The Federal Trade Commission is proposing to ban noncompete agreements, but doing so would disrupt the operations of most manufacturers, according to the findings of a recent NAM poll.
What’s going on: In February, the NAM polled manufacturing leaders to learn their thoughts on the impact of the FTC’s proposed rule, which would prohibit employers from imposing noncompete agreements on employees. Among the poll’s key takeaways:
- Approximately 70% of respondent manufacturers use noncompete agreements.
- The ban would cause a disruption for approximately 66% of manufacturers.
- The majority of manufacturers—about 89%—said they use noncompetes that last from six months to two years.
- Approximately half of manufacturers polled said a ban would have a negative impact on their investment in training and related programs.
Why it’s important: “Manufacturers use noncompete agreements only for select workers handling their most sensitive information, which cannot be allowed to fall into competitors’ hands,” said NAM Vice President of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources Policy Robyn Boerstling.
- “These agreements are critical for protecting intellectual property. Banning them would force companies to completely change the way they operate and the way teams work together—disrupting workplaces, jeopardizing their ability to develop important new products and ultimately hurting customers.”
What should be done: If the FTC insists on moving forward with a noncompete rule, it should withdraw its current proposal and put forth a more tailored version “with exemptions clearly articulated and justified for the public’s consideration,” NAM Director of Labor and Employment Policy Brian Walsh told the agency.
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