Policy and Legal

Manufacturers need smart laws and effective policies. That’s why the NAM is standing up for manufacturers everywhere – from the halls of power where we advance important legislation, to the courts where we fight to defend our rights.

Policy and Legal

Small Manufacturers Highlight Ex-Im Bank’s Essential Role

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On Nov. 21, the President signed a stopgap funding bill. In addition to keeping the federal government funded through Dec. 20, the bill includes provisions to keep the Export-Import Bank of the United States open for another month while lawmakers debate its authorization moving forward. The Bank would have shuttered this week without congressional action, but what manufacturers ultimately need is a robust, long-term reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank rather than repeated short-term extensions.

The House of Representatives recently passed a 10-year robust reauthorization of the Bank, and the Senate has introduced a bipartisan reauthorization bill that similarly extends the Bank’s charter for a decade. Both bills have received the NAM’s public support. Here’s why manufactures are urging Congress to act.

The Export-Import Bank is the “lender of last resort” for U.S. businesses competing for overseas contracts, supporting millions of American jobs since 2000. Without a fully functioning Ex-Im Bank, small and large manufacturers across the country could lose business opportunities that allow them to hire more workers and increase investment in their communities.

One such manufacturer, California-based energy equipment supplier FirmGreen, employs 11 workers and relies on the Ex-Im Bank to create a level playing field when competing for international business.

“Without the Ex-Im Bank to supply the necessary finances, potential clients have chosen to do business with South Korea, Europe and other countries with foreign agencies that could supply the finances,” said FirmGreen Chairman & CEO Steve Wilburn. “We lost many potential projects when Ex-Im was hobbled, and that’s had a direct impact on jobs.”

U.S. Bridge, an Ohio-based steel manufacturer with 75 employees, has relied on the Ex-Im Bank to develop strong trade relationships internationally and support jobs here at home. A third-generation family-owned business, U.S. Bridge highlights the important work of the agency in supporting small manufacturing companies.

“Ex-Im Bank has played a critical role in helping us make foreign sales in tough markets, doing everything possible to promote U.S. sales that support our manufacturing here. Without the Ex-Im Bank, we would have lost new opportunities and a critical trading relationship would be unsustainable,” said Richard Rogovin, Chairman of U.S. Bridge. “In addition to financial support, the staff is very knowledgeable about foreign trade, ready and willing to be helpful, and provides expertise that we could not afford to employ otherwise.”

“With more than 100 foreign export credit agencies seeking to help their industries at our expense, and more than 90% of the Ex-Im Bank’s transactions directly supporting small businesses, manufacturers see the bank as a key tool for maintaining a robust American workforce by helping manufacturers compete anywhere and everywhere,” said Linda Dempsey, Vice President of International Economic Affairs Policy at the National Association of Manufacturers.

Manufacturers are facing significant challenges—driven in part by global economic headwinds and trade uncertainty—and a long-term reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank will strengthen America’s manufacturing industry. That’s why the NAM continues to call for a robust, long-term reauthorization.

Press Releases

NAM Supports EPA Rule Strengthening the Risk Management Program

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Ross Eisenberg released the following statement after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a final rule that strengthens manufacturing facility safety and security.

Manufacturers believe strongly in safety as part of an ongoing commitment to the communities around them and those they serve. This is why NAM members make security investments and prudently engage in risk management planning, and that’s why we support the action the EPA is taking now, said Eisenberg. By further strengthening the integrity of the Risk Management Program, the EPA can help guarantee safety and security for facilities and communities by ensuring manufacturers are able to continue making safe, innovative and sustainable products while protecting human health and the environment.

-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

Policy and Legal

Impending Health Care Taxes Loom Over Manufacturers

Manufacturers are committed to offering the highest quality healthcare to employees. But the cost of health insurance continues to rise, and three previously-delayed health care taxes are set to go into effect unless Congress acts. Catie Kawchak, National Association of Manufacturers Director of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources, discusses the continued urgent fight against higher costs.  

What are the taxes manufacturers are fighting against?

Manufacturers are fighting against three major taxes on health care: the Health Insurance Tax (HIT), a multi-billion dollar tax imposed on health insurance premiums; the so-called Cadillac Tax, a 40 percent tax on more expensive health insurance plans; and the medical device tax, a tax on life-saving medical devices.

Why do these taxes matter for manufacturers?

