sector voices need to be part of the process.

“Manufacturers have always had to deal with counterfeit goods, which lead to damaging consequences for consumers and the business community,” said National Association of Manufacturers Vice President of Labor, Legal and Regulatory Policy Patrick Hedren. “At the end of the day, this is about as bipartisan an issue as you can find. Manufacturers are eager to work with members of Congress, the administration and private-sector stakeholders to better protect the public from the threat of fake goods.”

Policy and Legal

VP Mike Pence Joins Manufacturers at NAM Winter Board Meeting

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Vice President Mike Pence addressed the National Association of Manufacturers’ Board of Directors Meeting on Friday. In a speech livestreamed to manufacturers across the country, he paid tribute to the NAM’s 125-year history, celebrated manufacturers’ accomplishments and praised the NAM’s historic Creators Wanted campaign, which was publicly unveiled earlier in the week—asserting that “President Trump will continue to back the efforts just like that one to create job training and vocational education and make it more accessible than ever before.” His appearance capped a three-day event attended by government officials and manufacturing leaders from across the nation.

“I’m really here just to pay a debt of gratitude,” Vice President Pence told the manufacturing leaders gathered. “You’ve been investing in your companies and investing in working Americans… You’ve really revived the confidence of the American people and opened doors of opportunity.”

The vice president touted the impact of United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement, which was developed and signed into law with the vocal support of small and large manufacturers. The agreement helped secure the 2 million American manufacturing jobs that depend on exports to Canada and Mexico, the biggest markets for U.S. exports in the world.

“We have a deal in the USMCA that is an unambiguous win for American workers, American manufacturing and American agriculture,” said Vice President Pence. “And we are grateful to each and every one of you for helping to bring it about.”

Vice President Pence also shined a light on several manufacturing companies that are keeping their promises to make bold investments following tax reform and regulatory certainty, including HM Manufacturing, which invested $500,000 in new equipment, hired 20% more workers and raised wages by 25%; BWX Technologies, which created 170 new jobs at three new facilities in Ohio and Indiana; and Nephron Pharmaceuticals, which gave employees a 5% raise.

“All of you in this association and the companies large and small that are represented here, for 125 years have improved the lives of the American people,” said Vice President Pence. “I’m standing in front of some of the most generous and conscientious corporate citizens in America. Your companies get behind literally every worthy cause in every big city and small town in America. So why don’t you give yourselves a round of applause for what you and your employees do to improve the lives of the American people every day. We’re truly grateful.”

Earlier in the week, the NAM awarded its inaugural Alexander Hamilton Award to Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump for her leadership on job training and workforce development.

In addition to the Vice President and Ivanka Trump, board meeting attendees heard from Axios’ Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei and political leaders including Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford.

Want to shape the future of manufacturing? Get involved in our Creators Wanted campaign.

Press Releases

NAM Statement on the 2020 State of the Union Address

Manufacturers: In 2020, Partisan Division Does Not Have to Be a Barrier to Progress

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement reacting to the 2020 State of the Union address:

“With the historic USMCA, unprecedented China deal, game-changing tax reform and ever-growing regulatory certainty, manufacturers have been given powerful tools to keep investing in our people and our communities. We are ready to join the President in building on this progress and achieve the brighter, more optimistic future he envisioned tonight. It is up to manufacturers to continue keeping our promises—to invest in America, hire American workers and raise wages and benefits, while also providing environmental stewardship alongside economic growth.

“The manufacturing agenda is a post-partisan agenda, and one we have spelled out clearly for candidates and elected leaders in ‘Competing to Win.’ When we agree, as we often did with the President tonight, we will work together, regardless of party. For instance, President Trump is right to issue a bold call to action on infrastructure, and as the USMCA proved, partisan division does not have to be a barrier to progress. On the other hand, we must not curtail our pharmaceutical manufacturers’ ability to conduct vital research and development to cure diseases and fight future epidemics similar to the coronavirus. And on immigration, the solution must be comprehensive, as outlined in the NAM’s ‘A Way Forward.’

“All of us must come together to solve the most pressing challenge facing manufacturers: our workforce crisis. Through the NAM’s historic ‘Creators Wanted’ campaign, we are embarking on a sustained, nationwide effort to reach millions of Americans, to narrow the skills gap and inspire a new generation to pursue the high-tech, high-paying jobs of modern manufacturing.

“For manufacturers, it’s not about politics or personality or process—it’s about good policy, policy that puts us on a trajectory to exceed even our loftiest ambitions. That’s what we expect from our presidents and politicians, and we will hold them accountable, just as we promise to hold ourselves to account as well.”

-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.

Policy and Legal

Manufacturers Prepare for Iowa Caucuses

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Today, the Iowa caucuses will kick off the Democratic presidential primary, beginning the months-long process to decide which candidate will represent the party in November. As is so often the case, the men and women who make things in America are in a position to have their voices heard and play a leading role in determining the outcome—in Iowa and across the country.

Manufacturers account for almost 19% of Iowa’s total economic output, and the 233,000 manufacturing jobs in Iowa make up about 14% of the state’s workforce. Between those manufacturing workers and the tens of thousands more jobs and households supported by manufacturers’ indirect impact on Iowa’s economy, manufacturing voters are poised to play an important role in shaping Iowa’s election-night decision—and manufacturers are positioned to lead on solutions with voters and candidates alike.

“Support for pro-growth policies should span the political spectrum, and for the most part it does,” said Doug Neumann, executive director of the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance. “During his NAM State of Manufacturing Address, Jay’s message on ‘post-partisanship’ really resonated with the Iowa business community. In my community, we try to lead this way with our elected officials and work with whoever is elected to get things done.”

According to Nicole Crain, executive vice president of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry, the business community in Iowa wants a candidate who supports manufacturing issues and understands their challenges.

“Business leaders like certainty and the ability to plan investments in their business five, ten years into the future,” said Crain. “As the election gets closer, leaders will be looking for a candidate who understands business, is open to hearing the concerns of employers and considers their positions when proposing policies for the country.”

Trade, immigration and workforce are top of mind for manufacturers.

“Iowa manufacturing voters have a crucial role to play during the caucuses and throughout the 2020 election season,” said Michael O’Brien, NAM assistant vice president of advocacy. “That’s why the NAM will work diligently throughout the year to make sure that manufacturing voters understand the issues and the stakes for manufacturing come Election Day.”

Press Releases

USMCA Provides Needed Certainty for Manufacturers and Jobs

Manufacturers’ Leadership Helps Secure Critical Trade Agreement

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

We once again thank President Trump, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and leaders of both parties in Congress for their herculean efforts to deliver this win for manufacturers of all sizes—from small family businesses to iconic global brands. The USMCA will finally provide manufacturers the certainty they need to keep reaching for new heights and secure the millions of American jobs that depend on North American trade. Manufacturers were proud to help shape the USMCA, to mobilize and build historic bipartisan support for the deal and to be on hand as President Trump affixed his signature to the legislation.

-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

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.

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