Policy and Legal

Press Releases

Manufacturers: First Cabinet Nominations Signal Steady and Experienced Leadership

Timmons: “Our nation is strongest when engaged globally and acting as a beacon for democracy and freedom”

Washington, D.C. – Following President-elect Joe Biden’s announcement of key Cabinet nominees and members of his national security and foreign policy team, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:

“President-elect Biden has chosen a group of steady and capable hands to lead American diplomacy. Tony Blinken’s considerable experience and his strong commitment to America’s highest ideals will make him a welcome presence on the world stage. He understands that our nation is strongest when engaged globally and acting as a beacon for democracy and freedom.

“In a critical moment for U.S. immigration policy, Alejandro Mayorkas’s history-making nomination is a welcome announcement, and we look forward to working with the Department of Homeland Security under his leadership. We are firmly committed to comprehensive immigration reform, as outlined in our ‘A Way Forward’ plan, which offers solutions to protect Dreamers, maintain critical visa programs and smartly secure our borders.”

Manufacturers also congratulate additional individuals chosen to serve in a Biden–Harris administration:

  • Avril Haines, Director of National Intelligence
  • Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
  • Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor
  • John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate

Timmons added, “Every day, manufacturers are working to rebuild our economy and bring about American renewal. We look forward to strengthening our working relationship with these departments as we overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, improve national security, promote American values around the world and strengthen our economic recovery here at home.”

-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 12.2 million men and women, contributes $2.35 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 62% 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 Disagree with HHS Socialistic Price-Setting Plan

Timmons: “What this dangerous precedent will do is stifle the development of treatments and vaccines to combat future pandemics”

Washington, D.C. – Following the Trump Administration’s announcement on implementing a Most Favored Nation approach to pricing of Medicare Part B drugs, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:

“Manufacturers in America are driving global pharmaceutical innovation. Recent COVID-19 vaccine and therapy developments underscore the value of that leadership. As the coronavirus tightens its grip on the country, we should not be looking at failed price-setting schemes as a solution. While producing the essential supplies needed to fight the virus, manufacturers are also working to provide affordable medicines and therapies to the public. We believe strongly in lowering health care costs, but the socialist policies outlined today will not aid in the effort.

“What this dangerous precedent will do is stifle the development of treatments and vaccines to combat future pandemics, Alzheimer’s or cancer while also limiting access to critical products for those most in need. Competition and free market principles are the foundation of a strong economy, and now is not the time to abandon those values.”

Currently, the NAM is running an ad on the dangers of price indexing. To view the ad, click here.

-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 12.2 million men and women, contributes $2.37 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Policy and Legal

Vaccines: What’s Next?

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The creation of several safe and effective vaccines within a single year is historic. But what can we expect to happen next? NAM Vice President of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources Policy Robyn Boerstling spoke to us about the vaccine rollout—and what this achievement tells us about the state of American public policy.

What’s next: For Pfizer and Moderna, the next step is to ask the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization. In fact, Pfizer is set to do so today, though the approval process is likely to take a few weeks.

The vaccine manufacturers are also focusing on the rollout process.

  • That includes not only mass production, but also mass distribution across 64 jurisdictions that include every state, territory and tribal nation in the United States.
  • Those jurisdictions have submitted plans to the Department of Health and Human Services for consideration, and manufacturers will work with all governments to make the process go smoothly.

How they’ll do it: In some cases, this will involve a public–private partnership with manufacturers through Operation Warp Speed, which will help distribute kits that include needles, vials, alcohol wipes and other important elements.

  • It will also involve a system for ordering and tracking vaccines that allows the federal government to keep tabs on who is getting the vaccine and when.
  • Some vaccines require two doses, which means that coordination is especially key—local governments and manufacturers must ensure that patients can get a second dose at the right time.

It takes a village: Boerstling emphasized that the vaccines’ development relied not just on a few pharmaceutical companies, but on many manufacturers—as well as an ecosystem that supports innovation, collaboration and discovery.

  • “The fact that our biopharmaceutical manufacturing community had the platforms to do what it has accomplished in a very short time is nothing short of amazing,” said Boerstling.
  • “But given the expertise, research and development investment, access to capital and all the things that make our industry competitive in the United States, it’s also something that we can expect in this ecosystem. It’s a testament to our ability to mobilize quickly and create progress.”

