Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement after President Joe Biden signed an executive order on supply chains.
“Manufacturers have led the nation’s response to COVID-19 by ramping up production of critical supplies, developing treatments and vaccines and continuing to produce the essentials for daily life. But the pandemic has also exposed serious challenges facing supply chains and the serious consequences when they are disrupted. We are encouraged to see that the Biden administration is taking action to address these challenges. Last year, the NAM released policy proposals for ‘Strengthening the Manufacturing Supply Chain,’ and our plan can continue to serve as a roadmap as we move forward while ensuring that we do not close off access to critical components or resources that our lifesaving and life-changing products require.
“The administration’s goal of increasing manufacturing investment in the United States is one we share. And their focus on key sectors, like the pharmaceutical manufacturers whose incredible innovation is saving lives and arming us against COVID-19, will help us emerge stronger from this crisis. We look forward to working with the Biden administration to bolster supply chains and create new job opportunities in America.”
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 $2.32 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 NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.
There’s a new administration in town, and the NAM also has a new trade policy leader—who is already out promoting manufacturers’ agenda. Ken Monahan became the NAM’s Vice President of International Economic Affairs in January after nearly six years at the organization, and he is perfectly equipped to represent the industry on these crucial issues.
Monahan recently spoke to us about the organization’s priorities for the year ahead. Here’s what you need to know.
The big picture: “The NAM’s priority is to stand up for manufacturers and manufacturing workers in the United States by ensuring that our trading partners hold up their end of the bargain, while also working to open markets for American-made exports and promote U.S. supply chains,” says Monahan.
USMCA and Trade Enforcement: The NAM achieved a victory when Congress passed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, but although the agreement is already being implemented, the NAM’s work is not yet finished. The focus now turns to ensuring that Mexico and Canada follow through on their USMCA commitments, while also holding other U.S. partners accountable as well.
- “Manufacturers continue to face trade barriers and other measures in countries with which the United States has trade agreements, notably in Mexico,” said Monahan. “We stand ready to work with the Biden administration and Congress to ensure that U.S. trade agreement partners treat our industry fairly, which will support manufacturers and manufacturing jobs here in America through an increase in exports.”
China: Given the rise of China, U.S. ties to the country and the size of the Chinese market, we need a strong strategy going forward. The United States must put consistent, targeted pressure on China – directly and with allies – to reverse its illegal subsidies, intellectual property theft and discriminatory industrial policies, says Monahan.
- “We must work with allies to set a clear, strong strategy on China, leveraging our strengths to halt problematic Chinese behaviors and level the playing field for manufacturers,” said Monahan. “We need strong American leadership to ensure that the United States – and not China – is writing the rules of global trade to benefit manufacturers and employees in America.”
Opening New Markets: Beyond China, it is vital that U.S. policymakers work to open new markets and ensure that the rules-based global trading system allows manufacturers to confront challenges in markets around the world, says Monahan.
- “We need to revitalize the rules-based international trading system and pursue new trade agreements to reverse unfair barriers, enhance the role of free market forces, promote respect for the rule of law and propel manufacturing innovation around the world,” said Monahan. “This is all the more important given that our competitors are pursuing their own deals with countries with which the United States does not have trade agreements.”
The bottom line: “As we engage with the Biden administration and legislators of both parties to promote a trade policy that opens markets for American-made exports and promotes U.S. supply chains, we must put a spotlight on the American manufacturing employees whose jobs depend on trade,” said Monahan. “We want to tell their stories. We want to share at every opportunity how trade is lifting up these employees and their communities. That’s our focus, and we’re excited to get to work alongside the NAM’s members.”
As President Biden pushes for a majority of elementary schools to be open five days a week by the end of his first 100 days in office, the Federal Communications Commission is engaged in an important effort to ensure students learning remotely are still connected to their classrooms.
The big shift: The FCC is updating the E-Rate program, which supports broadband access for schools and libraries, to allow funds to be used for at-home learning—and the NAM has advocated for this change.
Why it matters: While President Biden is aiming to send more kids back to school soon, it’s clear that they need more assistance while they are still at home. In addition, high school students may stay home for longer than elementary school kids (due to higher risks of contagion among older students) and thus require longer-term support.
