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

Manufacturers Call for IP Protections to Secure Innovation

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On Wednesday, National Association of Manufacturers Director of International Business Policy Ryan Ong testified before the Special 301 Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee on the global intellectual property challenges and priorities for manufacturers in the United States. While manufacturers have long called for stronger intellectual property protection, Ong’s testimony comes at a time when IP theft has been on the rise; a 2017 report by the Commission on the Theft of Intellectual Property found that stolen ideas, brands and inventions drain up to $600 billion from the U.S. economy—nearly double the amount found just four years previously.

In his testimony, Ong highlighted a growing tide of fake products sold in the United States, which has been estimated to cost the U.S. economy between $29 billion and $41 billion every year. He also detailed sophisticated attempts by bad actors to steal U.S. companies’ trade secrets; one 2014 study estimated that the economic loss from trade secret theft is between $180 billion and $500 billion. In addition, he discussed attempts at international organizations to weaken IP protections in the name of other policy priorities, from public health to environmental protection, and explained how these actions overlook the importance of innovation and create barriers to progress.

“The United States has long made vigorous protection of IP rights at home and abroad a cornerstone of our manufacturing competitiveness, but we must do more in the face of these and other challenges,” said Ong. “It is more critical now than ever before that the United States strongly defend intellectual property and innovation around the world in all available forums.”

Ong’s testimony was accompanied by a full list of recommendations on a country-by-country basis to protect the full scope of threats to manufacturers’ intellectual property.

Manufacturers have recently made important progress on intellectual property protections. For example, the “phase one” trade deal between China and the United States—which was a major victory for manufacturers—included Chinese commitments on trade secret protection, patent protection, trademark issues and judicial enforcement. Still, manufacturers continue to fight for robust support of American innovation.

“Every day, manufacturers across the country are transforming their operations to achieve greater efficiency, productivity and competitiveness while working to create a better tomorrow,” said Ong. “None of that is possible without U.S. leadership, driving strong rules to protect our IP and robust enforcement efforts. The success of our industry—and the strength of our economy—depend on it.”

Policy and Legal

Presidential Candidates Discuss Manufacturing at Infrastructure Forum

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In advance of the upcoming Nevada caucuses, presidential candidates convened at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas on Sunday to discuss their plans for the future of America’s infrastructure. Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and businessman Tom Steyer took part in the event, titled “Moving America Forward: A Presidential Candidate Forum on Infrastructure, Jobs and Building a Better America.”

United for Infrastructure, a nonprofit that educates the American public about the importance of infrastructure to the nation’s economy, workers and communities hosted the event. As a member of the United for Infrastructure steering committee, the National Association of Manufacturers helps advance an infrastructure agenda that unites business and labor interests in a common call for urgent action to modernize U.S. infrastructure.

“From making products to transporting them to customers, modern manufacturers must be incredibly precise to maximize productivity, but without reliable infrastructure, it’s impossible to do that cutting-edge work,” said NAM Director of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources Policy Catie Kawchak. “Now is the time to deliver transformational advancements to the infrastructure that connects our communities and facilitates free enterprise.”

Manufacturers led the call for significant infrastructure investment. In 2019, the NAM updated “Building to Win,” a blueprint to revitalize our nation’s infrastructure. The comprehensive policy framework provides solutions to support workers in the United States, jumpstart economic growth, spur job creation and enhance quality of life by improving and expanding transportation, energy, water and digital infrastructure in order to pave the way for the success of new generations. It also lays out a path for Congress to fund these investments.

“I was encouraged to hear the candidates participating in the forum say that modernizing U.S. infrastructure must be a top priority,” said Kawchak. “While we won’t agree with every candidate on every specific, each candidate included provisions from ‘Building to Win’ in their infrastructure platforms. Building a 21st-century infrastructure system is a top priority for manufacturers and an issue that unites diverse stakeholders—from Republicans to Democrats and from business to labor. It will remain an important issue for candidates throughout the election cycle.”

