Press Releases

NAM Statement on China Tariffs

“It’s Time for an Agreement to Be Reached”

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on the newly-announced 10 percent tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods:

“Manufacturers acknowledge that China cheats, and we were the first to call for a rules-based, enforceable trade agreement with China to end their unfair and harmful trade practices. The administration’s latest tariff action will certainly get their attention, but it also has the attention of manufacturing workers in the U.S. and their families, who are feeling the negative impact of the current tariffs and will be made even less competitive with this new tax on trade. We trust the administration has considered all of these short-term economic down-sides as they reach for long-term improvement.

“Manufacturing optimism took a substantial hit in our latest survey, driven largely by uncertainties in trade policy. If the U.S. economy slows, the world economy will follow quickly, and China’s people will suffer mightily as well. China should be willing to conclude an enforceable, bilateral trade agreement that ends the uncertainty and levels the playing field for all manufacturers.

“The world is simply not willing to let China continue to distort markets, steal intellectual property and force transfers of technology and data, among other damaging practices. It’s time for an agreement to be reached.”

-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 Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

733 10th St. NW, Suite 700 • Washington, DC 20001 • (202) 637-3000

Workforce

New Report Dives Into Retaining The Aging Manufacturing Workforce

Right now, one-quarter of the manufacturing workforce is over 55 years old. Meanwhile, the manufacturing industry is struggling to attract enough younger workers with the right skills and qualifications. Facing a workforce crisis—with open jobs in manufacturing recently reaching an all-time high—manufacturers are finding that retaining older workers is not only a necessity but an asset.

The Manufacturing Institute’s Center for Manufacturing Research, in partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, recently conducted a survey to discover how companies are addressing this shifting demographic challenges.

This workforce issue affects nearly all manufacturers, the study found. Ninety-seven percent of respondents reported that they fear losing institutional knowledge when these workers depart.

“Manufacturing is facing a demographic sea change—leaders in the industry know it, and many are proactively adapting to it,” said Chad Moutray, the Manufacturing Institute’s Center for Manufacturing Research director and the National Association of Manufacturers’ chief economist. “Given the current workforce crisis, other manufacturers should look to the successful initiatives being implemented in the industry and collectively expand on them to develop the workforce of tomorrow. The simple fact is that companies are very concerned about losing their top talent to retirement and are finding creative ways to keep them longer and to train younger workers.”

The study also examined the innovative approaches manufacturers can use to extend older workers’ productivity and help transfer institutional knowledge to the next generation. For example, manufacturers are implementing upskilling and training programs to address the challenges this demographic may experience. Sixty-nine percent of companies said they had on-the-job training programs, and 54 percent said they have internal technical training programs.

“Manufacturers are utilizing the expertise of their older workers, implementing policies and procedures to keep them longer and creating opportunities to pass on their knowledge and talents to the next generation,” said Carolyn Lee, the Manufacturing Institute’s executive director. “The reason for this is clear: unlocking the knowledge of today’s older manufacturing workers is critical to shaping tomorrow’s industry leaders.”

Read the full report.

Business Operations

Greenbrier Companies Doubles Down on Sustainability

In a recent National Association of Manufacturers survey, 80 percent of manufacturers said they had a sustainability policy in place or were developing one. Freight railcar equipment designer and manufacturer The Greenbrier Companies is making strides through innovative sustainable design—from reducing railcar tare weight to efficiently building marine vessels.

“At Greenbrier, we pride ourselves on manufacturing among the most environmentally friendly forms of transportation while simultaneously improving our production processes and engineering designs,” said Jack Isselmann, Senior Vice President, External Affairs & Communications. “This promotes long-term sustainability across the transportation and shipping industries.”

These innovations present exciting opportunities for long-term progress. Greenbrier has introduced innovative railcar designs since 1985, beginning with the double-stack intermodal unit. Prior to its inception, the number of trailer-equivalent units per train maxed out at 120. With the ability to stack two units per railcar, that number quickly grew to over 200 units per train, saving space, time and money.

