A draft rule to force federal contractors to make specific and detailed climate disclosures is burdensome, unrealistic and costly to manufacturers. It should be rescinded completely, the NAM told the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council this week.
The background: In November, the FAR Council—which is composed of the Defense Department, the General Services Administration and NASA—proposed a rule to require climate disclosures from federal contractors, many of whom are manufacturers. The proposed rule would require contractors with more than $50 million in annual federal contract obligations to:
- Disclose their greenhouse gas emissions, including so-called Scope 3 emissions (those attributable to the suppliers and customers throughout a company’s value chain);
- Set targets to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions within a decade (including Scope 3 emissions) based on standards set forth by a third-party nonprofit organization, the Science-Based Targets initiative, and get the targets validated by SBTi; and
- Disclose their climate-related financial risks pursuant to a framework written by a second nonprofit group, the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, and submit those risk disclosures to yet another nonprofit (CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project).
Why it’s a problem: Compliance with the proposed rule would be difficult, if not wholly unfeasible, prohibitively expensive and time-consuming, NAM Managing Vice President of Tax and Domestic Economic Policy Chris Netram told the FAR Council. It would also impact small businesses within federal contractors’ supply chains given the rule’s focus on Scope 3 disclosures and target setting.
- “The proposed rule would impose significant costs on manufacturers as they work to meet the complex—and in many cases impractical or impossible—requirements of the rule,” Netram said.
- “As a result, manufacturers providing critical goods and services to the federal government, as well as the businesses throughout their supply chains, will be directly and adversely impacted … The national security of the United States could likewise be harmed, as critical contractors could be disqualified from supplying the military, and the required disclosures could expose sensitive information to America’s adversaries.”
What can be done: The FAR Council should rescind the proposed rule in its entirety, Netram said, but if it is intent on making changes, “it must re-propose a rule with substantial revisions to make its requirements more cost-effective and workable for federal contractors and more narrowly tailored to the actual climate-related risks to which the federal government is exposed.”
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