NAM Files Lawsuit Against SEC Over Proxy Rule Rescission
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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has rescinded critical components of a landmark 2020 rule regulating so-called “proxy advisory firms”—and the NAM is fighting back in court.
The long road here: In 2020, after years of NAM advocacy, the SEC finalized a major rule designed to combat proxy firms’ errors and conflicts of interest.
- Proxy firms influence publicly traded companies by recommending how institutional asset managers should vote in corporate proxy contests, often without any accountability.
- The 2020 rule required proxy firms to engage with public companies and their investors, and it subjected the firms to the SEC’s anti-fraud standards.
The about-face: Beginning last year, however, the SEC’s new leadership has worked to undermine the rule, including by refusing to enforce it—an unlawful decision the NAM opposed in court. Last week, the SEC officially rescinded many of the rule’s critical reforms.
The response: The NAM has filed a lawsuit against the SEC to preserve the 2020 rule. Our complaint argues that the SEC’s actions are “arbitrary and capricious”—and that the 2022 rescission should be overturned.
The issue: Federal agencies are required to articulate a reasoned explanation for making a new policy decision—especially when that decision is based on the same facts but reaches a different outcome than a recent rule.
- In this case, the SEC finalized a compromise rule in 2020 based on a decade of bipartisan research, analysis and discussion—and no new evidence has emerged since 2020 given that the SEC prevented the rule from taking effect. So, the agency’s about-face “epitomizes ‘arbitrary and capricious’ rulemaking.”
What we’re saying: “Manufacturers depend on federal agencies to provide reliable rules of the road, and the SEC’s arbitrary actions to rescind this commonsense regulation clearly violate its obligations under the Administrative Procedure Act,” said NAM Chief Legal Officer Linda Kelly. “The NAM Legal Center is filing suit to preserve the 2020 rule in full and protect manufacturers from proxy advisory firms’ outsized influence.”
Manufacturers Unveil Competitiveness Agenda Ahead of Midterm Elections
“Competing to Win” offers a path for bringing the country together around policies, shared values and a unified purpose
Washington, D.C. – Ahead of the midterm elections, the National Association of Manufacturers released its policy roadmap, “Competing to Win,” a comprehensive blueprint featuring immediate solutions for bolstering manufacturers’ competitiveness. It is also a roadmap for policymakers on the laws and regulations needed to strengthen the manufacturing industry in the months and years ahead.
With the country facing rising prices, snarled supply chains and geopolitical turmoil, manufacturers are outlining an actionable competitiveness agenda that Americans across the political spectrum can support. “Competing to Win” includes the policies manufacturers in America will need in place to continue driving the country forward.
“‘Competing to Win’ offers a path for bringing our country together around policies, shared values and a unified purpose,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “The NAM is putting forward a plan filled with ideas that policymakers could pursue immediately, including solutions to urgent problems, such as energy security, immigration reform, supply chain disruptions, the ongoing workforce shortage and more. Manufacturers have shown incredible resilience through difficult times, employing more workers now than before the pandemic, but continued resilience is not guaranteed without the policies that are critical to the state of manufacturing in America.”
The NAM and its members will leverage “Competing to Win” to shape policy debates ahead of the midterm elections, in the remainder of the 117th Congress and at the start of the 118th Congress—including in direct engagement with lawmakers, for grassroots activity, across traditional and digital media and through events in key states and districts as we did following the initial rollout of the roadmap in 2016.
The document focuses on 12 areas of action, and all policies are rooted in the values that have made America exceptional and keep manufacturing strong: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity.
Learn more about how manufacturers are leading and about the industry’s competitiveness agenda at nam.org/competing-to-win.
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