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

NAM Fights to Preserve Interest Deductibility

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The NAM is pushing back against scheduled and proposed tax changes that would limit tax deductions for interest on business loans and make it more difficult for manufacturers to invest in growth.

Why it matters: Debt financing is critical to the manufacturing industry because it allows businesses of all sizes to invest in equipment and facilities. These investments spur job growth and help manufacturers compete in a global marketplace. Reducing or limiting manufacturers’ ability to deduct interest will make borrowing more expensive, making it more difficult for manufacturers to support America’s economic recovery and invest in future growth.

The provisions: There are three proposed tax changes, including one that is set to take effect at the end of this year and two put forward by the House Ways and Means Committee that have been proposed to help pay for the Build Back Better agenda.

  • A new EBIT standard: The 2017 tax reform law limited the business interest deduction to 30 percent of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization. Starting in 2022, the deduction will be further limited to 30 percent of earnings before interest and tax. Excluding depreciation and amortization would reduce the amount of interest businesses can deduct, making it more expensive for manufacturers to finance capital equipment purchases. The NAM is leading the Coalition for America’s Interest to oppose the change, and we’re championing a bipartisan bill that would preserve the EBITDA standard.
  • New interest deductibility limitation: The House Ways and Means Committee’s budget reconciliation bill includes a new limitation on the deductibility of interest. The bill would impose a worldwide leverage test, disallowing interest deductions on top of the scheduled EBIT change. In fact, companies impacted by both this provision and the EBIT change would be forced to abide by whichever standard was the most limiting. This change would make the United States an outlier compared to other industrialized countries.
  • New carry-forward restrictions: Manufacturers are currently allowed to carry forward unused interest deductions into future years, ensuring that they can deduct interest over time. The House bill would cap carry-forwards at five years, which could permanently deny some interest deductions and ultimately result in a net tax increase for many businesses.

Speaking out: All told, limiting interest deductibility makes it more expensive for manufacturers to invest in growth, which is why the NAM has vocally opposed these changes.

“These scheduled and proposed changes to interest deductibility would disproportionately impact companies in the manufacturing sector,” NAM Vice President, Tax and Domestic Economic Policy Chris Netram wrote in a letter to Congress. “Following tax reform’s passage in 2017, manufacturing capital spending grew by 4.5% and 5.7% in 2018 and 2019—but limiting the deductibility of interest would threaten the sector’s progress and harm manufacturers’ ability to invest for the future.”

Policy and Legal

The NAM Talks to the Fed

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Manufacturing is the engine of U.S. economic growth. That’s why, when the Federal Reserve Board hosted a virtual Fed Listens event to discuss the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, it asked NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray to share his perspective.

In his remarks, Moutray gave an overview of activity in the manufacturing sector and laid out his expectations for the road ahead. Here are some of the highlights.

A positive outlook: “Manufacturers are experiencing very strong demand as the U.S. and global economy recovers from the steep declines in activity seen last year at the beginning of COVID-19,” said Moutray. “Indeed, the most recent NAM Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey found that 87.5% of respondents were positive about their company’s outlook, which—while down from the three-year high seen in June—remained a healthy figure.”

Concerns on the horizon: “At the same time, manufacturing leaders cited rising raw material costs as their top concern for the third straight quarter, followed closely by challenges with attracting and retaining enough workers, with supply chain disruptions, and with logistics and transportation issues,” said Moutray. “Interestingly, 81.5% of those completing the survey said that workforce shortages were the biggest downside risk to their economic forecast, closely followed by supply chain disruptions, increased cost pressures and the continued spread of COVID-19, including the delta variant.”

Supply chain struggles: “While manufacturing growth remains solid, supply chain bottlenecks are significant, holding back even stronger expansions in the sector,” said Moutray. “Manufacturers continue to cite the backlog of cargo at the ports, the shortage of truck drivers and soaring shipping costs as significant impediments. In a just-in-time production environment, this poses a serious challenge to production and capacity—and the shortage of workers is not helping either.”

A look ahead: “These supply chain and logistics issues are likely to extend into at least the first half of 2022, at least based on my conversations with manufacturing executives,” said Moutray. “While pricing pressures are likely to stabilize as we move into 2022—assisted by a more-favorable base comparison—it is also clear that some costs will remain elevated relative to pre-pandemic levels, and core inflation might run hotter than we had become accustomed to.”

