Transportation and Infrastructure

Manufacturers need a modern infrastructure system to compete in a global economy. Strong and reliable infrastructure—from roads and rails to pipelines and broadband—helps manufacturers move materials and products efficiently, and gives our hardworking employees the tools to succeed.

Press Releases

Manufacturers: President Biden and Congress Have Averted a Holiday Crisis

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement after President Biden signed H.J. Res. 100 into law, concluding the collective bargaining process between Class I railroads and all labor unions representing the freight rail workforce and eliminating the threat of a disastrous rail strike.

“Thanks to swift action from President Biden and his administration, and bipartisan cooperation in Congress, a holiday supply chain disaster has been averted.

“Earlier this year, manufacturers called for and supported the creation of the Presidential Emergency Board to rectify the stalemate between the unions and railways. But when it became clear they wouldn’t reach a negotiated resolution, we called on Congress to act, as a freight rail shutdown would have been devastating to the manufacturing industry, the U.S. economy and all American families.

“We thank President Biden, Secretaries Walsh and Buttigieg as well as manufacturing allies in Congress for listening to our industry and working quickly to avert this crisis.”

-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 12.9 million men and women, contributes $2.77 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

Policy and Legal

The NAM Outlines Post-Election Priorities

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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.”
Press Releases

Manufacturers Urge Swift Resolution to Ongoing Rail Negotiations

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement as negotiators work to reach an agreement between Class I railroads and all labor unions representing the freight rail workforce. Several organizations have not yet ratified the deal tentatively agreed to by union leadership and rail industry representatives in September that delayed the possibility of a strike.

“Manufacturers are urging congressional leaders to be prepared to bring stability and predictability to the economy if a rail strike and shutdown occurs. We already face economic turmoil with rising costs, product shortages and high inflation. Any nationwide rail strike or shutdown will cause even more economic pain. Manufacturers urge all parties to work rapidly—for the good of the country—to conclude this collective bargaining process.”

Background: A rail strike could begin as soon as 12:01 a.m. EST on Saturday, Nov. 19. Currently, the majority of the unions representing the rail workers have agreed to extend that deadline to Friday, Dec. 9, though a unanimous decision to maintain the status quo is required for that extension.

On Thursday, Oct. 27, the NAM joined hundreds of other associations in calling on President Biden to ensure a swift resolution and reiterating support for the work of the Presidential Emergency Board, which has aided in the talks.

Currently, the American freight rail network accounts for nearly 40% of total freight volume, and a strike or delay in finalizing a long-term contract would have devastating impacts across surface supply chain networks and economic output.

-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 12.9 million men and women, contributes $2.77 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.

Press Releases

Manufacturers Wake Up to Welcome News of Railway Agreement

Washington, D.C. – Following news of a tentative agreement between U.S. railroad companies and unions to avoid a strike, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:

“This morning’s announcement of a tentative agreement between the railroads and their workers is a welcome relief. Manufacturers had been putting into place contingency plans as they were facing disruptions with moving their supplies and products. Manufacturers thank President Biden, Secretary Walsh, Secretary Buttigieg and others in the administration who understood the stakes and stepped in to help prevent a very serious nightmare for the supply chain.”

-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 Call for Quick Resolution to Rail Negotiations

Timmons: Delays in concluding the rail negotiations will exacerbate the pain of inflation and supply chain disruptions, and failing to reach an agreem

Washington, D.C. – Following news that White House aides and Cabinet officials spent Tuesday reviewing contingency plans for a work stoppage, including outreach to shippers, truckers and air-freight lines to keep goods moving, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on the ongoing negotiations between Class I railroads and labor unions representing the freight rail workforce:

“For years now, America’s manufacturing workers have endured the effects of rapidly rising material costs and severe supply chain disruptions, and our member surveys have shown quarter after quarter that these are among the top challenges affecting manufacturing growth in America. Further delays in concluding the rail negotiations will exacerbate the pain of inflation and supply chain disruptions, and failing to reach an agreement before Friday’s deadline would devastate the movement of manufactured products that families depend on,” said Timmons. “The Presidential Emergency Board has announced reasonable recommendations that nearly all parties have accepted, so now is the time to resolve remaining issues. We appreciate the administration’s proactive approach, and Congress should be ready to act as a last resort. But manufacturers still believe that the parties have it within their power to resolve these talks before they inflict severe economic damage.”