Policy and Legal

Manufacturers Lead Fight Against Counterfeit Goods

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Recently, manufacturers took to Capitol Hill to do their part to combat counterfeit products entering the United States. Counterfeit goods are increasingly prevalent and pose a threat to consumers’ wellbeing and manufacturers’ competitiveness. To take a stand on this growing issue, Johnson & Johnson recently testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce. In their testimony, the company highlighted the challenges facing health care manufacturers and the dangers counterfeiting can pose to the health of patients and consumers.

“Illicit trade has increased dramatically in recent years, impacting nearly every industry,” said Johnson & Johnson Vice President of Global Brand Protection Rich Kaeser. “The problem is obviously a serious concern in the health care and personal care industries where patients and consumers can be injured or even die due to unsafe, counterfeit and illicit products. These situations demonstrate why businesses must partner with one another and with government, so collectively we can be a greater force to deter the growing threat of [counterfeiting].”

Beyond consumers, counterfeiting also seriously impacts private shippers like UPS as well as the manufacturers that rely on their services. A new report from the Department of Homeland Security outlines a series of actions on how the federal government can partner with the private sector to combat trafficking in fake goods.

“With the rise of e-commerce and a global economy, counterfeit goods are a significant problem for many of UPS’s customers, particularly small and medium-sized companies,” said Laura Lane, UPS President of Global Public Affairs. “UPS is pleased to see the administration taking action on counterfeits, including enforcing the collection of advanced electronic data, and assurances that packages coming into the U.S., whether through the private express industry or the global postal system, receive consistent treatment and that there is uniformity at U.S. borders to curb counterfeits and dangerous goods from getting into our country.”

With the administration’s breakthrough “phase one” trade deal with China, the U.S. gained strong, enforceable intellectual property protections to help counter the importation of fake goods, but there is still significant work to be done to protect consumers and manufacturers, including ensuring those commitments are honored. In order to achieve long-lasting reform, a broad coalition of public- and private-sector voices need to be part of the process.

“Manufacturers have always had to deal with counterfeit goods, which lead to damaging consequences for consumers and the business community,” said National Association of Manufacturers Vice President of Labor, Legal and Regulatory Policy Patrick Hedren. “At the end of the day, this is about as bipartisan an issue as you can find. Manufacturers are eager to work with members of Congress, the administration and private-sector stakeholders to better protect the public from the threat of fake goods.”

Policy and Legal

VP Mike Pence Joins Manufacturers at NAM Winter Board Meeting

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Vice President Mike Pence addressed the National Association of Manufacturers’ Board of Directors Meeting on Friday. In a speech livestreamed to manufacturers across the country, he paid tribute to the NAM’s 125-year history, celebrated manufacturers’ accomplishments and praised the NAM’s historic Creators Wanted campaign, which was publicly unveiled earlier in the week—asserting that “President Trump will continue to back the efforts just like that one to create job training and vocational education and make it more accessible than ever before.” His appearance capped a three-day event attended by government officials and manufacturing leaders from across the nation.

“I’m really here just to pay a debt of gratitude,” Vice President Pence told the manufacturing leaders gathered. “You’ve been investing in your companies and investing in working Americans… You’ve really revived the confidence of the American people and opened doors of opportunity.”

The vice president touted the impact of United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement, which was developed and signed into law with the vocal support of small and large manufacturers. The agreement helped secure the 2 million American manufacturing jobs that depend on exports to Canada and Mexico, the biggest markets for U.S. exports in the world.

“We have a deal in the USMCA that is an unambiguous win for American workers, American manufacturing and American agriculture,” said Vice President Pence. “And we are grateful to each and every one of you for helping to bring it about.”

Vice President Pence also shined a light on several manufacturing companies that are keeping their promises to make bold investments following tax reform and regulatory certainty, including HM Manufacturing, which invested $500,000 in new equipment, hired 20% more workers and raised wages by 25%; BWX Technologies, which created 170 new jobs at three new facilities in Ohio and Indiana; and Nephron Pharmaceuticals, which gave employees a 5% raise.

“All of you in this association and the companies large and small that are represented here, for 125 years have improved the lives of the American people,” said Vice President Pence. “I’m standing in front of some of the most generous and conscientious corporate citizens in America. Your companies get behind literally every worthy cause in every big city and small town in America. So why don’t you give yourselves a round of applause for what you and your employees do to improve the lives of the American people every day. We’re truly grateful.”