Dive Deeper: Read more about the economic outlook in the NAM’s 2021 3rd Quarter Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey.

Policy and Legal

How Tax Reform Helped a Manufacturer Expand

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INX International, a global manufacturer of high-performance printing inks and coatings, has a strong and growing presence in the U.S. thanks to tax reform.

The company’s success has been made possible in part by tax reform’s lower corporate tax rate and a foreign-derived intangible income (FDII) deduction, which encourages companies to develop and keep intellectual property in the U.S. by providing a lower tax rate for foreign sales based on U.S. IP. These reforms have helped manufacturers like INX invest in their U.S.-based facilities and employees—and INX has done exactly that.

Manufacturers wanted: From 2017 to today, the company has hired 89 people—a 7% increase in personnel. And even with the significant increase in workers, INX has been able to use its tax savings to pay good wages and benefits for all its employees.

  • “We have not had one year since 2017 without raises or an increase in benefits,” said INX Vice President of Tax and Finance David Rossi. “That’s because the company has been doing pretty well—reaping the benefits from the economy and tax reform.”

Facilities expanded: INX has also worked to build new production capabilities, financed in part by the 2017 changes to the tax code.

  • “The FDII deduction gave us $1.1 million in 2020 alone,” said Rossi. “That’s two-thirds of a solid equipment buildout for a new location. That number is significant to us.”

IP kept local: Provisions like the FDII deduction have made it possible for INX to keep their intellectual property in the United States, rather than moving critical production to facilities in other countries where labor and production costs might be lower.

  • “We’re brick-and-mortar manufacturing in the U.S., and we keep our IP here; we keep our R&D here,” said Rossi. “Our ideas are here. Everything is developed here in the United States and kept in the United States.”

Continued benefits: The highly competitive labor market means that INX is also using its tax reform savings to attract and retain workers—making stability and certainty around these tax rules even more important.

  • “We have dramatically increased starting wages, due to competition for manufacturing workers,” said INX CEO John Hrdlick. “Employees hired last year are also getting an increase. We’re offering incentives for referrals for new positions and spending a fair amount of money to recruit and keep people and stay ahead of our competition. If we weren’t in a strong position now, we wouldn’t be able to do that.”

The road ahead: The team at INX is concerned about what might happen if tax reform were to be rolled back and their tax burden were to increase. Especially with ongoing shortages of labor and materials—and with delays in shipping and freight transport—higher taxes would make it more difficult to continue the kinds of investments they have made.

  • “Right now, any savings get invested into our people and our operations,” said INX Chief Financial Officer Bryce Kristo. “Any loss will negatively affect that.”
  • “If there’s change, you’re talking about smaller facilities, less expansion or no expansion at all,” said Rossi.

The last word: “We are in a very competitive industry and an important industry,” said Hrdlick. “We’re almost a $500 million company, but given the high competitiveness, we are in single-digit operating income. All these proposed tax increases will pull some of that away. Everything we get, we invest in our people—and if that number is dramatically impacted, that’s going to be a problem for us.”

Policy and Legal

The NAM Looks Ahead

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As Congress reconvenes this fall, the NAM will continue to make sure manufacturers’ priorities are front and center, driving the legislative conversation and shaping America’s future. We spoke with the NAM’s policy leaders to get a sense of the agenda going forward and discussed two bills in particular that are on manufacturers’ radar.

Bipartisan infrastructure reform: The $1.2 trillion investment would fund roads and bridges, as well as upgrades of the electric power grid and energy infrastructure, passenger and freight rail, public transit, airports, water systems, broadband and other critical priorities. Many of the bill’s investments were also initially highlighted in the NAM’s Building to Win framework—the NAM’s plan to invest in America’s infrastructure. The NAM will continue to work with Congress and President Biden to help move this bill across the finish line and ensure we can build the world-class infrastructure manufacturers deserve.

  • “It’s critical that this moves forward,” said NAM Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Relations Aric Newhouse. “The bipartisan infrastructure reform bill would create transformative change—and every day that passes without it is a lost opportunity for manufacturers.”
  • “We are using our influence to call on Congress to finalize this bill and move it to the president’s desk,” added NAM Vice President of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources Policy Robyn Boerstling. “We also intend to stay engaged after it’s signed into law. This is a significant federal investment, with a lot of new programs and opportunities—and the NAM will be here to help steer our members through the implementation process.”