The bottom line: Most importantly, Boerstling emphasizes, vaccines protect us against this virus—and manufacturers must get the word out. “Vaccines work,” she says. “They protect Americans from adverse health events. And COVID-19 is the most adverse health event in our lifetime.”

Policy and Legal

Timmons: Immigrants Fill Critical Roles Across Manufacturing

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Manufacturing needs skilled workers to innovate in the United States and compete globally—and immigrants fill a variety of critical roles. For this and many other reasons, the NAM has been a longtime advocate of bipartisan, sensible immigration reform.

NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons reinforced manufacturers’ commitment to immigration yesterday at a panel event hosted by the National Immigration Forum, which was moderated by Axios reporter Stef Kight and also featured Tyson Foods Chief Sustainability Officer John R. Tyson. Here’s what he said.

The skills gap: Immigration is crucial to many sectors in manufacturing, Timmons stressed.

  • “High-skilled immigration professionals fill critical roles across the country,” he said. “You think about researchers and scientists and technicians. Workers for these roles are in very high demand, and H1-B visas and employment-based immigration are one way manufacturers fill these immediate needs while we work to strengthen our domestic talent pipeline.”

And the pandemic hasn’t changed things—this is a long-term skills shortage that will continue even after the industry bounces back completely.

  • “Even though manufacturers lost 1.3 million jobs during the pandemic—we’ve filled back about half of those—we still have 460,000 jobs that we can’t fill,” said Timmons. “Legal immigration programs are absolutely critical for that workforce development, and to allow manufacturers to grow their operations in the United States, and also expand their global footprint.”

The ecosystem: Immigrants aren’t just important for manufacturing jobs; they’re also critical for the support jobs that make manufacturing work.

  • “Our employers know that our economy depends on immigrants in a multitude of support functions to enable our economy to succeed,” said Timmons. “Think of an ecosystem of educators and childcare providers, health care workers, transportation professionals, agricultural workers and countless others. They enable our sector, and they enable our economy, and they enable our country to function.”

The NAM’s plan: The NAM has long called for commonsense immigration reform, which includes creating an employment-based immigration system that prioritizes America’s workforce needs. Its comprehensive immigration plan can be found in the policy blueprint “A Way Forward.”

You can watch the full event here

Press Releases

Manufacturers Call on GSA to Sign Letter of Ascertainment

Washington, D.C. – The leadership of the National Association of Manufacturers—NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons, Trane Technologies Chairman and CEO and NAM Board Chair Mike Lamach, Dow Chairman and CEO and NAM Board Vice Chair Jim Fitterling, BTE Technologies President and NAM Small and Medium Manufacturers Chair Chuck Wetherington and Protolabs President and CEO and NAM SMM Vice Chair Vicki Holt—released a joint statement on ascertainment.

“The next two months are critical to our nation’s ability to successfully deal with twin crises: controlling the spread of COVID-19 and rebuilding the U.S. economy. Manufacturers have been on the front lines throughout this pandemic—producing protective equipment, stabilizing the food supply, encouraging safe practices and developing vaccines and treatments. Now our attention turns to the distribution of safe and effective vaccines as quickly as possible, while continuing to protect against disruptions of the supply chain.

“While we understand and respect the court challenges that are a part of our democratic process, it’s imperative that our nation has a President and advisors who are fully prepared to lead our nation on Inauguration Day given the magnitude of the challenges ahead and the threats to our economic and national security, and most importantly, to the public health. It is highly appropriate that the Trump administration allow key individuals from the Biden team to access critical government personnel and information now.

“To ensure manufacturers can continue to work seamlessly with the federal government—no matter who is President on January 20—we call on the administrator of the General Services Administration to sign the letter of ascertainment immediately so that this consistent process in American democracy can begin and the exchange of critical information can commence.

“Further, we call on the Trump administration to work cooperatively with President-elect Biden and his team.

“There is no time to waste nor room for error. Manufacturers have been leading throughout these crises, and we know what is at stake: American lives and livelihoods.”

-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 12.2 million men and women, contributes $2.35 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

Policy and Legal

NAM Welcomes Manufacturing Allies in Congress

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Now that most of the election results are in, we can ask the next important question: were the congressional elections good for manufacturers?

The NAM’s political action committee, known as NAM-PAC, has an unequivocal answer: absolutely. In fact, nearly all of NAM-PAC’s bipartisan picks for Congress are returning to Washington.

