Policy and Legal

Press Releases

NAM Announces New Board Leadership

Fitterling and Wengel Take Helm at a Pivotal Time for the Manufacturing Industry

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers announced the Executive Committee of its Board of Directors has elected Dow Inc. Chairman and CEO Jim Fitterling as board chair and appointed Johnson & Johnson Executive Vice President and Chief Global Supply Chain Officer Kathy Wengel as vice chair.

With the industry on the front lines of an ongoing pandemic, supply chain disruptions, a persistent worker shortage and critical policy debates, these manufacturing leaders will take charge at a particularly consequential time.

“Jim and Kathy have well-earned reputations as respected and visionary leaders of renowned global brands. We have many challenges to confront, and they will ensure our industry continues to lead our recovery and leverage new innovations to raise standards of living in America and around the world,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “And no matter what comes our way, our association and industry remain steadfastly committed to policies that uphold the values that make America exceptional: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity.”

“Manufacturing is vital to the long-term sustainability and prosperity of our citizens and our economy and continues to play an increasing role in solving some of the greatest challenges facing society,” said Fitterling. “It is a privilege to represent such a critical sector as board chair of the NAM, which is committed to continually advancing our collaboration across business, government, academia and all stakeholders for the betterment of all people and our planet.”

“The NAM is widely respected for its unique ability to convene key stakeholders and address important challenges across the manufacturing industry,” said Wengel. “Now more than ever, market dynamics and the acceleration of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are providing important opportunities to advance policies that foster growth, promote sustainable manufacturing and ensure readiness and diversity of the workforce of the future. I look forward to continuing to work with fellow members and the incredible staff that make up this organization to confront the challenges of today, while addressing our industry’s needs for tomorrow.”

The NAM Board of Directors guides the association’s leadership in policy advocacy, workforce solutions, legal action, operational excellence and news and insights. More than 200 manufacturing leaders serve on the NAM Board, helping the industry advance an agenda that promotes growth and prosperity for all Americans.

The new board chair was elected at the December meeting of the Executive Committee of the NAM Board. Additionally, the NAM announced significant promotions for key staff members effective Jan. 1, 2022.

-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 12.5 million men and women, contributes $2.52 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

Fender Fights Counterfeiting

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Manufacturers want counterfeiters to face the music.

That’s the message from Fender Musical Instruments Corporation—one of the world’s leading manufacturers of guitars, basses and amplifiers and an iconic brand recognized by millions. The company is urging Congress to step up protections for manufacturers and increase oversight of third-party sellers that can unintentionally contribute to the sale of counterfeit merchandise.

The problem: Manufacturers like Fender routinely face threats to their brand from counterfeit products. In 2021 alone, the company identified almost 32,000 listings of Fender products online for potential trademark infringement. Nearly 70% of those flagged listings were suspected of being counterfeit products. Yet, because those products are often sold anonymously through third-party online marketplaces, it can be difficult to go after the groups and individuals who create and supply fake merchandise.

Consumer issues: Counterfeits don’t just rob consumers of an authentic Fender experience; they can also create safety concerns. Guitars and amps with electrical components have been tested and perfected to ensure a safe product, but counterfeit and fake products come with no such guarantee.

A global challenge: Fender isn’t the only manufacturer facing issues around counterfeits and copyright infringement. According to the NAM’s research, fake and counterfeit products cost the United States $131 billion and 325,000 jobs in 2019 alone, and the global trade in counterfeits may exceed $500 billion every single year. That puts an enormous burden on manufacturers and consumers alike.

Our move: The NAM is leading the fight against counterfeit products. Our report, “Countering Counterfeits,” includes a series of suggested solutions to help the federal government and the private sector work together against fake merchandise, including:

  • Requiring e-commerce platforms to reduce the availability of counterfeits;
  • Modernizing enforcement laws and tactics to keep pace with counterfeiting technology;
  • Streamlining government coordination;
  • Improving private-sector collaboration; and
  • Empowering consumers to avoid counterfeit goods.