Reconciliation: Democrats are considering a multitrillion-dollar reconciliation bill that would supplement the bipartisan infrastructure reform bill with additional priorities in areas like health care, climate change and labor rules. As this bill moves ahead, the NAM is focused on preventing changes in corporate taxes, individual taxes, estate taxes and international tax policy that could harm manufacturers; blocking policies that could damage the employer–employee relationship; and standing up against efforts to stifle innovation in the pharmaceutical sector.

  • Taxes: The bill proposes more than $2 trillion in tax increases that could hit every segment of the manufacturing economy. Proposed changes could affect big corporations through corporate taxes; globally engaged firms through changes to the Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income (GILTI) provision, the Base Erosion and Anti-Abuse Tax (BEAT) and a more limited incentive to locate intellectual property in the U.S.; family-owned businesses through estate tax reforms and increases to the capital gains rate; and small and medium manufacturers through changes to the tax system for pass-through entities. The bill would also make it harder to finance new equipment purchases through new limitations on the deductibility of interest on business loans.
  • “These changes would affect every manufacturer, increasing the burden on corporations and pass-through entities,” said NAM Vice President of Tax and Domestic Economic Policy Chris Netram. “And we intend to stand up for our members, so that big and small manufacturers alike can compete, invest and grow here in the United States and around the world.”
  • Pharmaceutical innovation: The reconciliation bill also contains provisions that would introduce price controls on certain medicines and harm the capacity to innovate by making it more difficult for pharmaceutical companies to invest in research and development, potentially hampering the creation of new medications and treatments. The NAM is fighting against these provisions to ensure that pharmaceutical companies are able to robustly invest in lifesaving cures.
  •  “Congress must take the long view on innovation,” said Newhouse. “If we take steps that harm pharmaceutical companies’ ability to innovate today, fewer lifesaving drugs will be available in the future. We think that’s a mistake.”
  • Labor: In addition, the reconciliation bill in its current form seeks to impose some of the provisions of the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, or PRO Act. The bill, which previously passed the House in 2020, has the potential to reshape the relationship between employers and employees. The NAM will work to ensure these changes are not included.
  • “The PRO Act is so broad and so sweeping in terms of its changes to the employee–employer environment that it comes at the expense of the manufacturing sector,” said Boerstling.
  • “We’re going to do everything we can to keep this out of reconciliation because we believe the existing employee–employer relationship is working,” said Newhouse. “Now is not the time to blow it up with antiquated approaches to labor policy.”

The bottom line: This fall promises to be a busy time for policymakers in Washington, and the NAM intends to keep them focused on the needs and priorities of manufacturers across the country.

Press Releases

Manufacturers React to Recovery-Stunting Tax Hike Proposal

Newhouse: “There’s no getting past the fact that this tax plan adds up to fewer jobs for American workers.”

Washington, D.C. – Following the release of the House Ways and Means Committee’s plan to increase taxes on manufacturers through the budget reconciliation legislation, National Association of Manufacturers Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Relations Aric Newhouse made this statement:

“There’s no getting past the fact that this tax plan adds up to fewer jobs for American workers. We know from experience that competitive tax rates spur job creation, higher wages and investment in communities. That’s exactly what we saw after the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as manufacturers kept their promises. 2018 was the best year for manufacturing job creation in more than two decades. We also know from rigorous economic analysis that reverting to archaic tax policies has the opposite effect. A study of proposed tax increases—including a 25% corporate rate—found that America would lose 1 million jobs in just the first two years.

“Building a strong economy takes more than wishful thinking; it requires a competitive business environment. Manufacturers are committed to rebuilding our economy and sustaining our recovery—even amid the surge of COVID-19 cases. If lawmakers share that commitment, then they would rethink tax proposals like this. Few policies would stall our recovery faster. Now is not the time to pursue policies in Washington that will hurt the families and communities of manufacturers in America.”

Study: Negative Consequences of 25% Tax Rate on Manufacturers:

(Source: Dynamic Estimates of The Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Rate Increases and Other Tax Policy Changes)

  • 1 million jobs and $107 billion in GDP lost in first two years
  • 500,000 jobs lost on average each year over the next decade

Manufacturers on Increasing the Tax Burden:

(Source: NAM’s Q3 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey)

  • Nearly 94% of manufacturers said that higher taxes would be harmful to their businesses.
  • Roughly 90% of respondents said that their company would find it more difficult to expand their workforce, invest in new equipment or expand facilities if the tax burden on income from manufacturing activities increased.
  • Nearly 91% said that higher taxes would also make it more difficult to raise employee wages.