The results: 48 of the 49 NAM-PAC-supported members of the U.S. House of Representatives have been reelected so far, with successful candidates on both sides of the aisle. Meanwhile, 13 of the 15 NAM-PAC-endorsed Senate candidates won or are currently leading their challengers.

With some races still being tallied, the number of NAM-PAC success stories may grow—but the results already testify to the NAM’s influence and America’s desire to support manufacturers.

The criteria: How do we know a candidate is good for manufacturing? NAM-PAC looks at a variety of factors, including:

  • The candidate’s history of supporting policies that are important to manufacturing;
  • The manufacturing footprint in the candidate’s state or district;
  • The candidate’s history of engaging and working with the NAM and member companies; and
  • The committees the candidate serves on and his or her leadership roles.

The growing clout: NAM-PAC has seen extraordinary growth over the past few years. During the 2019–2020 election cycle, NAM-PAC contributed nearly $300,000 to the campaigns of manufacturing champions on Capitol Hill, which is almost a tenfold increase from the previous election cycle in 2017–2018.

The last word: “In looking at the results of House and Senate elections, it’s clear that candidates who focused on manufacturing priorities won the night on Tuesday,” said NAM Vice President of Government Relations Jordan Stoick. “That’s a good thing for getting good pro-manufacturing legislation accomplished whether it’s infrastructure investment, defending pro-growth tax policy or passing immigration reform.”

Policy and Legal

Remember the Regulators

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While everyone is talking about the election results, let’s not forget about the slow and steady slog for better government—by which we mean, a stable and predictable regulatory system that encourages manufacturing growth instead of hampering it.

Recently, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons made the case for government-wide regulatory reform in a letter to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. Here’s what he had to say.

The numbers: If you had any doubts that manufacturers pay a lot for regulatory compliance, lay them to rest:

  • “On average, manufacturers pay $19,564 per employee to comply with federal regulations, or nearly double the $9,991 per employee costs borne by all firms as a whole.”
  • “This burden falls heavily on small businesses; of the 248,039 firms in the manufacturing sector in 2017, all but 3,914 had fewer than 500 employees, with three-quarters of these firms having fewer than 20 employees.”
  • “For the smallest firms (i.e., those with fewer than 50 employees), regulatory costs equal $34,671 per employee.”

A recap: Timmons also reminded the House that many of the NAM’s regulatory recommendations have already become policy—and that it’s working just as hard to support manufacturers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • In 2017, the NAM submitted a list of 132 suggested reforms to the Trump administration—and since then, 89% of those suggestions have been addressed or adopted.
  • In April of this year, the NAM released the “American Renewal Action Plan,” which included regulatory proposals designed to strengthen America’s response to COVID-19 and ensure manufacturers are poised to lead the recovery and renewal of the American economy. Dozens of these proposals have also been adopted—and the NAM is working on more.

What’s next: Timmons’ letter came with a list of proposals for further reforms, which will support manufacturers while benefitting consumers and protecting our environment. These include:

  • Modernizing the Administrative Procedure Act, which governs federal rulemaking;
  • Providing clarity on the difference between legally binding rules and nonbinding guidance;
  • Ensuring that regulatory enforcement and adjudication is fair, efficient and transparent;
  • Tackling the growing trade of dangerous counterfeits and other illicit goods; and
  • Addressing international regulatory burdens.

The last word: “These proposals serve as a roadmap to smart regulation,” said NAM Director of Regulatory Policy Graham Owens. “These bipartisan measures would create a more effective and efficient regulatory system better equipped to protect worker safety, public health and our environment—while providing manufacturers with the regulatory certainty and uniformity necessary to unleash our country’s economic potential.”

You can read the full letter—and the entire list of recommendations—here.

Press Releases

NAM Appreciates Biden Message and Leadership on Masks

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement following President-elect Joe Biden’s encouragement for all Americans to wear face coverings.

“Americans and the American economy benefit from a consistent message on how to control the pandemic in order to bring our economy back and save jobs and lives. President-elect Joe Biden’s message today, which is based on fact and science, is the type of leadership by example that will help us achieve that.

“President-elect Biden is doing exactly what he promised: following the science to defeat COVID-19. We are very encouraged that he has also named a task force to help us defeat this invisible enemy. It is significant that only 48 hours after achieving the electoral votes necessary to be elected, the incoming president focused like a laser on this national crisis in his first address to our nation.