The word from Fender: “Protecting consumers starts with protecting the manufacturers who have built a name by putting out the best and safest products,” said Executive Vice President of Operations and Co-President of the Fender Play Foundation Ed Magee in his letter to Congress. “By working together with online marketplaces, manufacturers and trademark holders can proactively work toward preventing counterfeit goods from entering the stream of commerce, while also reactively working together to track down fraudulent sellers. When manufacturers and online marketplace vendors come together like this, the consumer is the ultimate winner.”

Press Releases

Manufacturers: Today’s Ruling Does Not Change the Fact That Getting Vaccinated Is the Best Defense Against COVID-19

Washington, D.C. – Following the Supreme Court’s decision to block the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccine-or-test requirement for large workplaces, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:

“Manufacturers have a profound commitment to protecting employees and communities. It’s why we have been at the forefront of innovating and sustaining safe workplace practices from the very beginning of the pandemic and promoting the benefits of getting vaccinated. That’s how we have been able to continue delivering for the American people—even when the challenges seem insurmountable.

“Today’s ruling does not change the fact that getting vaccinated is the best defense against COVID-19 and central to our ability to keep businesses and schools open and prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed. Manufacturers believe strongly in getting our teams armed against COVID-19, and we appreciate the administration’s sustained focus on making vaccines accessible to every American.

“We call on all Americans to make the choice to get vaccinated, get boosted when eligible and wear the appropriate mask in public places—so that we can save lives, protect our economy and get through this latest wave of infection. We must all do our part, so join us in rolling up your sleeves and moving forward together toward brighter, healthier, more prosperous days.”

-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 12.5 million men and women, contributes $2.52 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

Supreme Court Reviews Stay of Vaccine Mandate

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The Supreme Court is reviewing state and business led efforts to block two of President Biden’s signature vaccine mandate policies according to The Washington Post.

The policies: “One measure requires large private companies to implement a requirement for employees to either be vaccinated for COVID-19 or mask and be tested weekly. The second applies to health-care workers at facilities that receive certain federal funding. Together, the cases test a signature aspect of the White House’s response to the pandemic that has killed more than 800,000 people in the United States.”

The challenges: All of the court action on the cases so far has revolved around whether the rules should be stayed while the courts review the legality of the rules.  Lower courts have been divided over the policies. After the administration announced the rule for private companies, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit blocked its enforcement. Shortly after that, A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit lifted the stay, and said the rules could go into effect. A similar split occurred around the healthcare mandate, with one court saying the rules could go forward and another court blocking them.

The Supreme issue: According to NAM Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly, while the Supreme Court is considering only whether the policies should be stayed or allowed to go into effect while lower courts hear legal challenges to the provisions, the arguments covered several pivotal issues that go to the underlying merits of the challengers’ case.  Throughout the two-hour oral argument, the Justices and advocates sparred over whether federal agencies (v. Congress or the States) have the authority to impose the mandates, whether the mandates are overbroad and should instead target only certain high-risk workplaces, the extent to which vaccines are “necessary” (i.e., whether other mitigation measures would adequately protect workers), and whether the pandemic constitutes an emergency allowing the government to bypass notice and comment rulemaking. We expect the Court to issue a decision within the next few days.

Get vaxxed: Getting vaccinated is still important in order to protect yourself and the people around you. Check out the This Is Our Shot – a collaboration between NAM and The Manufacturing Institute – for tools and information.

Policy and Legal

Global Semiconductor Shortage Leads to Backordered Gifts

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A shortage of semiconductors continues to roil manufacturers across the country. NAM Vice President of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources Policy Robyn Boerstling joined us to discuss what’s going on, why it matters and what the NAM is doing to help.

What semiconductors are: Semiconductors are critical components for all types of manufactured products. Essentially, they serve as the “brains” of medical devices and electronic devices from automobiles to home appliances to personal electronics. A shortage in semiconductors creates ripples across the manufacturing industry.

