Policy and Legal

Press Releases

NAM Leads More Than 350 Industry Groups in Urging Swift Passage of the USMCA

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers, joined by more than 350 associations and businesses representing manufacturers of all sizes, today called on Congress to ratify the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement. Leaders of the United States, Mexico and Canada approved the agreement last year to modernize the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement. In a letter sent to Congress, the coalition writes:

We write to you to urge passage of the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement as soon as possible this autumn. . . . North America is the most significant trade market for the United States globally, with Canada and Mexico purchasing one-fifth of the total value of U.S. manufacturing output. Canada and Mexico alone, despite representing less than 4 percent of the global economy, buy more U.S.-manufactured goods than our next 11 trading partners combined. Here at home, U.S. manufacturing exports to Canada and Mexico support millions of American manufacturing jobs as well as 40,000 small and medium-sized businesses and communities across all 50 states.

Mexico’s government has ratified the USMCA. It now awaits approval from Congress. The coalition writes that the USMCA would spur economic growth and provide much-needed certainty for manufacturers across North America through the following provisions:

Strengthen and Modernize America’s Innovation Engine: The USMCA includes best-in-class intellectual property rules that will help protect the full range of U.S. manufacturing inventions and innovations from theft and set new standards for the 21st-century digital economy that will prohibit distortive measures that undermine American innovation.
Expand U.S. Manufacturing Access to Canada and Mexico: The USMCA will maintain and improve duty-free market access to Canada and Mexico, eliminating red tape at the border and making it easier for small and medium-sized businesses to sell into these critical markets.
Level the Playing Field: The USMCA will raise standards, improve transparency and prohibit both anti-U.S. discrimination and anti-competitive activity—all while providing the same binding enforcement for all obligations in the agreement.

Click here to view the letter and full list of signers.

-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 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.38 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters 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 Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Policy and Legal

Manufacturers Benefit From Trump’s Guidance Document Input Requirement

President Trump signed two executive orders this week that will require federal agencies to go through a process of public input when issuing major guidance documents, and will force agencies to make useful guidance documents more openly available for the public. That process of issuing notice and soliciting public input is similar to what agencies are required to follow when issuing regulations.

“This is serious, real regulatory reform and the NAM has lobbied for changes like these for years,” the National Association of Manufacturers’ Vice President of Labor, Legal and Regulatory Policy Patrick Hedren said. “These two new executive orders make the world of agency guidance more transparent, and they give manufacturers a seat at the table when agencies begin to draft new guidance documents.”

Representing a federal agency’s current thinking on a topic, guidance documents can be issued faster than regulations and previously did not require a notice and comment period. While these documents are not meant to be legally binding, they often are the basis for regulatory enforcement decisions, and manufacturers tend to view them as binding from a practical perspective. The White House said guidance documents should be subject to the same level of public scrutiny because they can be just as impactful as regulations.

“Agency guidance is often crucial to help manufactures understand complex regulations and statutes,” Hedren said. “But at the same time this sub-regulatory ‘dark matter’ can create chaos for heavily regulated industries like ours when agencies try to use the guidance process to end-run important rulemaking protections like notice and comment.”

Since the executive orders go into effect immediately, agencies will now implement their responses to the orders.

A version of this news article appeared in The Input, the NAM’s members-only weekday morning newsletter for manufacturing executives.

Press Releases

NAM Launches Campaign to Support Lifesaving Innovations

Manufacturers Turn Up Heat in Key States with Seven-Figure Buy

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers has launched a seven-figure advertising campaign urging lawmakers to support the manufacturers that develop lifesaving innovations by opposing drug-pricing control proposals that act as a hidden tax on the industry. The campaign also thanks senators who have stood up for manufacturers. This nationwide digital, print and cable campaign follows an initial effort launched in mid-September that featured advertisement in several nationwide outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, Axios, The Washington Post, The Hill and Politico.

We need a better approach to drug pricing that supports the manufacturers developing lifesaving and life-changing cures for people in this country and around the world, said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. The proposals being debated in Congress right now would put our health at risk, abandon free market principles and move us closer to a top-down, government-controlled health care system. Our top priorities should be ensuring safety and quality, while upholding the values that make our country exceptional and economy strong: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity.