Earlier in the week, the NAM awarded its inaugural Alexander Hamilton Award to Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump for her leadership on job training and workforce development.

In addition to the Vice President and Ivanka Trump, board meeting attendees heard from Axios’ Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei and political leaders including Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford.

Want to shape the future of manufacturing? Get involved in our Creators Wanted campaign.

Policy and Legal

Tax Reform Brings Jobs, Facility Growth to Tennessee Manufacturer

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Bobrick Washroom Equipment, Inc., a manufacturer of restroom accessories for non-residential buildings, is creating new jobs in the U.S. by expanding its toilet partition product line production in Tennessee. This $4.5 million investment in U.S. manufacturing was made possible thanks to the strong economy and competitiveness fostered by tax reform.

In 2018, shortly after the passage of tax reform, Bobrick acquired a competitor based in the United Kingdom. Bobrick has since moved production for the North American product lines to its Jackson, Tenn., facility, where they just completed a 40,000-square-foot expansion.

“Bobrick is a great example of a global company relocating manufacturing from international operations to be closer and more responsive to domestic markets,” said Bobrick President Mark Louchheim. “I’m proud that we’ve been able to do that, especially as we expand.”

Since the beginning of 2017, Bobrick has increased its workforce by more than 30 percent, and the company plans to hire more workers in the coming months.

In addition, Bobrick is investing in its five other North American plants to help them continue to stay on the cutting edge of manufacturing technology.

“We’re truly in a renaissance of manufacturing when it comes to technological advances,” explained Louchheim. “We’ve made significant investments in all of our plants. Robotics and modern technology have made us more efficient than ever as a manufacturer. The increased competitiveness from productivity gains resulted in growth, and not a reduction in our labor force. Therefore, we are not only growing the company, but we’re also developing our workforce with higher-level skills and pay.”

Bobrick’s commitment shows that the future for U.S. manufacturing is bright.

“Tax reform leveled the playing field for manufacturers,” said Chris Netram, the National Association of Manufacturers Vice President of Tax and Domestic Economic Policy. “Bobrick is a great example of what manufacturers have been saying all along. Making our tax code more competitive sets the stage for companies of all shapes and sizes to create jobs, grow the economy and invest in the U.S.”

“The lower corporate tax rate made a huge impact on our ability to continue to invest in this business,” said Louchheim. “We couldn’t be more excited about the good things to come.”

Press Releases

Media Advisory: Vice President Pence to Address NAM Board of Directors

Washington, D.C. – Vice President Mike Pence will deliver remarks at the National Association of Manufacturers’ Winter Board of Directors meeting on Friday, February 14, 2020. The meeting will mark the 125th Anniversary of the NAM’s founding as well as the launch of the historic Creators Wanted Campaign.

WHAT: Remarks by Vice President Mike Pence at the NAM’s Winter Board of Directors meeting in Washington, D.C.; introduction by NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons.

WHERE: The Conrad Hotel

950 New York Ave NW

Washington, DC 20001

WHEN: Friday, February 14, 2020

11:15 a.m. EST

Media Check-In: 9:45 a.m. EST at the Terrace Boardroom on the 3rd Floor.

**Members of the media interested in attending Vice President Mike Pence’s remarks should RSVP to [email protected] with full name, name of outlet and contact information by COB, February, 13, 2020.

***The Vice President’s remarks will be streamed live at https://www.facebook.com/NAMpage/.


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 $2.37 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% 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 Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org

Policy and Legal

First FDA-Approved Peanut Allergy Drug Shows Manufacturing Innovation

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Last week, the first drug to treat life-threatening peanut allergies was approved by the Food and Drug Administration, offering families and children new protection against potentially deadly reactions.

The therapy, manufactured by Aimmune Therapeutics, opens the door to additional remedies that may change how food allergies are treated and give millions of people the chance to enjoy experiences like plane travel and meals at a restaurant without worrying about dangerous inadvertent exposure or cross-contamination. Aimmune is working on additional food allergy treatments as well, offering hope to individuals who suffer from a range of severe allergies.