Our view: “Ensuring the FCC’s current programs for schools and libraries are adapting to meet these new remote needs is of critical importance, and the cost of not responding to the changing environment is high,” said NAM Director of Innovation Policy Stephanie Hall in a comment letter to the FCC. “The FCC should coordinate with the Department of Education on necessary revisions to the E-Rate program or to build consensus on new alternatives that can close the digital divide.”
In related news, the FCC held a roundtable last Friday to discuss how to quickly implement the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program—another important initiative for manufacturing communities. Established late last year, the initiative allocates $3.2 billion for discounts on internet service for people who are struggling financially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- What it includes: The program offers up to $50 per month for eligible consumers and up to $75 per month for eligible consumers on Tribal Lands. Some eligible participants can also receive discounts on personal computers or laptops.
The last word: As Hall says, “Manufacturers recognize that enhanced broadband investment and the growth of next generation wireless networks are critical both for the current challenges in COVID-19 and to support continued U.S. technological leadership.”
Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement following the announcement of Suzanne Clark to succeed Tom Donohue as CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“Congratulations to my friend Suzanne Clark on her appointment to lead the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Extraordinarily well respected by her peers, fiercely dedicated to the success of American enterprise and constantly guided by a clear moral compass, she’s long been a strong advocate in the association community. And now, as she steps up as the Chamber’s new CEO, the business association community will be turning to her for inspiration and guidance as we all chart the way forward during this consequential moment in our nation’s history.
“More than ever, our country is counting on the business community to lead—to be part of the solution in healing the divisions in America, in defeating COVID-19 and in rebuilding our economy. We are being called upon to be champions for the values that make the United States exceptional—free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity. And perhaps like no time before, we have a critical role to play in safeguarding our precious American democracy. Knowing Suzanne’s firm belief in this mission, I look forward to working alongside her in the years ahead.
“The NAM and the Chamber have long enjoyed a special relationship, sharing many state and national industry association partners and working together to advance policies that create opportunities for America’s manufacturing workers. Under Suzanne’s leadership, I have no doubt that our partnership will continue to thrive and grow even stronger.
“I also congratulate Tom Donohue on a storied career. He is a true friend and has been a valued mentor. I’ve learned so much from him through the years. Tom is an institution, and he leaves a formidable legacy of growth and success as a champion of American business. I wish him great happiness in his retirement and look forward to the time when we can all gather together and raise a glass to his phenomenal contributions.”
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 12.2 million men and women, contributes $2.32 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 NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.
Key members of Congress are seeking to include a significant rollback of net operating loss relief in a COVID-19 relief bill, according to Politico (subscription).
What it is: When a company’s deductible expenses are greater than its revenues, it results in a net operating loss. Under the CARES Act, companies with losses from 2018, 2019 and 2020 can carry these losses back for the five previous years and have the losses offset up to 100% of taxable income, providing critical liquidity through tax refunds.
- Some members of Congress now want to limit carrybacks of businesses’ 2020 losses to only two prior tax years, while also limiting the amount of relief for pass-throughs.
Why it matters: The provision provides important liquidity support, especially for small and medium-sized manufacturers. Eliminating or reducing it could make it more challenging for manufacturers to keep workers on the payroll and stay in business, says NAM Senior Director of Tax Policy David Eiselsberg. Ultimately, it would amount to a major retroactive tax increase on businesses and workers that are critical to our pandemic response.
Blast from the past: As President Barack Obama said in a 2009 interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, “The last thing you want to do is raise taxes in the middle of a recession.”
A more recent statement: Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said during her confirmation hearing that the Biden administration’s “focus right now is not on tax increases; it’s on programs to help us through the pandemic.”
The NAM says: “Net operating loss relief is a vital tool for manufacturers that are working hard to stay in business and support their employees across the country,” said Eiselsberg. “Undoing this critical liquidity support would not only hurt the ability of businesses to get through the pandemic but would also result in a retroactive tax increase on a sector that is key to America’s success.”
Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on the Biden administration’s use of the Defense Production Act:
“Manufacturers have consistently advised the federal government that the Defense Production Act is most productive if deployed in a way that fosters partnership and provides incentives—rather than imposing demands or punitive measures.