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 to people in this country and around the world. When misguided government proposals threaten our ability to deliver health care and drive innovation, we are compelled to speak out.

More information can be found at www.nam.org/hiddentax.

-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 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.38 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters 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 Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

News

Manufacturers to Congress: Act on Climate

In September, the National Association of Manufacturers called on Congress to take action to address climate change. NAM Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Ross Eisenberg testified before the House Energy & Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Environment & Climate Change and shared what the manufacturing sector is doing to reduce emissions.

Manufacturers are making environmentally conscious improvements because their customers, employees and shareholders have prioritized it — and because it’s the right thing to do, Eisenberg said in his testimony. Over the past decade, manufacturers have reduced the carbon footprint of their products by 21 percent while increasing their value to the economy by 18 percent, according to International Energy Agency data.

The last major congressional debate about how to address climate change was more than a decade ago. To solve this problem, manufacturers must think big, and Eisenberg told the committee that the industry is ready to work with Congress on solutions.

See the highlights from Eisenberg’s testimony below.

Press Releases

NAM Statement on D.C. Circuit Ruling in Mozilla Corp. v. FCC

“Manufacturers Support an Open Internet, as Does Today’s FCC”

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly issued the following statement on today’s D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Mozilla Corp. v. FCC:

Overall, today’s decision is a welcome development for manufacturers and those who depend on a free and open internet. In the 21st century, the internet should not be regulated by laws designed in the 1930s for the era of rotary telephones. The FCC was wrong to impose heavy-handed ‘net neutrality’ rules in 2015, and manufacturers have opposed misguided lawsuits that want to take us backward and reimpose those stifling regulations.

Manufacturers support a free and open internet, as does today’s FCC. More appeals and legal wrangling over the issue will only harm our competitiveness and economic growth, and the Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action will keep fighting in the courts as long as it takes. Ultimately, the clearest way to resolve this issue is for Congress to pass basic guidelines that promote investment, foster innovation and establish a truly open internet.

Background
The NAM filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit supporting the FCC’s 2017 repeal of the prior net neutrality rule. Last year, a group of plaintiffs sued alleging the FCC unlawfully overturned the 2015 rule by mischaracterizing how internet access works. Manufacturers are the beneficiaries of a global broadband infrastructure, which has transformed the way they operate, providing numerous opportunities to create and market innovative products and services. The NAM’s brief explains that regulating broadband providers as common carriers is unwise, and the FCC’s 2017 change promotes investment that is critical to developing the next generation of technologies.

-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 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.38 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters 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 Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Policy and Legal

Manufacturers Stack Support for Infrastructure Investment

Today, the Infrastructure Working Group—a coalition of national organizations led by the National Association of Manufacturers and the Associated General Contractors—sent a letter to the Senate urging passage of a long-term, robustly-funded surface transportation reauthorization bill ahead of the Sept. 30, 2020 deadline. NAM Director of Infrastructure Catie Kawchak breaks down manufacturers’ immediate need for infrastructure modernization.

What’s the scope of the infrastructure challenge?

NAM data reveals that underinvestment in U.S. infrastructure worsens by the year, and infrastructure investment is only one-third of what it was in 1960. As a result, more than 54,000 bridges across the United States are rated “structurally deficient,” and a majority of our roadway are in less than good condition. Ports and waterways are in disrepair, airports and runways are clogged and congested. But it’s not just transportation infrastructure that needs an upgrade to accommodate a 21st-century manufacturing economy. We need improvements to our water, energy and digital infrastructure as well. It’s unacceptable that America’s infrastructure continues to receive a D+ grade. Now is the time to deliver transformational advancements to the infrastructure that connects our communities and facilitates free enterprise.

How does this challenge affect manufacturers?

Right now, America’s transportation infrastructure doesn’t support our vision for an exceptional America. Manufacturers use roads, bridges, rails, waterways, ports and airports every day—and if shipments are delayed by highway congestion or an unsafe bridge, then the entire production process can be delayed. Modern, just-in-time manufacturing must be incredibly precise to maximize productivity, but without reliable infrastructure, it’s impossible to do that cutting-edge work.

What is the NAM’s solution?

