Policy and Legal

Press Releases

COMPETES Act Supports Manufacturers’ Call for Stronger Stance on China, Addresses Inflation

Timmons: Lawmakers can feel confident that supporting this bill means supporting the future of manufacturing in America

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement today on the introduction of the America COMPETES Act by the U.S. House of Representatives:

“The introduction of the America COMPETES Act, which includes many components of the overwhelmingly bipartisan U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, is a major step forward, and lawmakers can feel confident that supporting this bill means supporting the future of manufacturing in America. Not only would its provisions help address inflation and alleviate supply chain challenges we’re facing today, but the bill provides significant investment in U.S. semiconductor manufacturing, which would also help us avert future crises. This bill also includes funding for a Supply Chain Resilience and Crisis Response Office at the Department of Commerce. I’ve discussed the programs that this office would oversee with Secretary Raimondo, and manufacturers strongly back these initiatives, which would include game-changing grants, loans and loan guarantees.

“This legislation would strengthen U.S. leadership in global climate innovation, improve environmental research and fill critical gaps in data—all while holding China accountable as the world’s biggest emitter. Manufacturers look forward to working with Congress on all elements of this legislation to ensure it meets the needs of our industry and supports America’s manufacturing workers and American families by putting the United States in a much stronger competitive position toward China.

“We will work to get it passed through the House and then work with the Senate to ensure that final legislation achieves the critical shared goals of this bill and the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act and makes it to the president’s desk.”

-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

Sharpening America’s Competitive Edge

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The Biden administration is making new commitments to semiconductor production and planning new policies designed to bring STEM talent to the United States—and manufacturing leaders are weighing in.

The background: Last week, the White House announced a series of actions to attract STEM talent, to strengthen the U.S. economy and to improve American competitiveness around the world.

What we’re saying: NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons joined Manufacturing Institute President Carolyn Lee in praising the actions, while also pushing for continued work on these critical issues.

  • “The supply chain and economic disruptions facing American families and the manufacturing industry are driven in part by the severe worker shortage and by the serious chip shortage,” said Timmons. “Today, the White House has announced promising developments on both fronts, and we will work with the administration and Congress to build on this progress even further.”
  • “Manufacturers are leading America’s recovery, but we still need to hire more than 800,000 workers right now,” said Lee. “And according to the MI’s research with Deloitte, we will have 4 million jobs to fill by the end of the decade, 2.1 million of which could go unfilled if current trends continue. That sustained need is why the NAM and the MI launched our nationwide Creators Wanted workforce campaign. It’s why we have long focused on programs and policies of all types that will grow the pool of STEM talent in America. We have to come at this crisis from every angle, and the MI and the entire industry will continue using every tool at our disposal to inspire, educate and empower the next generation of creators.”

The road ahead: Timmons highlighted the path forward and noted additional important actions to meet current and future needs.

  • On semiconductor production: “To ramp up domestic semiconductor production, we can’t stop at today’s action, though,” said Timmons. “Too many manufacturing sectors have been unable to deliver the products American families need because they lack key components. Manufacturers are working overtime to overcome this challenge, but Congress has to do its part, which means passing USICA. Doing so will not only shore up our recovery and ease supply chain strains but also strengthen our economy and national security.”

On attracting STEM talent: “These immigration policies will also undoubtedly sharpen America’s competitive edge and help us outpace and out-innovate the rest of the world,” said Timmons. “In far too many cases, we’ve seen brilliant minds educated at American universities leave because our outdated immigration system doesn’t let them put their talents to work for America’s future. Now we can start to reverse that trend, among other key policy changes. As part of ‘A Way Forward,’ our plan for comprehensive immigration reform, we have long called for immigration policies that are responsive to clear economic needs. These policies meet that test, meaning that they will benefit our workers, our communities and our industry, empowering us to create even more opportunities for the American people.”

Press Releases

Manufacturing Leaders Welcome White House STEM Policy Push

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons and Manufacturing Institute President Carolyn Lee released the following statement on the administration’s announcements on semiconductor production and new policy efforts to attract STEM talent to the United States:

“The supply chain and economic disruptions facing American families and the manufacturing industry are driven in part by the severe worker shortage and by the serious chip shortage. Today, the White House has announced promising developments on both fronts, and we will work with the administration and Congress to build on this progress even further,” said Timmons. “To ramp up domestic semiconductor production, we can’t stop at today’s action, though. Too many manufacturing sectors have been unable to deliver the products American families need because they lack key components. Manufacturers are working overtime to overcome this challenge, but Congress has to do its part, which means passing USICA. Doing so will not only shore up our recovery and ease supply chain strains but also strengthen our economy and national security.