“With this announcement, the Biden administration is demonstrating that they have listened to manufacturers and are seeking a true partnership in defeating COVID-19.
“These measures will strengthen our ability to continue providing the treatments and vaccines that we need to save lives, the equipment we need to protect frontline workers and the food and supplies that families need for their everyday lives. Manufacturers stand ready to continue doing our part.
“We will also continue to set the standard for safe behaviors—wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands and, when able, getting vaccinated.”
Background: In December 2020, the NAM sent a letter to members of the Biden COVID-19 Advisory Board, providing manufacturers’ insights on constructive uses of the DPA.
Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on President Joe Biden’s climate executive orders:
“Climate change is a global challenge that requires a global solution and a global partnership, and manufacturers are committed to solving the problem. We believe in an all-of-government approach to the challenge and an all-in approach to energy production. Manufacturers work hard every day developing and producing products that bring down emissions while exploring alternative energy options. But as we build our bridge to the future, we must not sacrifice our security today. North American energy independence is vital to our economic strength and for supporting families and American jobs. We cannot put that at risk by acting without a true global partnership on energy and environmental policy.
“Manufacturers have been calling on Congress to enact a single unified climate policy that meets science-based targets, ensures a level playing field without carbon leakage and preserves consumer choice and manufacturing competitiveness. Government leaders must ensure that manufacturers in the United States—the very people who are developing the technologies and processes that will help us meet the challenge—can continue innovating ways to reduce emissions, protect the environment, provide domestic energy and create jobs.”
The NAM outlined our goals and solutions in our climate policy blueprint, “The Promise Ahead.”
Washington, D.C. – As worldwide cases of COVID-19 reached a sobering new milestone of 100 million people, the National Association of Manufacturers and The Manufacturing Institute—the workforce development and education partner of the NAM—are launching a new project taking direct aim at vaccine hesitancy and stopping the virus in its tracks by convincing more Americans to prepare to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. This project follows the NAM’s nearly year-long campaign imploring Americans to follow CDC guidelines, such as wearing a mask and social distancing.
The project, called “This Is Our Shot,” seeks to boost COVID-19 vaccine acceptance among manufacturing team members, their families and their communities through a multifaceted national campaign. With another grave milestone breached and the virus mutating, the country’s response and recovery is depending on manufacturing workers more than ever.
As part of the launch, the NAM released “I Love Frank,” a public service announcement highlighting why manufacturers are rolling up their sleeves to get a COVID-19 vaccine: to protect their family, coworkers and the people they love. The PSA will run across various social media and digital platforms and is the first in a series that will be released in 2021.
“One hundred million people have now been impacted by this horrible disease. Asking all Americans to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated against COVID-19 is a pivotal step toward stopping this upward trend, putting millions of people back to work and eradicating this virus. That’s why today the National Association of Manufacturers and The Manufacturing Institute launched ‘This is Our Shot,’ to get more people armed against COVID-19 and to protect the people we care about,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons.
“This project builds on our months of work advocating the use of face masks and other smart health measures to protect all Americans as we continue to share our insights with the Biden administration and state officials to help defeat COVID-19. Now is our opportunity as a country to end this pandemic. Our future depends on all of us rolling up our sleeves and getting armed against COVID-19.”
The project, live at NAM.org/ThisIsOurShot, includes six main components: (1) science-based messaging research; (2) emergency industry convening and education, such as webinars; (3) an online vaccine information hub; (4) a PSA campaign; (5) a Yellow and Red Ribbon initiative (for vaccinated individuals to show their peers they’re a part of the fight); and (6) a rapid response media and digital campaign. Resources available at NAM.org/ThisIsOurShot will be updated regularly, providing the latest information and tools for vaccine outreach and access.
Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on President Joe Biden’s executive orders aimed at combatting COVID-19:
“Manufacturers commend the Biden administration for their laser focus on defeating the pandemic and for treating COVID-19 with the seriousness it deserves. Manufacturers stand ready to continue doing our part—from keeping workplaces and communities safe to providing the food, supplies, vaccines and treatments needed to sustain life. We will also continue to set the standard for safe behaviors—wearing masks, distancing, washing hands and, when able, getting vaccinated.