Currently, the American freight rail network accounts for nearly 40% of total freight volume, and a strike or delay in finalizing a long-term contract would have devastating impacts across surface supply chain networks and economic output. The Association of American Railroads recently released a report that found a nationwide freight rail interruption could cost more than $2 billion per day in lost economic activity.

Background: On Monday, Sept. 12, the NAM sent a letter to congressional leaders reiterating support for the work of the Presidential Emergency Board, which has aided in the talks. The NAM also urged Congress to use its statutory authority to institute the PEB’s recommendations should it become necessary to intervene. The NAM supported President Biden’s selection of an independent and objective PEB and believes that the recommendations announced on Aug. 16 have provided an appropriate framework to avoid disruption to freight rail operations.

-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 Study: Ports Stoppage Would Be Devastating Hit to Manufacturers’ Competitiveness

Cost Economy Half a Billion Dollars a Day, Destroy 41,000 U.S. Jobs

Washington, D.C. – As negotiations between the Pacific Maritime Association and International Longshore and Warehouse Union near a critical deadline, manufacturers are sounding the alarm about potential economic consequences of a port stoppage if disruption were to occur over two weeks at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the nation’s largest port complex. According to a study by Inforum Economics, a 15-day disruption would cost the U.S. economy nearly half a billion dollars a day—for a total of $7.5 billion—and destroy 41,000 jobs, including more than 6,100 in manufacturing.

As the industry continues to grapple with historic supply chain challenges, inflationary pressures and rising transportation and energy costs, manufacturers are calling on the parties to reach an agreement immediately to avoid this continued uncertainty.

“The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach support a major share of cargo relied upon by American businesses and consumers, supporting supply chains across the entire country. With supply chains already stretched thin, inflation at its highest level in four decades and concerns of a recession rising, any disruption would mean a devastating hit to our economy and to manufacturers’ competitiveness,” said National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons. “The disruption would be felt immediately. Manufacturing jobs will be lost if parts and supplies don’t arrive. New equipment, machinery and products can’t be built when ships are backed up and there is no one available to unload and process cargo. Our overseas customers won’t wait for us to fix these disruptions, either—they’ll simply find other suppliers, weakening U.S. manufacturing competitiveness in the process.

“This is why the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union must not allow a disruption at these ports. Manufacturers, our millions of employees and the countless others whose lives and livelihoods depend on the products we make are counting on the PMA and the ILWU to reach a resolution and keep the ports running.”

Background: At the time of publication, the PMA and ILWU are engaged in labor negotiations. The NAM commissioned an analysis using the Inforum LIFT economic model to quantify the impacts of a 15-day closure at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. Specifically, it estimates how such a closure would impact U.S. employment, output and income. These ports have experienced historic disruptions and bottlenecks since late 2020, and nearly 84% of manufacturers now list freight and transportation costs as a key driver of inflation.

-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 12.7 million men and women, contributes $2.71 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

Business Leaders Urge Resolution of U.S.-Canada Border Blockade

The National Association of Manufacturers, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Business Roundtable today issued the following statement on the disruptions to trade at U.S.-Canada border crossings:

“The disruptions we are seeing at the U.S.-Canada border — at the Detroit-Windsor Ambassador Bridge and at other crossings — are adding to the significant supply chain strains on manufacturers and other businesses in the United States.

“The business community is rolling up its sleeves to find workarounds and keep facilities up and running, but we are already seeing some production cuts, shift reductions, and temporary plant closures. The North American economy relies on our ability to work closely together, including our manufacturing sectors. We need to apply the same spirit of cooperation to tackle this problem.

“We respectfully urge the Canadian government to act swiftly to address the disruption to the flow of trade and its impact on manufacturers and other businesses on both sides of the border. We appreciate that the Biden Administration is engaged with the Canadian government, and we strongly encourage officials to continue efforts to resolve these blockages at the border.”

-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 12.5 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.

Business Operations

How Manufacturers Can Navigate Supply Chain Challenges

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As the global supply chain, worker shortage and wage inflation challenges many had hoped were transitory dig in their heels, manufacturers everywhere are wondering how best to get around them.