“These immigration policies will also undoubtedly sharpen America’s competitive edge and help us outpace and out-innovate the rest of the world. In far too many cases, we’ve seen brilliant minds educated at American universities leave because our outdated immigration system doesn’t let them put their talents to work for America’s future. Now we can start to reverse that trend, among other key policy changes. As part of ‘A Way Forward,’ our plan for comprehensive immigration reform, we have long called for immigration policies that are responsive to clear economic needs. These policies meet that test, meaning that they will benefit our workers, our communities and our industry, empowering us to create even more opportunities for the American people.”

“Manufacturers are leading America’s recovery, but we still need to hire more than 800,000 workers right now,” said Lee. “And according to the MI’s research with Deloitte, we will have 4 million jobs to fill by the end of the decade, 2.1 million of which could go unfilled if current trends continue. That sustained need is why the NAM and the MI launched our nationwide Creators Wanted workforce campaign. It’s why we have long focused on programs and policies of all types that will grow the pool of STEM talent in America. We have to come at this crisis from every angle, and the MI and the entire industry will continue using every tool at our disposal to inspire, educate and empower the next generation of creators.”

“All in all, it’s a day of positive developments for manufacturing in America,” added Timmons.

-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.

-The MI-

The MI grows and supports the manufacturing industry’s skilled workers for the advancement of modern manufacturing. The MI’s diverse initiatives support all workers in America, including women, veterans and students, through skills training programs, community building and the advancement of their career in manufacturing. As the workforce development and education partner of the NAM, the MI is a trusted adviser to manufacturers, equipping them with resources necessary to solve the industry’s toughest challenges. For more information on the MI, please visit www.themanufacturinginstitute.org.

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

NAM Pursues Comprehensive Proxy Strategy

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The NAM is fighting aggressively to preserve a hard-won proxy firm rule and to scrap a new proposal from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that would gut its vital reforms.

The background: In 2020, the NAM won a major victory when the SEC published a new rule on proxy advisory firms—increasing transparency into the firms’ conflicts of interest and enhancing communication among proxy firms, companies and investors. But new leadership at the SEC has reversed course, unlawfully refusing to enforce the rule and issuing a new proposal that could wipe out important progress.

Order in the court: The NAM has pursued a double-barreled legal strategy to protect manufacturers and their shareholders. In 2020, after the SEC finalized the NAM-supported rule, the largest proxy firm filed a lawsuit arguing that the SEC lacks the authority to regulate proxy voting advice. The NAM moved to intervene in that case, defending the SEC’s ability to provide this needed oversight of proxy firms. Then in 2021, following the SEC’s announcement that it wouldn’t enforce the 2020 rule, the NAM filed a separate challenge against the SEC to prevent the agency from setting the rule’s critical reforms aside.

SEC engagement: At the same time, the NAM has worked to make sure the SEC understands the importance of the 2020 rule and the harmful impact that rescinding its vital transparency and antifraud protections would have. In late December, the NAM filed comments with the SEC underscoring the need for increased proxy firm engagement with companies and the importance of clear antifraud standards; the NAM’s letter also voices concern with the SEC’s decision to rescind the 2020 rule without allowing it to take effect and be fairly evaluated.

The bottom line: The NAM is making clear that the SEC has the authority to regulate proxy firms; that the agency must enforce the 2020 rule; and that manufacturers forcefully oppose any efforts to weaken regulation of proxy firms.

What we’re saying: “At the NAM, we’ll continue our defense of commonsense investor protections—in court, at the SEC and anywhere else it’s needed,” said NAM Senior Director of Tax and Domestic Economic Policy Charles Crain. “Manufacturers continue to support the vital reforms the NAM helped secure in 2020, and we believe strongly in the importance of fair and transparent regulatory processes. The NAM is leading the fight to protect investors and preserve much-needed proxy firm oversight.”

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.

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