Manufacturing growth following the enactment of 2017 tax reform:

  • In 2018, manufacturers added 263,000 new jobs. That was the best year for job creation in manufacturing in 21 years. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • In 2018, manufacturing wages increased 3% and continued going up—by 2.8% in 2019 and 3% in 2020. Those were the fastest rates of annual growth since 2003. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Manufacturing capital spending grew 4.5% and 5.7% in 2018 and 2019, respectively. (U.S. Census Bureau)
  • Overall, manufacturing production grew 2.7% in 2018, with December 2018 being the best month for manufacturing output since May 2008. (Federal Reserve Board)

-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 12.3 million men and women, contributes $2.35 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector 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

Press Releases

Manufacturers Share Commitment to Vaccination

Requirements Must Be Structured in a Way That Does Not Negatively Impact the Operations of Manufacturers

Washington, D.C. – Following President Biden’s speech on new measures to combat COVID-19, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement:

“Americans can be grateful to President Trump for ‘Operation Warp Speed’ that enabled the United States to develop the lifesaving vaccines against COVID-19 and to President Biden for his continued focus on getting Americans vaccinated. We share their steadfast focus, and manufacturers have led the way in promoting the lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines. They are safe and effective vaccines made for us, by people like us—manufacturers in America.

“We look forward to working with the administration to ensure any vaccine requirements are structured in a way that does not negatively impact the operations of manufacturers that have been leading through the pandemic to keep Americans safe. It is important that undue compliance costs do not burden manufacturers, large and small alike.

“Getting all eligible Americans vaccinated will, first and foremost, reduce hospitalizations and save lives. But it is also an economic imperative in that our recovery and quality of life depend on our ability to end this pandemic. This is why the NAM and The Manufacturing Institute continue equipping manufacturers of all sizes with resources to promote vaccination through our ‘This Is Our Shot’ project.”

-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 12.3 million men and women, contributes $2.35 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector 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

Press Releases

Manufacturers: Tax Hikes Will Cost Manufacturing Jobs

9 in 10 Manufacturers say higher taxes would make it more difficult to raise employee wages, invest in new equipment and hire more workers

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement following U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo’s address to the City Club of Cleveland:

“Secretary Raimondo correctly notes that ‘too many Americans feel like they’ve been left behind,’ but returning to archaic tax policies of the past would set Americans back even further. Manufacturers kept their promises to raise wages and invest in their communities after the 2017 tax reform law. Why would anyone want to undo that progress?

“The proposed tax increases would result in 1 million job losses in just the first two years. Manufacturers agree with Secretary Raimondo that we want to give ‘all American workers an opportunity to participate in our economy,’ and we believe in building an opportunity society. But we need continued strong job creation to make that possible—especially as we continue to battle COVID-19.

“The right approach is a bipartisan one—just as President Biden and senators from both parties achieved on infrastructure. Smart investments that don’t impose job-destroying tax increases is the path forward. Lawmakers who choose the more destructive path—the one that jeopardizes family-supporting American manufacturing jobs—will need to explain why they want to undo our historic progress. In 2020, President Biden called on U.S. manufacturing to be ‘part of the Arsenal of Prosperity today.’ We are committed to answering that call, but we need the tools—including competitive tax rates—to achieve that goal.”

Manufacturers on Increasing the Tax Burden:

(Source: NAM’s Q3 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey)

  • Nearly 94% of manufacturers said that higher taxes would be harmful to their businesses.
  • Roughly 90% of respondents said that their company would find it more difficult to expand their workforce, invest in new equipment or expand facilities if the tax burden on income from manufacturing activities increased.
  • Nearly 91% said that higher taxes would also make it more difficult to raise employee wages.

Background on manufacturing growth following the enactment of 2017 tax reform:

  • In 2018, manufacturers added 263,000 new jobs. That was the best year for job creation in manufacturing in 21 years.
  • In 2018, manufacturing wages increased 3% and continued going up—by 2.8% in 2019 and 3% in 2020. Those were the fastest rates of annual growth since 2003.
  • Manufacturing capital spending grew 4.5% and 5.7% in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
  • Overall, manufacturing production grew 2.7% in 2018, with December 2018 being the best month for manufacturing output since May 2008.