All three would increase the cost of care and undermine employees’ wellbeing. According to Oliver Wyman global consulting, HIT could raise the cost of premiums by an additional $500 for the families of small business owners and their employees. The Cadillac Tax places a 40 percent tax on “high-cost” health insurance plans, making it difficult to provide high-quality insurance to employees. The medical device tax would cost manufacturers $2 billion annually, diverting resources from investment in life-saving equipment and making it harder for these businesses to expand.

What is the overall impact on manufacturers?

Manufacturers provide great benefits to their workers not only to attract or retain employees but because it’s the right thing to do. Tax proposals like these make it more difficult to provide the care that our employees depend on and to invest in life-saving medical innovations. Manufacturers employ about 13 million people across the country, and these taxes would harm them and their communities.

Why does this matter now?

Congress must move quickly to prevent these taxes from impacting manufacturers. HIT and the medical device tax are both set to go into effect on January 1, 2020, meaning Congress only has a few weeks to stop or delay these penalties. And even though the Cadillac Tax doesn’t go into effect until 2022, manufacturers have already begun to prepare for a 40 percent tax hike on high-cost health benefits. The only way to prevent these tax hikes from harming manufacturers is for Congress to repeal or delay them in the coming weeks. That’s why the NAM has been working so hard on this issue.

What’s next?

Manufacturers are united with bipartisan lawmakers to stop these harmful taxes. In November, bipartisan freshman congressmen urged their colleagues to address the HIT this year; with the NAM’s strong support, the House already passed Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act of 2019 by a vote of 419-6 to repeal the Cadillac Tax; and legislation to repeal the medical device tax has the support of a majority of the House. On Wednesday, the NAM united with fellow advocacy leaders at the Business Roundtable and U.S. Chamber of Commerce to call for repeal of all three taxes this year. Congress should end them now.

Press Releases

Manufacturers Applaud House Passage of Long-Term Ex-Im Reauthorization Bill

“The members of Congress who cast their vote for reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank stood with America’s manufacturing workers today.”

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the United States Export Finance Agency Act (H.R. 4863), legislation to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank for 10 years:

The members of Congress who cast their vote for reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank stood with America’s manufacturing workers today. The Ex-Im Bank is a vital tool for ensuring manufacturers in America can compete on a level playing field. Around the world, 100 other export credit agencies are in operation, so shutting down the Ex-Im Bank is akin to unilateral disarmament. It would hand a victory to China. That is why the Senate must now act. Manufacturers strongly support both the just-passed House bill and the bipartisan Senate Ex-Im Bank reauthorization bill introduced by Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) that similarly provides for a 10-year robust reauthorization. Manufacturers urge the Senate to act on a long-term and robust reauthorization to provide certainty and improve American competitiveness.

Quick facts about the Ex-Im Bank:

  • The agency has supported 2.5 million jobs over the past 20 years.
  • On average, more than 90% 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 their domestic manufacturers.
  • The agency’s default rate is better than many commercial lenders and far below the 2% maximum rate set by Congress.

-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.

Policy and Legal

Manufacturers Urge Support for DACA Ahead of SCOTUS Decision

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The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments today on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, a case that will decide the future of more than 800,000 immigrants living in the United States and will have serious implications for America’s workforce. The National Association of Manufacturers filed an amicus brief with 143 companies calling for the Supreme Court to uphold DACA while outlining the importance of Dreamers to America’s workplaces and the American economy.

“Eliminating DACA will inflict serious harm on U.S. companies, all workers, and the American economy as a whole. Companies will lose valued employees. Workers will lose employers and co-workers,” the brief states. “Our national GDP will lose up to $460.3 billion, and tax revenues will be reduced by approximately $90 billion, over the next decade.”

Established in 2012, DACA allowed undocumented immigrants who had been brought to the United States as children to apply for protection from deportation and permission to work in the United States. In 2017, the Trump administration rescinded the program, leading to a series of lawsuits that has brought the case to the Supreme Court. DACA recipients, often called “Dreamers,” will lose their work authorization and face possible deportation if the program is rescinded.

“Dreamers have become an integral part of our society and our workforce and have the potential to offer so much more to our country if they can continue their pursuit of the American Dream,” said Linda Kelly, NAM senior vice president of legal, general counsel and corporate secretary. “The NAM supports DACA’s work authorization for more than 800,000 individuals to help meet the workforce challenges facing manufacturers and to allow those people to continue to contribute to their companies, communities and families—as well as this country, which for many is the only home they have ever known.”