In addition, Greenbrier aims to make its operations more efficient by minimizing the weight and length of an individual railcar while simultaneously increasing its volume, allowing for more railcar units per train. Through a process called articulation—which reduces the weight of one railcar by making it share axles with another—Greenbrier is decreasing the space between railcars, ensuring that more may be included in trains and allowing for greater efficiency through a larger volume of transported products. Additionally, articulation increases braking efficiencies, which reduces fuel usage and greenhouse gas emissions.

“Manufacturers across the country are making operational changes that promote sustainability and prioritize our environment,” said Laura Berkey-Ames, Director of Resources and Energy Policy at the National Association of Manufacturers. “With 12 million employees throughout all 50 states, the manufacturing industry understands the positive impact our sustainability efforts can have—and we are committed to setting an example for other industries nationwide.”

For more information on Greenbrier’s approach to corporate responsibility, see its inaugural Environmental, Social and Governance report.

Workforce

Manufacturing Output Hits All-Time High, Signaling Industry’s Strength

For the past two years, manufacturers have been setting new records when it comes to manufacturing output, and through the first quarter of 2019, the industry has continued to reach new heights.

Four out of five manufacturers remain positive about their company’s outlook, according the National Association of Manufacturers’ latest Outlook Survey, and new Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) data find that manufacturers’ level of output hit an all-time high once again. As noted in the recent BEA report, manufacturers produced a total of $2.3852 trillion worth of goods for the economy in the first quarter of 2019, up from $2.3845 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2018.

“Manufacturing output has consistently set new records since the beginning of 2017, and while we have seen softer data so far in 2019 than we might prefer, I would continue to expect the sector to hit new all-time highs throughout the rest of this year,” the NAM’s Chief Economist Chad Moutray said.

In fact, manufacturing accounted for 11.3 percent of real GDP in the first quarter of 2019—and the industry continues to have the largest economic multiplier of any major sector.

“At a time when conventional wisdom holds that the sector is less important than it once was, all of these data show manufacturing in the United States is alive and kicking, producing more goods than ever and continuing to be a bright spot in the economy,” Moutray said.

The industry’s continued success has created many new jobs as well. Manufacturing job openings were also at an all-time high in May with 509,000 open jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. This solid job creation is actually exacerbating an existing challenge in the industry: a lack of enough skilled workers.

Manufacturers could have 2.4 million unfilled jobs by 2028 unless the right steps are taken today to build the workforce of tomorrow. The NAM and The Manufacturing Institute are leading the way toward solving this workforce crisis, and they have launched a $10 million Creators Wanted campaign, which plans to fill 600,000 manufacturing jobs by 2025.

Labor & Employment

Manufacturers Stand Up for Employee Freedoms

The U.S. House of Representatives held a hearing yesterday on a bill that could negatively impact American workers’ freedoms and lead to fewer jobs. Heavily backed by large labor unions throughout the drafting process, the Protecting the Right to Organize Act would give sweeping new powers to unions while putting constraints on individual employees, small and local businesses, entrepreneurs and consumers.

The legislation includes provisions that would strip away workers’ free choice in union elections and eliminate “right-to-work” protections for workers across the country. This would even include the 27 states that have already passed right-to-work laws—rolling back these states’ democratic decisions and forcing workers across the country to pay union fees out of their own pockets—even when they don’t support it. In addition, the legislation could interfere with attorney-client confidentiality and make it harder for businesses to secure important legal advice on matters involving complex labor law.

“This legislation has the potential to harm workers across the country—and presupposes that a sweeping federal law can better achieve fairness and prosperity for individual states, businesses and workers than decisions made by those entities themselves,” said Callie Harman, director of labor policy at the National Association of Manufacturers. “This is a legislative wish list for unions that would damage employees’ rights to privacy and association, limit businesses’ ability to grow and hire, and put in place policies that have already been rejected in the courts. Legislation like this threatens the very industries that benefit our communities and strengthen our country.”