The NAM’s “Building to Win” blueprint offers a comprehensive plan to modernize the infrastructure that makes the American Dream possible. It provides solutions to support workers in the United States, jump-start economic growth, spur job creation, and enhance quality of life by improving and expanding our transportation, energy, water and digital infrastructure so that we can pave the way for the success of new generations. It even lays out a path for Congress to fund these investments.

What’s next?

In just one year, Congress faces a deadline to pass a surface transportation bill. Without this legislation, highway, bridge and transit projects will slow construction timelines and become even more costly. That’s why about 150 members of the Infrastructure Working Group applauded the Senate’s initial work on reauthorization and implored them to finish the legislative process on time. September 2020 may sound like a long time, but passing a surface transportation bill has historically taken longer than a year.  

What is the Infrastructure Working Group?

Led by the NAM and AGC, the group demonstrates the breadth of the industries impacted by America’s deteriorating infrastructure. It includes manufacturers, labor, construction, technology, finance, agriculture, retailers, emergency responders and local and state government, among others. There’s broad agreement about the need for effective, efficient infrastructure. We’re standing together to push for action, and now Congress needs to pass infrastructure legislation on time.

Policy and Legal

Universal Postal Union Changes Deliver Win for Manufacturers

Manufacturing workers move boxes out of warehouse

This week, the Trump administration successfully negotiated changes to the Universal Postal Union (UPU) that will protect manufacturers from counterfeiters and other bad actors who have been exploiting the international system. The improvements were agreed upon at a special UPU conference in Geneva after two days of negotiations.

The UPU is an agency of the United Nations that coordinates the worldwide postal system and postal policies among member nations. In recent years, Chinese counterfeiters have exploited the system, which allowed them to ship packages to the United States at highly subsidized rates.

The Trump administration gave notice in October of last year that the United States would pull out of the UPU unless the body implemented significant structural reforms to the “terminal dues” system under which postal operators exchange mail, arguing that some countries’ postal carriers are not paying enough to have their shipments delivered to recipients in the United States.

Some countries in the UPU, such as China, pay lower rates because they were classified as “developing countries” when the terms of the UPU were originally agreed to. The terminal dues system and classifications have not changed in decades, while some of those countries have grown into major global economies.

Under the negotiated changes, countries with high-volume imports of mail and packages will be able to impose “self-declared rates” for distributing foreign mail. The agreement goes into effect in January 2021, but the United States may immediately begin to set payment rates that cover the true cost of carrying inbound international mail. In addition, UPU countries won a significant increase in the rates they can charge inbound mail from China as a way of reducing the total global subsidy China receives under the prior framework.

“With the changes negotiated this week, the U.S. can feel comfortable continuing its membership in the UPU and fighting for further reforms from inside the system while at the same time protecting manufacturers from counterfeiters overseas,” NAM Vice President of Labor, Legal and Regulatory Policy Patrick Hedren said. “These changes level the playing field for manufacturers against counterfeiting and other unfair trading practices. The administration gave manufacturers a true seat at the table, and we look forward to working with them and our international partners to continue promoting a fair and open trading economy.”

Press Releases

NAM Applauds Improvements to Universal Postal Union

Timmons: “This Is an Important Action to Level the Playing Field”

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on the Trump administration’s successful negotiations to improve the Universal Postal Union:

Manufacturers are cheering today because we now have a stronger Universal Postal Union framework that will help protect manufacturers from counterfeiters and other bad actors operating in countries like China, which have been exploiting a dangerous and unfair system. The Trump administration gave manufacturers a seat at the table and listened to our needs throughout this collaborative process, and the United States worked with our allies abroad to bring broadly supported reforms to an antiquated agreement. This is an important action to level the playing field against unfair trading practices, and the NAM will continue to work with the administration and our international partners to promote a more open and fair trading 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 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.38 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters 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 Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

News

Drug Price Controls Threaten Innovation and Patient Health

Tell Congress to Say No to Hidden Taxes

ACT NOW

Healthcare worker in a laboratory with equipment

The United States has a long history of medical and pharmaceutical innovation. Yet, some policymakers have suggested imposing top-down regulations or pricing rules to reduce drug prices that would put this innovation at risk.

National Association of Manufacturers Vice President of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources Policy Robyn Boerstling explains drug price controls and how they could impact everyday Americans.