Panelists at “Successfully Navigating Current Supply Chain Disruptions,” a webinar hosted by the NAM’s Manufacturing Institute, Manufacturing Leadership Council and professional services firm PwC, sought to answer that question.

We rounded up the speakers’ top tips for manufacturers seeking to sustainably and profitably maneuver the several sizable hurdles they still face going into 2022.

  • Break down siloes. Now that manufacturers are having to replace traditional supply chain models, changing their company operations to have staff work across siloes is more important than ever, said PwC Partner Debjit Banerjee.
  • Expect disruption. If it taught us nothing else, COVID-19 conveyed the importance of being prepared for the unexpected. Going forward, manufacturers would do well to not just plan for the possibility of disruption, but to assume it will come. To that end, preplanned “differentiated customer service” and disruption drills should become the norm, Banerjee said.
  • Advance your supply chain planning. Increasingly, Nexteer Automotive, a global maker of steering and driveline components, is focusing on advanced supply chain planning, programs that help predict shipments, supply and demand for smoother operations, said Nexteer Automotive Vice President of Global Manufacturing Operations Dennis Hoeg. With it, “decisions can be made smarter, earlier.”
  • Automate. Manufacturers should consider automating repetitive “transaction” work and reserving their employees for analytical tasks that only humans can do, according to Hoeg.
  • Balance agility and resilience. Before the pandemic, “we were working on a strategy that was based on agility,” said Rockwell Automation Chief Supply Chain Officer Ernest Nicolas Jr. “Through the pandemic … we had to reprioritize. We had to take a step back to balance agility and resilience.” Manufacturers that want a better agility-resilience balance can do so “through data, process and technology” enablement, according to Nicolas.
  • “Relentlessly prioritize.” Nicolas so believes in this advice that he ended his presentation with it. “There’s so much going on right now; we want to be certain we manage our priorities,” he said. “So, there’s a lot we’re saying ‘not now’ to …. but it’s not a matter of ‘no.’ It’s a matter of, ‘We’ve got to get these things finished so we can lay the foundation’” in this new normal.
Press Releases

Manufacturers: Now That This Historic Bill Has Become Law, We Can Build a Future Worthy of the Next Generation

Washington, D.C. – Following President Biden’s signing of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons and Trane Technologies Executive Chair and NAM Board Chair Mike Lamach released the below statements:

“Now that this historic bill has become law, we can build a future worthy of the next generation,” said Timmons. “For manufacturers, this is a victory years in the making. In 2016, the NAM released our ‘Building to Win’ plan, which called for exactly this type of bold infrastructure investment. It has guided our advocacy with administrations and legislators of both parties, and the leadership of President Biden and senators from both parties produced a bill that achieved many of our ‘Building to Win’ goals without raising tax rates on manufacturers. And this bipartisan approach can be a model for future legislation—one that puts policy above politics, personality or process.”

“As chair of the National Association of Manufacturers, I’m honored to be at today’s signing and pleased to have been part of this historic, bipartisan process to build a safer, stronger infrastructure,” said Lamach. “The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a critical investment in our nation’s economic recovery and in the future of manufacturing. Funding for critical transportation, broadband, water and energy systems will strengthen supply chains, protect the environment and enable opportunity for people across our country.”

To see key provisions championed by the NAM in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, 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 12.5 million men and women, contributes $2.5 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.

Press Releases

Manufacturers: This Moment and the Transformational Change It Will Bring About Has Been Decades in the Making

Washington, D.C. – Following the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement:

“This moment and the transformational change it will bring about has been decades in the making. Manufacturers commend Congress for coming together to pass this historic, bipartisan legislation. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act makes America stronger, with a promise to renew and revitalize our nation’s physical infrastructure, improving productivity and quality of life for everybody—and without raising taxes or jeopardizing economic growth and manufacturing jobs.

“Failure to invest has been a drain on America’s economy, costing families and businesses significant time and money. This type of investment will enable us to continue to grow our economy and get started on building the world-class infrastructure that will enable us to lead through this century and into the next.”

To see the NAM-championed provisions in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, 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 12.4 million men and women, contributes $2.5 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.

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