Manufacturers nationwide are speaking out against the bill, saying that the legislation strips workers of essential rights and ignores the dangerous consequences for the United States economy. They warn that if the legislation were to be adopted, it would tilt the playing field in favor of union organizers and against workers and employers while increasing the authority of unelected bureaucrats in Washington at the expense American free enterprise.

“At a time when the manufacturing industry is showing record output and fueling a strong economy, these changes could upend progress and slam the brakes on our economic success,” said Harman. “Workers deserve the kind of opportunity that the manufacturing industry is making possible, and we will continue to fight for that freedom in the face of these challenges.”

Press Releases

Manufacturers Welcome Senate Bill to Reauthorize Ex-Im Bank

“We Need Long-Term Certainty”

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers Vice President of International Economic Affairs Linda Dempsey released the following statement praising introduction of legislation authored by Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank:

“We need long-term certainty that the Ex-Im Bank will be able to continue helping manufacturers of all types and sizes secure new sales overseas that support well-paying American jobs. This bipartisan legislation—through its 10-year reauthorization of the agency and fixes to its past quorum issues—will help do just that and marks an important step forward toward reauthorization. Manufacturers appreciate the work of members on both sides of the aisle to move forward a robust Ex-Im reauthorization and urge both chambers of Congress to work together to reauthorize the agency before the September 30 deadline. The more than 12.8 million men and women who make things in America are depending on it.”

Quick facts about the Ex-Im Bank:

  • The agency has supported 1.7 million jobs over the past 10 years.
  • On average, more than 90 percent of the Ex-Im Bank’s transactions directly support small businesses.
  • The agency has generated $9.6 billion for taxpayers since 1992.
  • Foreign competitors are stealing America’s competitive advantage by devoting hundreds of billions of dollars to official export credit agency financing for domestic manufacturers.
  • The agency’s default rate is better than many commercial lenders and far below the 2 percent maximum rate set by Congress.

-NAM-

Press Releases

Manufacturers Pledge Training Opportunities to 1.2 Million Workers

Timmons: “Manufacturers Proudly Make This Pledge to the American Worker”

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons and Manufacturing Institute Executive Director Carolyn Lee will join President Donald Trump and Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump to sign the Pledge to America’s Workers, with manufacturers committing to provide training opportunities to 1,186,000 manufacturing workers over the next five years to address the industry’s skills gap crisis. Timmons, a member of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, will make the announcement official at a White House event marking the one-year anniversary of the initiative, which asks companies and trade groups nationwide to commit to expand programs that educate, train and reskill American workers from high school age to near retirement.

Manufacturers face a workforce crisis with more than half a million unfilled manufacturing jobs today and 2.4 million jobs that may go unfilled by 2028, said Timmons, who also serves as chairman of the board of The Institute. But manufacturers are also problem solvers and committed to being part of the solution. So today, manufacturers proudly make this pledge to the American worker: we will continue to invest in our workforce and provide 1,186,000 Americans with the opportunity to receive training and development that will enhance their skills and prepare them for the next step on their career journey. This is manufacturers demonstrating that we are keeping our promise to invest in our people. The men and women who make things in America are the backbone of this economy, and it is our commitment that America’s manufacturing workers will have the opportunity to learn, grow and take on new challenges.

We are thrilled to have NAM make this huge investment into our future and current manufacturers, said Ivanka Trump. By creating pathways for all Americans, regardless of age or background, to acquire the skills needed to secure and retain high-paying jobs, we can maintain our strong competitive edge and ensure inclusive growth and opportunity in our booming economy.

The 509,000 open manufacturing jobs reported in May marks an all-time high for the industry. According to a 2018 skills gap study by the Institute and Deloitte, as many as 2.4 million manufacturing jobs will go unfilled by 2028. The most recent Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey also found that the inability to find skilled workers remains the single greatest challenge facing manufacturers today and for the past six quarters.