Earlier this year, the NAM released “A Way Forward,” a comprehensive and practical proposal designed to fix our broken immigration system. The plan calls for a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients as well as similar opportunities for the broader Dreamer community, which encompasses about 1.5 million people. Overall, “A Way Forward” highlights seven core areas of action that would bolster national security, uphold the rule of law and establish a modern, well-functioning system for welcoming new people to the United States. The uncertainty over the future of DACA recipients highlights the urgent need for Congress to pass bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform that achieves these goals.

The Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision on DACA by June 2020.

Policy and Legal

Manufacturers Score SEC Victory in Proxy Firm Oversight

This week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) unveiled two rule proposals to provide oversight of proxy advisory firms and make targeted reforms to the shareholder proposal process. The National Association of Manufacturers has led the effort to bring these reforms to the proxy process, which are intended to make the proxy process more responsible to Main Street investors and more reflective of business realities.

Proxy advisory firms make voting recommendations to the asset managers who oversee Americans’ retirement savings. As a result, the firms have enormous influence over the policies of publicly traded companies, impacting the direction of businesses they have no stake in as well as the life savings of millions of Main Street investors. Unfortunately, a lack of oversight means proxy advisory firms often operate with undisclosed conflicts of interest and inadequate transparency, implement one-size-fits-all decision-making and make errors that impose significant costs and damaging policies on manufacturers and workers.

The SEC’s first proposed rule would institute reforms to the process by which proxy firms make recommendations and engage with issuers and investors, including requirements that the firms disclose their conflicts of interest and allow companies to highlight potential errors and misleading methodologies.

“This is a significant victory for manufacturers, workers and middle-class Americans across the country,” said Charles Crain, Director of Tax and Domestic Economic Policy at the National Association of Manufacturers. “Americans deserve a proxy process that protects their hard-earned money and sets up reasonable guardrails for the firms that impact their retirement savings, and that’s exactly what this rule proposes.”

A second SEC rule proposal would modify the submission and resubmission thresholds for placing shareholder proposals on companies’ proxy ballots, streamlining and depoliticizing the process in order to focus company management on the issues that impact investors’ long-term savings. Combined with the proxy firm proposal, these reforms represent the capstone of many years of advocacy and hard work from manufacturers across the country. Going forward, the SEC will hear public comments on both proposals as the agency works to finalize and implement the new rules.

“These rules will help ensure that proxy voting decisions are made in the best interests of Americans saving for a secure retirement and manufacturers planning for long-term growth,” said Crain. “At the NAM, we intend to keep working with the SEC to ensure that both proposals are finalized and implemented appropriately in the weeks and months ahead.”

Press Releases

Manufacturers Welcome SEC’s Proposed Proxy Rulemaking

Timmons: “The SEC Has Listened to Manufacturers’ Concerns”

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposed proxy rulemaking:

Today’s announcement shows the SEC has listened to manufacturers’ concerns—and is taking action to rein in the abuses and risky practices of proxy advisory firms and politically motivated activists. Manufacturers across the country have called for reforms to help enhance our ability to grow and thrive in America. Proxy advisory firms are unregulated actors that put Main Street investors’ retirement savings at risk through their error- and conflict-ridden reports, while activists pressure manufacturers to focus on political issues at the expense of company growth. Reforming the proxy process will empower manufacturers to invest in our people and our communities more confidently—and to power economic growth for all Americans. The NAM looks forward to continuing to work with the SEC to finalize and implement this important rule proposal.

Background
The NAM has led the effort in favor of SEC action to ensure proxy advisory firms work in the best interest of manufacturers and manufacturing workers. Over the past two years, the NAM has written several comment letters to the SEC urging reforms to the proxy process, supported legislation passed by the House of Representatives to increase SEC oversight of proxy advisory firms and launched a six-figure ad campaign in conjunction with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, including the website ProxyReforms.com, to highlight the issues that companies face in their interactions with proxy advisory firms and provide a feedback portal for businesses to share their stories.

-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.

Press Releases

Manufacturers Applaud Committee Passage of Long-Term Ex-Im Reauthorization Bill

“This Deserves Strong Bipartisan Support on the House Floor”

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers Vice President of International Economic Affairs Linda Dempsey released the following statement after the House Financial Services Committee passed legislation to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank for 10 years:

Manufacturers need long-term certainty that the Ex-Im Bank can keep helping manufacturers secure new sales overseas that support well-paying American jobs. The legislation would help manufacturers in the U.S. compete in the global economy by providing a 10-year reauthorization, increasing the authorization ceiling and ensuring the agency’s board will remain fully functioning. This deserves strong bipartisan support on the House floor. We appreciate the members who support this critical agency and thank them for their vote on this important legislation.