What’s the problem with price controls?

Everyone agrees with the goal of reducing the costs of health care—and prescriptions in particular. The question is how to get there. One way we know will not work is via government-imposed price controls or other arbitrary measures. Non-market-based approaches like this are antithetical to the free enterprise system that forms the bedrock of our economy and way of life. Once we allow the government to run negotiations on our medicines, the government will have an even stronger incentive to run our health care—and that is exactly what many who support price controls like this would like to see.

Why is this important now? 

We are in a period of tremendous breakthroughs and medical discovery, led by pharmaceutical manufacturers in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, universities and other private groups. Pharmaceutical manufacturers spend more on research and development than any other industry, creating new treatments and cures that have the potential to save and improve millions of lives. In addition to funding R&D up front, pharmaceutical manufacturers also put a sizeable share of their revenue back into R&D so that today’s treatments can help fund tomorrow’s cures. Imposing arbitrary price controls will threaten those investments and undermine a system that is working to save millions of vulnerable people.

How should Congress approach high drug prices?

There’s no doubt that health care costs have been rising too quickly for far too long for American families. Those costs have contributed to wage stagnation for workers and discouraged other investments in the workplace. But we need to address inefficiency, affordability, improved outcomes and flexibility to drive down health care costs without abandoning market-based approaches. Any solutions should be guided by the four pillars that have made America exceptional: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity.

That will require a comprehensive approach to the various forces that strain the system, recognizing the importance of innovation as a tool to reduce costs and improve health outcomes. Congress should support patient access to lifesaving medicines—and the American manufacturers and researchers that deliver them—instead of upending American health care in favor of an uncertain future.

Policy and Legal

EAGL Coalition Addresses Global Regulatory Issues

As the importance of international trade continues to rise, the National Association of Manufacturers has elevated its efforts to tackle global regulatory issues that impact manufacturers through its leadership in the Engaging America’s Global Leadership (EAGL) coalition.

EAGL represents a group of U.S. industries that believe in the importance of effective American leadership within multilateral organizations, such as the United Nations, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the World Health Organization.

As the U.N. General Assembly opens, the NAM’s Director of International Business Policy Ryan Ong explains EAGL’s work and importance for manufacturers.

Why are the actions of these multilateral organizations important?

They play critical roles in promoting a more stable, predictable world and tackling important global issues such as international health, development and environmental sustainability. At their best, these organizations bring together government leaders, businesses, civil society, academic experts and other key stakeholders in transparent, inclusive conversations that drive effective policies and partnerships to solve global problems.

How do these international organizations relate to the needs of American manufacturers?

These organizations can directly impact policy decisions made by national governments. Resolutions and reports from these groups shape national debates and regulations, influencing U.S. exports, jobs, and manufacturing competitiveness. This makes it critical for these organizations and their activities to be accountable to member states and inclusive of the private sector and to reflect good regulatory practices and evidence-based approaches.

What areas is EAGL most interested in?

EAGL and its members focus on initiatives that impact manufacturers at international organizations. Examples include efforts to levy new tax and operational restrictions on manufacturers, impose bans or burdensome regulatory restrictions on manufactured products, and limit the ability of manufacturers to protect critical intellectual property.

EAGL is also a strong advocate for inclusive approaches at international organizations that embrace the private sector as an indispensable partner in policies and programs to achieve global goals.

How does EAGL aim to represent manufacturers’ views at international organizations?

The coalition works with a growing network of public and private stakeholders to promote effective member state leadership through stronger coordination within and between a growing set of international business and third-party allies and direct engagement with U.S. and foreign governments in national capitals, Geneva, New York and elsewhere.

The U.N. General Assembly starts tomorrow. What should manufacturers pay attention to during this meeting?

This year’s U.N. General Assembly includes a range of events that could have an important impact on manufacturers in different sectors by shaping national regulations around the world, thus impacting their ability to export and operate in critical markets needed to compete, grow and hire.

These include a high-level universal health coverage meeting and a related political declaration that could drive manufacturing-relevant national policies on areas such as innovation, taxation and regulatory restrictions. Other events include a Climate Action Summit, high-level forums on sustainable development and development financing, as well as a wide range of side events hosted by business and civil society groups.

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