What we’re seeing: Christmas is around the corner, and American consumers are discovering that some backordered products may have delivery dates up to a year away. But the chip shortage also has longer-term implications. As more technologies become essential to daily life and Manufacturing 4.0 advances in the industry, a reliable supply of semiconductors will be more important than ever. Manufacturers will need steady, secure supply chains in order to guarantee smooth production.

What we can do: For now, there’s only so much policymakers can do to speed up production. Most semiconductors are manufactured in Asia, and deliveries are being hindered by everything from COVID-19 impacts to natural disasters. According to Boerstling, the eventual goal should be to create a robust semiconductor industry in the United States so that U.S. manufacturers are less reliant on foreign supply chains.

  • “This is a global crisis,” said Boerstling. “We need to be thinking about how to build resiliency in the supply chain. COVID has taught everyone the importance of manufacturing domestically and ensuring that we have the supplies we need to make products in the United States. That will require rebuilding our semiconductor manufacturing capacity through a combination of grants and incentives to make sure it’s competitive globally.”

Congress’s chance: Legislation to buttress the U.S. semiconductor industry has made it to both the House and the Senate, but differing bills have left Congress with a mismatch. The House passed a bipartisan CHIPS Act in an authorization last year, but it lacked funding. Meanwhile, the Senate passed funding through the United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021, but the legislation hasn’t been taken up in the House. Action is urgently needed, and Congress has the tools to move forward. Now, they need to act.

NAM’s role: The NAM is deeply engaged in conversations with lawmakers in the House and Senate to help shape a way forward that supports manufacturers and delivers the help American consumers need.

  • “The NAM is working with people in Congress and with manufacturers across the country to make sure lawmakers understand how important this is,” said Boerstling. “We’re looking forward to the House and Senate coming to an agreement.”
Press Releases

Manufacturers Fully Support Congressional Action on the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act

Washington, D.C. — Following U.S. House of Representatives passage of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act by a vote of 428–1, National Association of Manufacturers Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Relations Aric Newhouse released the following statement:

“Manufacturers strongly condemn and oppose all forms of forced labor in China and around the world, so we fully support congressional action on the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act to ensure that goods produced with forced labor do not enter the United States. Upon full enactment of the legislation, manufacturers look forward to working with relevant government agencies to ensure the law is implemented with predictable processes, clear requirements and effective enforcement to support our shared goal of eradicating forced labor.”

-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 12.5 million men and women, contributes $2.5 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 on Petroleum Release: “Today’s Action Is, Unfortunately, Just a Band-Aid”

Washington, D.C. — Following President Joe Biden’s decision to release 50 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:

“Today’s action is, unfortunately, just a band-aid. Tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve won’t solve the underlying problems. While we are pleased that President Biden is focusing on the rising cost of fuel, this is not a sustainable solution.

“A true energy strategy would strengthen our energy independence, enhance manufacturers’ competitiveness and alleviate many of the other supply chain challenges facing our nation. Instead of asking OPEC and Russia to fill the void, we should let American energy workers take the lead, setting an example with America’s high standards for protecting workers and the environment. Manufacturers call on the Biden administration to work toward real, longer-term solutions for the good of our families, industry and economy.”

-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 12.5 million men and women, contributes $2.5 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

Reconciliation Bill Puts Tax Target on Manufacturers

Washington, D.C. – Following the vote on the Build Back Better Act in the U.S. House of Representatives, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement:

“This bill, regardless of its intentions, is paid for by taxes that will hit manufacturers harder than other industries. We oppose this legislation that would stifle our ability to expand our operations, hire more workers and raise wages and benefits. This comes at a time when Americans are counting on manufacturers to lead our recovery and respond to supply chain challenges. The ‘book tax’ in particular harms manufacturers more than others because it increases the cost of machinery and equipment purchases, which are central to manufacturers’ operations and our ability to create and support American jobs. The tax reforms of 2017 gave manufacturers the tools to invest in our people and our communities, making 2018 the best year for manufacturing job creation in more than two decades. We should build on that progress—not return to archaic tax policies or target manufacturers with new taxes.