Quick facts about the Ex-Im Bank:

  • The agency has supported 2.5 million jobs over the past 20 years.
  • On average, more than 90% 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 their domestic manufacturers.
  • The agency’s default rate is better than many commercial lenders and far below the 2% maximum rate set by Congress.

-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.

Policy and Legal

Large and Small Manufacturers Call on Congress to Ratify USMCA Now

Tell Congress to Pass USMCA

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As Congress moves toward a bipartisan deal on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), manufacturers are urging lawmakers to pass the agreement by Thanksgiving. Designed to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and agreed to last year by leaders from all three countries, the USMCA now awaits approval by Congress.

For companies like Memphis-based International Paper, the USMCA presents an opportunity to level the playing field with competitors around the world while providing benefits for Americans at home. According to the American Forest & Paper Association, U.S. pulp and paper exports to Canada and Mexico represented more than $10 billion in 2018, or about 45 percent of the industry’s total exports. Those exports to Canada and Mexico support an estimated 88,000 American jobs. Without the USMCA, that revenue—and those jobs—could be threatened.

“The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement is critical for our company and our industry to compete in the international market,” said Mary M. Mann, Director of Government Relations and International Affairs at International Paper. “The agreement would protect open access for our industry’s exports to Canada and Mexico, promote sustainable forestry to combat illegal logging and support tens of thousands of jobs for hardworking Americans.”

For the Gowan Group of Companies, a family-owned business involved in agricultural inputs (including fertilizer, seed and crop protection products) headquartered in Yuma, Ariz., the USMCA would ensure economic certainty and continuity. Gowan’s sales within North America represent well over 50 percent of the company’s total sales, including substantial exports to Canada and Mexico. Tariff-free trade with Canada and Mexico supports jobs in Arizona, California, Texas and elsewhere in the United States.

“It is critical for Gowan and our ultimate customers – farmers – that products can flow throughout North America without delays, fees or other significant costs,” said Cindy Smith, Gowan’s Agricultural Relations Director. “Any delays or increased costs due to failure to pass the USMCA would damage our competitiveness and our ability to grow, add jobs, improve wages and invest in new products.”

“Manufacturers across America recognize the importance of updating our trade rules for a 21st-century economy,” said National Association of Manufacturers Vice President of International Economic Affairs Policy Linda Dempsey. “The USMCA has bipartisan support, and Congress should ratify the agreement immediately, providing certainty for American businesses to compete—and win—in the global economy.”

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

If ratified, the agreement will expand U.S. exports, improve intellectual property protections and enforcement and level the playing field for U.S. workers. Manufacturers are urging quick passage of the USMCA to ensure their businesses can grow, compete globally and support millions of well-paying jobs.

Policy and Legal

Pence Calls for USMCA Action with the NAM at Schott Facility

Tell Congress to Pass USMCA

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Vice President Mike Pence and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross joined National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons at SCHOTT North America’s Duryea, Pa., facility yesterday to call for the passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement and highlight the agreement’s critical importance to American manufacturers.

“A vote for the USMCA is a vote for America’s manufacturing workers,” Timmons said at the event. “Manufacturers are raising our voices in unison, calling on Congress to ratify this agreement and provide businesses with a level playing field and certainty to compete, grow and win in the global market.”

Canada and Mexico are critical partners for American manufacturers, purchasing one-fifth of the total value of U.S. manufacturing output and supporting about 2 million American manufacturing jobs.

“The clock is ticking, so I want you to reach out,” Pence said. “Reach out to all of our elected officials in Washington, D.C. … and just tell them how important it is. Set politics aside and do what’s right for Pennsylvania and do what’s right for America.”

President Donald Trump also wrote a letter to SCHOTT, congratulating the glass manufacturer on its fiftieth anniversary. “Your products made here in the United States embody the industriousness of the American people and are a testament to the world-class quality of goods produced in our country,” Trump said.

Schott leaders provided a tour of their advanced optics production hub and research and development center for Pence, Ross and Timmons.

Learn more about why USMCA matters to every state.

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