-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 12.3 million men and women, contributes $2.35 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector 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

Press Releases

New NAM Report Highlights the Impact and Importance of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

Timmons: Pharmaceutical manufacturers are essential to America’s health and well-being and to the success of our economy.

Washington, D.C. – After the publication today of the National Association of Manufacturers’ latest report, Ensuring a Healthy Future: The Impact and Importance of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing,” NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:

“Pharmaceutical manufacturers are essential to America’s health and well-being and to the success of our economy. They have helped lead our country through crisis, fight the pandemic and drive our recovery. The sector creates hundreds of thousands of jobs, and the work its quarter of a million employees perform is literally lifesaving, improving society in ways that are almost impossible to overstate.”

The report finds that not only have pharmaceutical manufacturers been pioneers in improving the human condition, but the industry also fuels other sectors of the economy.

According to the report:

  • Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing directly employs an estimated 267,000 workers in the United States and supports nearly 1.9 million more jobs across the country.
  • One job in the industry helps support six other jobs in the overall workforce.
  • Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing generates nearly $339 billion in output. Further, $1.00 in pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing output generates $1.09 in output elsewhere in the economy.
  • For every $1.00 earned by an employee within the industry, $2.42 is earned by others elsewhere in the economy.

“The American public and policymakers too often overlook these accomplishments,” Timmons added. “Traditional economic analysis ignores the way this industry extends and enriches lives, and the public is not fully aware of pharmaceutical manufacturers’ constant focus on innovation and improving the quality of life for everyone. Pharmaceutical manufacturers are always researching, discovering and developing new medicines and treatments, operating at the core of our modern health care system. Their products make it possible for medical professionals to introduce and manage innovative new therapies, and of course, these manufacturers helped create lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines. Moreover, the industry has high economic multipliers that drive production and job creation in other industries.”

Additional Key Findings:

  • A successful pharmaceutical ecosystem requires strong private-sector investment. 
    • In 2019, American pharmaceutical companies invested more than $83 billion in research and development, topping off nearly $1 trillion in R&D investment over the past 20 years. A recent study from the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics estimates that the pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing sector alone accounts for roughly 17% of total R&D investment in the United States.
    • The pharmaceutical industry invests nearly 11.4% of its sales back into R&D. Indeed, the U.S. pharmaceutical industry invests on average roughly three times more in R&D as a percentage of sales than all other manufacturing industries.
  • The industry creates valuable STEM jobs.
    • While roughly 6.7% of the U.S. workforce has a STEM occupation, 29.9% of all jobs in pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing are STEM related. The pharmaceutical manufacturing sector employs more than four times the percentage of STEM workers employed in the overall workforce.
  • Industry employees are highly productive.
    • Industry employees produce $1.3 million in output per employee. This is nearly seven times greater than the U.S. economy’s average output per employee ($188,000).

-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 12.4 million men and women, contributes $2.44 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector 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.

Press Releases

Tax Hikes, Workforce Challenges Top of Mind for Manufacturers

NAM Launches Campaign to Oppose Tax Hikes

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers released its Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey for the third quarter of 2021, showing manufacturers remain mostly optimistic in their economic outlook (87.5%, down from 90.1% in Q2). Consistent with Wednesday’s Bureau of Labor Statistics report showing a record 889,000 job openings in manufacturing, respondents named workforce shortages (81.5%) as their top downside risk. Manufacturers also indicated the many ways that proposed tax increases threaten jobs, investment and growth in the sector.

The NAM is also launching a six-figure ad campaign calling on Congress to protect manufacturing jobs by opposing tax increases in the budget resolution. The print, radio and digital ads will run in Washington, D.C., and in key states across the country.

“This survey delivers an urgent warning for lawmakers: if you raise taxes on manufacturers, there will be no avoiding widespread job losses, slower growth and wage stagnation,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “At a time when paychecks for manufacturing families are growing at the highest rate in nearly 40 years, the tax increases under consideration by Congress will directly harm the men and women who make things in America. Like the New York manufacturer that hired 50 new workers, doubled the size of their manufacturing facilities and increased employee wages by nearly 5%, manufacturers across the country are keeping our promises after the 2017 tax reforms, investing in our people and our communities. To protect our recovery, we should all want to protect these reforms.