This new development is an example of the manufacturing industry’s capacity for innovation, and a reminder of the importance of research and development. Currently, pharmaceutical manufacturers in the United States spend more on research and development than any other industry. With approximately 1,100 facilities in the United States, pharmaceutical manufacturers are leading a period of significant medical breakthrough.

“As the employers of nearly 13 million Americans, manufacturers care deeply about lowering the cost of health care—and as the innovators behind many revolutionary medicines, manufacturers are also committed to delivering lifesaving and life-changing cures for people in this country and around the world,” said Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers. “In order to continue that work, we need policymakers to take an approach to drug pricing that protects our ability to provide quality health care and spur innovation, not squash it.”

Some approaches to lowering drug prices, such as international price indexing, which is a form of price fixing, would have adverse effects by preventing manufacturers from investing in life-saving innovations. These price controls act as a tax on manufacturers, leaving less money for research and development and fewer investments in potential cures for debilitating conditions and illnesses that affect millions of vulnerable people.

Instead, manufacturers urge policymakers to take more constructive solutions that preserve American innovation and quality of care.

“The men and women who keep U.S. manufacturing facilities running go to work every day with one goal: to keep Americans healthy,” said Timmons. “We know that our elected leaders share that goal as well, but good intentions must be paired with good policy.”

Press Releases

Ivanka Trump to Be Honored with NAM’s Alexander Hamilton Award for Extraordinary Support of Manufacturing in America

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers announced today that Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump will be the inaugural recipient of the association’s Alexander Hamilton Award.

The new award, presented to mark the 125th anniversary of the NAM and the launch of its historic “Creators Wanted” workforce campaign, recognizes leaders who, like Hamilton, inspire Americans to promote, perpetuate and preserve manufacturing in America.

“Ivanka Trump embodies the collaborative spirit and relentless drive needed to solve manufacturers’ most pressing challenge—the workforce crisis. Like no one in government has ever done, she has provided singular leadership and shown an unwavering commitment to modern manufacturing in America. The Alexander Hamilton Award honors leaders who have made exceptional contributions to growing manufacturing in the United States and to empowering more Americans with high-tech, high-paying modern manufacturing jobs,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “For her work bringing together leaders of industry, government and academia to put in-demand careers within reach for all Americans, Ivanka stands out as the perfect choice for this award.”

Trump is a champion of promoting the many pathways to well-paying, high-skilled manufacturing jobs. Last year, she attended an event at Alabama Robotics Technology Park in Huntsville to support the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME) program. The Manufacturing Institute—the workforce and education partner of the NAM—took over stewardship of the FAME program, originally developed and refined by Toyota, announcing the transition during the Huntsville event. FAME is the preeminent earn-and-learn manufacturing apprenticeship, employer-driven program that focuses on the culture of manufacturing along with the necessary technical skills. Trump also chairs the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, which provides advice and recommendations on ways to encourage the private sector and educational institutions to combat the skills gap crisis. Last July, Timmons joined President Trump and 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.

“As advances in technology and automation change the national economy, so too must the country’s education and job training systems change to prepare Americans for the emerging industries of the future, including advanced manufacturing,” said Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump. “America is home to the best workforce in the world, but the skills of today do not mirror those of tomorrow. I am committed to ensuring our workforce is equipped with the skills they need to seize the vast opportunities that lie ahead.”

The award will be presented in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 12, 2020, during an NAM event to kick off the “Creators Wanted” campaign—an unprecedented, nationwide effort to reshape America’s perception of manufacturing and confront the industry’s growing skills gap. Developed by the NAM and The Manufacturing Institute, “Creators Wanted” will feature an on-the-ground, interactive mobile tour in more than 20 states designed to inspire Americans to pursue high-tech, well-paying jobs in modern manufacturing.

“The stakes are high for the manufacturing industry to fill 4.6 million jobs by 2028, according to a study by The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte,” said Timmons. “To do that, the NAM will continue to work with leaders in both parties to solve the workforce crisis and to strengthen manufacturing for the future.” 