“A smart, targeted partnership between the administration and manufacturers can shape the use of the Defense Production Act to maximize its potential and effectiveness. Leveraging government purchasing power and investment to increase the production of personal protective equipment, vaccines and other critical supplies while collaborating with manufacturers that are eager to contribute in every way possible can help us all achieve the goals outlined today.
“A similar approach is necessary from OSHA as well. Manufacturers’ highest priority remains the health and safety of our teams, families and communities. Throughout the pandemic, we have set the standard in developing protocols to provide workers with facilities free from hazards and to safeguard their operations. What manufacturers need now is clear, science-based information on how COVID-19 spreads, and any rules or standards should provide the flexibility necessary for companies to implement health protocols tailored to the unique circumstances of their shop floors and work environments.
“We look forward to continuing to be a source of information and insight for the Biden administration as we work to unite the country around a successful strategy to save lives and rebuild the economy.”
In April 2020, the NAM released its “American Renewal Action Plan,” which outlined policy recommendations to combat COVID-19 and spur economic growth.
In December 2020, the NAM sent a letter to members of the Biden COVID-19 Advisory Board, providing manufacturers’ insights on constructive uses of the DPA.
In January, the NAM sent a letter to Labor Secretary nominee Marty Walsh outlining manufacturers’ views on OSHA’s approach to COVID-19 safety protocols.
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 $2.32 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 NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org
As President Joe Biden took office yesterday, the NAM took a pragmatic stance, calling this new political era “a time for healing.” As NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons put it, “Today, manufacturers recommit ourselves to be part of the solution—to be part of the healing process. We invite all Americans to join us in doing the same.”
And since the new president started his first day with a flurry of executive orders, the NAM responded to those, too. Here’s a rundown of the new policies, plus the NAM’s statements.
Immigration: While also moving to reverse a ban on immigration from certain Muslim-majority countries, President Biden strengthened the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, offering support to the so-called Dreamers. He called on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform that provides Dreamers with permanent status and a path to citizenship.
- Responding to the DACA action, Timmons said, “Manufacturers are very encouraged by today’s critical first step. . . . The broad goals of the Biden plan align with many of the core recommendations in ‘A Way Forward,’ manufacturers’ post-partisan roadmap for immigration reform. The path we have laid out is one that we believe can bring the country together, and we look forward to working with the Biden administration to move a comprehensive immigration reform plan through Congress.”
Keystone XL: President Biden also rescinded the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, at least temporarily erecting a barrier to its progress.
- “Manufacturers are disappointed with the administration’s decision to block this sustainable project, which can serve as a model for infrastructure of the future, and if not reconsidered, represents a missed opportunity for manufacturing workers in America,” said Timmons. “Manufacturers have a strong commitment to responsible environmental stewardship, and protecting our environment does not require us to walk away from his job-creating opportunity.”
COVID-19: Ten executive orders focused on combating the COVID-19 pandemic, according to CNBC. The NAM had called for aggressive actions to support manufacturers’ COVID-19 response months ago, including in its April “American Renewal Action Plan” and, mostly recently, in conversations with the transition team.
- The orders included a new COVID-19 response office as well as a pandemic supply chain resilience strategy to help strengthen domestic production of important supplies.
- President Biden also restored U.S. membership in the World Health Organization and directed agencies to use the Defense Production Act to spur production of critical materials like N95 masks, swabs and other vaccine- and virus-related equipment.
“It’s very encouraging to see [President Biden] is starting off with strong, decisive action to fight COVID-19, save lives and get our economy on the road to recovery,” said Timmons on Twitter. “Manufacturers are committed to ending this deadly pandemic.”
Masks on: One of President Biden’s orders will now require masks to be worn on federal property, and he plans to require masks on public transportation as well. The NAM has prioritized face coverings since the beginning of the pandemic, including by launching a “Wear a Face Covering” ad campaign and providing a crucial estimate of how many masks American businesses need.
- “President Joe Biden is showing real leadership with his executive orders on masks,” said Timmons. “Masks save lives, help us keep our economy open and are vital until we can all get vaccinated.”