With a record number of job openings right now—and many more expected over the next decade—the future of the manufacturing industry will be tied to the future of its workforce, said Lee. That’s why we are committed to supporting the manufacturing workforce of today and growing the manufacturing workforce of tomorrow. Our sector’s pledge over the next five years to provide training opportunities to more than a million men and women who make things in America will help keep manufacturing competitive and secure manufacturing’s mantle of leadership well into the future.

Ahead of its 125th anniversary and the 2020 elections, the NAM recently announced a member-driven campaign to raise at least $10 million for the newly established “Creators Wanted Fund” to inspire and drive more Americans to pursue careers in modern manufacturing. The NAM and The Institute will bring a “Creators Wanted” mobile tour of modern manufacturing to parents and students in 20 to 25 states over 18 weeks, unveil a year-long nationwide digital campaign to recruit new talent to the industry and host a culminating “Making America” Festival in Cincinnati, Ohio, in September 2020 featuring interactive exhibits, thought leadership forums and entertainment to showcase the future of modern manufacturing in America. The campaign will also fuel The Institute’s workforce programs and help build the next generation of solutions to grow the manufacturing workforce. Learn more about the campaign 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 $2.38 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 Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

-MI-

The Manufacturing Institute is the education and workforce partner of the National Association of Manufacturers. We drive programs and research to promote modern manufacturing and jumpstart new approaches to growing manufacturing talent. For more information, please visit www.themanufacturinginstitute.org.

Policy and Legal

Tax Reform Helps Create 170 Jobs in Ohio and Indiana

BWX Technologies, Inc. is growing its workforce thanks to tax reform.

BWXT worker

BWX Technologies, Inc., a supplier of nuclear components and fuel to the U.S. government, is hiring more than 170 new employees and further expanding its operations across three manufacturing facilities in Ohio and Indiana over the course of the next four years, investing approximately $210 million in these two states as a result of tax reform.

“Due to tax reform, we saw a favorable impact to our tax rate of about 8 to 10 percent,” said Rex Geveden, BWXT’s president and chief executive officer. “This has resulted in significant cash savings that we have used for various needs, including reinvestment of capital into our business and hiring additional employees for future growth.”

BWXT has been manufacturing naval nuclear components and reactors since the 1950s, when it designed and fabricated components for the USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine. Today, the company manufactures naval nuclear reactors for every new submarine and aircraft carrier in the U.S. Navy’s fleet. With this new investment, the company expects to fill a variety of different positions including engineers, machinists, quality assurance specialists and frontline supervisors to support the workforce growth.

“Manufacturers are keeping their promise to create jobs and invest right here in the United States,” said NAM Vice President of Tax and Domestic Economic Policy Chris Netram. “Thanks to tax reform, more individuals in Ohio and Indiana will have the opportunity to be a part of a growing industry. Moreover, BWXT’s investment will help it better accomplish its critical job of supporting our United States military, helping not only local communities but our country as a whole.”

BWXT isn’t just hiring workers to fulfill an immediate need. It’s also training young people and aspiring workers to help create a pipeline for BWXT and other employers that need skilled employees now and in the future. Through strategic partnerships with area schools in Ohio (K-12 and post-secondary), company leaders meet with students, parents, career counselors and faculty to discuss manufacturing jobs.

This provides an opportunity to talk about the well-paying careers and generous benefit packages, like education opportunities and tuition reimbursement—and the innovative nature of modern manufacturing. In Indiana, the company is building relationships with five of the area’s local technical schools to help students to learn about the exciting employment opportunities available to them and to provide training that enhances the skills of potential new employees.

“Manufacturers like BWXT aren’t just investing in the jobs of tomorrow—they’re helping young men and women across the country develop the skills they need to build a career in the manufacturing industry well into the future,” said Netram. “Businesses that make things in the United States pushed for tax reform in order to be able to invest in their communities and grow their operations, and BWXT’s announcement is another example of that promise fulfilled.”

Policy and Legal

Manufacturers Show Up to Push for Swift USMCA Passage

During the NAM’s “Trade Makes America” Capitol Hill fly-in, more than 130 manufacturing representatives and USMCA stakeholders engaged with officials.