“The worsening workforce crisis, demonstrated in this and many previous surveys, is the driving motivation behind the NAM and Manufacturing Institute’s Creators Wanted campaign, which we will be ramping up even further in the coming months to tackle this challenge. With a record 889,000 open jobs in manufacturing and 4 million to fill by 2030, this is the largest campaign ever to build the workforce of tomorrow and inspire, educate and empower a new generation of manufacturers in America.”

Other survey highlights:

  • Nearly 94% of manufacturers said that higher taxes would be harmful to their businesses.
  • Roughly 90% of respondents said that their company would find it more difficult to expand their workforce, invest in new equipment or expand facilities if the tax burden on income from manufacturing activities increased.
  • Nearly 91% said that higher taxes would also make it more difficult to raise employee wages.
  • The top three challenges facing manufacturers are increased raw material costs (86.4%), attracting and retaining a quality workforce (80.0%) and supply chain challenges (79.8%).
  • Respondents predicted employment and wage growth to rise at the fastest rates in the survey’s 24-year history.

Read the full Q3 2021 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey results here.

Background on manufacturing growth following the enactment of 2017 tax reform:

  • In 2018, manufacturers added 263,000 new jobs. That was the best year for job creation in manufacturing in 21 years.
  • In 2018, manufacturing wages increased 3% and continued going up—by 2.8% in 2019 and 3% in 2020. Those were the fastest rates of annual growth since 2003.
  • Manufacturing capital spending grew by 4.5% and 5.7% in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
  • Overall, manufacturing production grew 2.7% in 2018, with December 2018 being the best month for manufacturing output since May 2008.

-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 12.3 million men and women, contributes $2.35 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector 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

Policy and Legal

NAM Launches Manufacturers United

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With major policy issues coming to a head this fall in Washington, the National Association of Manufacturers this week launched Manufacturers United – a new digital platform to power the industry’s grassroots advocacy.

We spoke with some of the people behind the effort to learn more about what it does, how it works, and why manufacturers across the country should use it to highlight their priorities and make their voices heard.

What it does: Manufacturers United provides a clear platform and a wide range of easy-to-use tools for individual manufacturers to take action to advance the industry’s policy priorities:

  • “Manufacturers United is the central resource where manufacturers, those who work in our industry and everyday Americans who care about the future of manufacturing in the United States can come together and take meaningful action, said Assistant Vice President for Advocacy at the NAM Michael O’Brien. “Congress is currently working on urgent priorities ranging from infrastructure investments to revisiting tax reform. Manufacturers United gives you the tools and resources — from posting key messages to social media, sending a message to your representative, all the way to helping you attend a congressional town hall, or host a member at your facility — that help you take action.”

A helping hand: In addition to giving manufacturers the tools to advocate for their causes, Manufacturers United also offers access to members of NAM staff who can help you navigate and make effective use of these advocacy tools and opportunities.

Why it matters: Research shows that persistent, sustained advocacy is incredibly important – and that outreach from individual constituents has the most impact, especially when policymakers are undecided on an issue. MU unleashes the power of manufacturers who have been interested in advocacy, but haven’t known where to start.

“The NAM will always be there to serve up full and comprehensive information on policy matters and other leading issues, but we’re seeing a real hunger from our members to actually join the fight,” said NAM Grassroots Strategist Alex Przybelski. “Manufacturers United helps them scale campaigns themselves and move their issues forward.”

How it works: Manufacturers United is designed to help individuals take a number of actions in support of manufacturing priorities. A few ways to plug in are:

  • Get up to speed and take action on current issues like fighting new taxes on manufacturers, advancing historic infrastructure investment, and other major issues
  • Sign up by texting MU to 52886 for updates about the major issues MU is working on (or just visit the homepage and sign up)
  • Get to know the NAM staff who can help you put these tools to work

The bottom line: “Manufacturers United is about harnessing the power of manufacturing voices,” said O’Brien. “What’s at stake, fast facts and useful statistics, how to take action – it’s all there to help individual manufacturers find information and act on it to create an impact.”

Learn more: Find out more at www.manufacturersunited.org.

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