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 $2.37 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% 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 Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

-The NAM’s Alexander Hamilton Award-

Alexander Hamilton, the nation’s first secretary of the treasury, issued a Report on Manufacturers to the U.S. Congress in 1791. Concerned with the nation’s debt, dearth of foreign trade and overwhelming dependence on agriculture, he argued for the need to foster manufacturing to promote growth, security and overall well-being. Some considered his vision too radical at the time. His report represented, according to the words of one historian, “the grand design by which the United States became the greatest industrial power in the world.”

Press Releases

NAM Statement on the 2020 State of the Union Address

Manufacturers: In 2020, Partisan Division Does Not Have to Be a Barrier to Progress

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement reacting to the 2020 State of the Union address:

“With the historic USMCA, unprecedented China deal, game-changing tax reform and ever-growing regulatory certainty, manufacturers have been given powerful tools to keep investing in our people and our communities. We are ready to join the President in building on this progress and achieve the brighter, more optimistic future he envisioned tonight. It is up to manufacturers to continue keeping our promises—to invest in America, hire American workers and raise wages and benefits, while also providing environmental stewardship alongside economic growth.

“The manufacturing agenda is a post-partisan agenda, and one we have spelled out clearly for candidates and elected leaders in ‘Competing to Win.’ When we agree, as we often did with the President tonight, we will work together, regardless of party. For instance, President Trump is right to issue a bold call to action on infrastructure, and as the USMCA proved, partisan division does not have to be a barrier to progress. On the other hand, we must not curtail our pharmaceutical manufacturers’ ability to conduct vital research and development to cure diseases and fight future epidemics similar to the coronavirus. And on immigration, the solution must be comprehensive, as outlined in the NAM’s ‘A Way Forward.’

“All of us must come together to solve the most pressing challenge facing manufacturers: our workforce crisis. Through the NAM’s historic ‘Creators Wanted’ campaign, we are embarking on a sustained, nationwide effort to reach millions of Americans, to narrow the skills gap and inspire a new generation to pursue the high-tech, high-paying jobs of modern manufacturing.

“For manufacturers, it’s not about politics or personality or process—it’s about good policy, policy that puts us on a trajectory to exceed even our loftiest ambitions. That’s what we expect from our presidents and politicians, and we will hold them accountable, just as we promise to hold ourselves to account as well.”


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 $2.37 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% 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 Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Policy and Legal

Manufacturers Prepare for Iowa Caucuses

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Today, the Iowa caucuses will kick off the Democratic presidential primary, beginning the months-long process to decide which candidate will represent the party in November. As is so often the case, the men and women who make things in America are in a position to have their voices heard and play a leading role in determining the outcome—in Iowa and across the country.

Manufacturers account for almost 19% of Iowa’s total economic output, and the 233,000 manufacturing jobs in Iowa make up about 14% of the state’s workforce. Between those manufacturing workers and the tens of thousands more jobs and households supported by manufacturers’ indirect impact on Iowa’s economy, manufacturing voters are poised to play an important role in shaping Iowa’s election-night decision—and manufacturers are positioned to lead on solutions with voters and candidates alike.

“Support for pro-growth policies should span the political spectrum, and for the most part it does,” said Doug Neumann, executive director of the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance. “During his NAM State of Manufacturing Address, Jay’s message on ‘post-partisanship’ really resonated with the Iowa business community. In my community, we try to lead this way with our elected officials and work with whoever is elected to get things done.”

According to Nicole Crain, executive vice president of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry, the business community in Iowa wants a candidate who supports manufacturing issues and understands their challenges.

“Business leaders like certainty and the ability to plan investments in their business five, ten years into the future,” said Crain. “As the election gets closer, leaders will be looking for a candidate who understands business, is open to hearing the concerns of employers and considers their positions when proposing policies for the country.”

Trade, immigration and workforce are top of mind for manufacturers.

“Iowa manufacturing voters have a crucial role to play during the caucuses and throughout the 2020 election season,” said Michael O’Brien, NAM assistant vice president of advocacy. “That’s why the NAM will work diligently throughout the year to make sure that manufacturing voters understand the issues and the stakes for manufacturing come Election Day.”

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