“We also strongly oppose the new provisions on drug pricing that will slow down pharmaceutical manufacturers’ capability to further accelerate the type of innovation that helped us fight back against COVID-19. Congress should not be putting future cures at risk. Manufacturers call on senators to oppose this bill.”

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 3.0% and continued going up—by 2.8% in 2019 and 3.0% 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 12.5 million men and women, contributes $2.52 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

SEC Reverses on Proxy Firm Rule

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has made an about-face on commonsense investor protections it adopted last year to provide appropriate oversight of so-called proxy advisory firms—and the NAM is pushing back.

The background: Last year, the NAM won a major victory when the SEC published a new rule to regulate proxy firms, which have significant influence over public company governance decisions and the performance of shareholders’ investments. Now under new leadership, the SEC has so far refused to enforce the rule—and yesterday, the commission issued a new proposal that would wipe out important progress.

What it means: The rule secured by the NAM ensured that investors would have access to more complete and accurate information before casting proxy votes. The SEC’s new proposal would reverse the rule’s requirements that proxy firms engage with public companies—specifically rescinding the provisions mandating that the firms provide copies of their recommendations to impacted businesses and notify investors when those businesses file a response. The new proposal also weakens the SEC’s anti-fraud standards for materially misleading statements published by proxy firms.

A deeper dive: Beyond the rule itself, the action points to larger problems at the SEC.

  • Politics over policy: By reversing a rule that had been developed over the course of a decade through leadership from both political parties and with significant input from all sectors, the SEC is undercutting the capital markets’ need for a steady, apolitical regulator.
  • Not the first time: Even before yesterday’s rule change, the SEC had unlawfully refused to enforce the existing proxy firm rule. The NAM filed suit last month to force the SEC to abide by laws on the books.
  • Arbitrary changes: The 2020 rule was set to take effect on Dec. 1 of this year, so the SEC had no new information about its impact on the market when it voted to reverse course—raising serious questions about the commission’s compliance with the Administrative Procedure Act’s prohibition on “arbitrary and capricious” rulemaking.

Next steps: The NAM is challenging the SEC’s nonenforcement of the 2020 rule in court, and we will continue to hold the SEC’s feet to the fire. We will also engage with the SEC on its new proposal and will push back on the commission’s attempts to remove these critical investor protections.

What we’re saying: NAM Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Relations Aric Newhouse released a statement on the SEC’s about-face: “The NAM is extremely concerned that the SEC has proposed substantial revisions to last year’s reasonable, light-touch proxy advisory firm rule—especially absent any new information about its impact on the market. Businesses and investors need reliable rules of the road, and the NAM is disappointed that the SEC plans to reverse course on a decade’s worth of bipartisan, consensus-driven policymaking just a year after the rule’s reforms were finalized. The SEC’s about-face is deeply troubling, but manufacturers continue to support appropriate oversight of proxy firms given their conflicts of interest, errors and outsized influence. The NAM looks forward to engaging with the SEC to defend the rule’s commonsense investor protections in the coming months.”

What they’re saying: Don’t take our word for it; check out this in-depth examination from professors Paul Rose and Christopher J. Walker at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, who explore the policy and legal concerns around the SEC’s actions.

Press Releases

Manufacturers on Kigali: We Can Tackle Climate Change While Strengthening Our Global Competitiveness

Washington, D.C. – Following President Biden’s sending of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol for ratification by the Senate, the National Association of Manufacturers Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Rachel Jones released the below statement:

“Manufacturers thank President Biden for submitting the Kigali Amendment to the Senate and urge bipartisan support for ratification. We can tackle climate change while strengthening our global competitiveness as we transition to next-generation technologies.

“By joining the more than 125 countries that have already ratified the Amendment, we have set ourselves on a path to create up to 150,000 jobs in the United States and aid in the reduction of billions of tons of CO2 in the atmosphere. We urge policymakers to support Kigali ratification and prove that smart policy can be a win for the economy 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 12.5 million men and women, contributes $2.5 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.

 

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