USMCA fly-in participants arrive at Capitol

Manufacturers from all over the nation came to Washington, D.C., this week to express the urgent need for United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) passage at a series of events with key legislative decision-makers. 

On Monday, a delegation of manufacturing leaders met with Vice President Mike Pence to highlight the importance of the USMCA to the U.S. manufacturing industryExecutives present included National Association of Manufacturers former Board Chair and Emerson CEO David Farr, Winton Machine Company CEO Lisa Winton, Kent Corporation CEO Gage Kent, General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Sukup Manufacturing Co. President Charles Sukup and HM Manufacturing President Nicole Wolter. 

“The Trump administration continues to show its steadfast commitment to America’s manufacturing workers,” said Farr. “Manufacturers in Missouri and across the nation are keeping our promise to grow, invest and hire. This historic agreement will help us sustain this momentum. Congress must act now and ratify this agreement.” 

On Wednesday, during the NAM’s “Trade Makes America” Capitol Hill fly-in, more than 130 manufacturing representatives and USMCA stakeholders engaged in more than 130 meetings with offices throughout the House of Representatives and the Senate to make the case for passage of the agreement as soon as possible. Beginning on last Wednesday’s USMCA “day of action,” thousands of manufacturers have contacted Congress by phone and mail to advocate for USMCA passage.  

There is increasing recognition from both sides of the aisle about the need to modernizNorth American trade rules,” said NAM vice president of international economic affairs policy Linda Dempsey. “As Congress considers the USMCA, it is vital that they hear from the men and women who make things in Americasince they will be directly affected by their decision.” 

Canada and Mexico purchase more U.S.-manufactured goods than our next 11 trading partners combined despite representing less than 4 percent of the global economyMoreover, exports to Canada and Mexico support 2 million American manufacturing jobs and 40,000 small and medium-sized businesses. Comprehensive new NAM data shows the USMCA’s positive impacts in every state. 

Already ratified by Mexico, the USMCA is designed to modernize and bolster free trade between North American nations, aiding workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses in each country. If ratified, the agreement will expand U.S. exports, improve intellectual property protections and enforcement and level the playing field for U.S. workers in every state.  

Manufacturers have been steadfast in urging quick congressional passage of the USMCA to ensure their businesses across the country can continue to grow, compete globally and support millions of well-paying jobs.  

Press Releases

Michigan Manufacturers Gather in Washington to Urge USMCA Passage

The National Association of Manufacturers Is Committed to Helping Manufacturers and Manufacturing Employees in Michigan by Supporting USMCA Passage

Washington, D.C. – On Wednesday, July 17, the National Association of Manufacturers will bring manufacturing leaders from Michigan and across the country together in Washington to urge Congress to pass the new U.S.–Mexico–Canada Agreement. Manufacturers will meet with their respective members of Congress to let them know why the USMCA is pivotal to their businesses and the 2 million men and women across the nation, including more than 117,000 in Michigan, whose manufacturing jobs depend on exports to Mexico and Canada.

The USMCA is critical to the Michigan economy, and swift passage will help restore certainty for manufacturers across the country, allowing them to grow and compete with the rest of the world, said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. Without this agreement, Michigan’s manufactured goods exports could be subject to $5.2 billion in extra taxes, threatening manufacturing jobs across the state and hurting consumers and families.

The USMCA, which has been ratified by Mexico, modernizes and bolsters free trade between North American nations, benefitting workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses in each country. The new agreement will expand U.S. exports, improve intellectual property protections and enforcement and create new provisions on digital trade.

Canada and Mexico purchase one-fifth of the total value of U.S. manufacturing output—more than the next 11 countries combined despite representing less than 4 percent of the global economy. These exports support about 2 million American manufacturing jobs and 40,000 small and medium-sized businesses. According to new state data from the NAM, Canada and Mexico purchase more manufactured goods from Michigan than the rest of the world combined, contributing $34 billion to the state economy each year.

A large chorus of Michigan businesses, chambers of commerce and industry organizations have all come out in support of USMCA passage.

-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 Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

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