“Since the early days of the pandemic, manufacturers have been calling on our fellow Americans to wear face coverings in public, socially distance and follow other smart health practices, and early in the crisis provided innovative solutions and quickly retrofitted our essential operations to meet the challenge.

“As President-elect Biden said today, while we keep working toward a vaccine, ‘the single most effective thing we can do’ is wear a mask. He’s exactly right, and we hope all Americans will join manufacturers in this simple but lifesaving act.

“Manufacturers and the business community look forward to continuing to work with the Biden–Harris transition team and administration to ensure that our nation successfully restores our public health and recovers economically.”

Background: The NAM’s Creators Respond Commitment encourages our industry to commit to healthy behaviors like the use of face coverings, social distancing, handwashing and other health practices. Join the commitment here: https://www.nam.org/crc/

-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 12.2 million men and women, contributes $2.37 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

Manufacturers Congratulate President-elect Biden, Vice President-elect Harris

Timmons: “The American people have spoken, and they have chosen a leader who throughout this campaign spoke of healing and bipartisanship”

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on the results of the 2020 election.

“Manufacturers congratulate President-elect Joe Biden on being declared the winner of the presidential election. The American people have spoken, and they have chosen a leader who throughout this campaign spoke of healing and bipartisanship. We also congratulate Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Her election will resound through history, and we are hopeful that it will send a message that helps us achieve the more inclusive country that manufacturers work to build every day.

“Manufacturers trust the democratic process, and the vote counts are clear enough that the networks have confidently projected a winner. Poll workers tirelessly counted ballots through a pandemic to handle record turnout and make sure the process worked. Recounts are also part of our system, and we trust that they will be carried out fairly and carefully where required or requested. As part of the democratic process, we want to make sure this election is accurate and there are no valid questions about its legitimacy.

“When Joe Biden becomes the 46th President of the United States, he will take office in the face of crises of historic proportions and deep divisions. Throughout this difficult year, manufacturers have consistently risen to the occasion to help keep our fellow Americans safe, healthy and fed. We pledge to continue our leadership, especially as we race toward a vaccine, and we will work with a Biden–Harris administration, along with the new Congress, to achieve economic recovery and American renewal. Manufacturers are committed to being part of the solution.

“Our focus at the National Association of Manufacturers has always been on policy—not politics, personality or process. And so we look forward to working with anyone and everyone who shares the objectives of our policy goals—and advocating constructively with those who may not. It should be clear from the gains made by the Republican Party in this election that the American people are not interested in extreme policies from either party; they are looking for smart, stable and solutions-oriented governance. The right approach, one that can unify our country, is an agenda like that advanced by manufacturers—a competitive tax and regulatory system, infrastructure investment, comprehensive immigration reform, expanded trade and a strengthened workforce.

“This election has tested our nation. Election Day is behind us, and an uncertain future awaits. The choice facing each American is how we move forward. For our part, manufacturers choose to move forward in a way that will advance the values that make America exceptional: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity. We invite all of our leaders and fellow Americans to join us.”

-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 12.2 million men and women, contributes $2.37 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Policy and Legal

Labor Department Finalizes Rule on Pension Investments

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The U.S. Department of Labor has adopted a final rule that requires pension plan managers to make investments based solely on financial implications, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription).

What it does: The rule clarifies that pension plan managers can only consider “pecuniary” factors—that is, factors relating to the financial performance of the plan—when making investment decisions on pensioners’ behalf.

  • Existing standards hold managers to a fiduciary duty to represent pensioners’ financial best interests; the new rule cautions plan managers against considering so-called environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors unless they would have a financial impact on plan performance.
  • The goal of the rule is to prevent investment decisions based on non-pecuniary metrics rather than on the financial interests of the workers whose savings are at stake.

A win for the NAM: The NAM sent a comment letter supporting the DOL’s proposed rule in July, arguing that fund managers should be required to look out for the financial interests of pension plan participants.

The last word: “This is a positive outcome for manufacturing workers across the country,” said NAM Director of Tax and Domestic Economic Policy Charles Crain. “Pension plan participants should be able to trust that their long-term savings will be protected over any other considerations so that they can enjoy a stable and secure retirement.”

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