Policy and Legal

Manufacturers need smart laws and effective policies. That’s why the NAM is standing up for manufacturers everywhere – from the halls of power where we advance important legislation, to the courts where we fight to defend our rights.

Policy and Legal

NAM Outlines Health Care Priorities

Get the Latest News

Get involved

In a message to members of the Congressional Health Care Task Force, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons urged Congress to pursue several health care priorities for manufacturers.

The big picture: Timmons laid out three core principles that guide NAM health care advocacy and engagement.

  • First, the NAM believes that free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity are the values that can successfully push forward the process of simplifying health care and achieving lower costs.
  • Second, the NAM believes that the medical credo “first, do no harm” should guide health care policy efforts.
  • Third, the NAM believes that the health care policy and business environment must allow and encourage unparalleled innovation, investment and manufacturing right here in the U.S.

In accordance with these principles, the NAM is pushing for several specific policy advances.

Transparency: “Manufacturers appreciate ongoing efforts to improve transparency in health care,” Timmons wrote. “Our industry has experienced the impacts of cost variation related to a range of health care services. These impacts can make health coverage more frustrating and expensive, for both consumers and employers who sponsor coverage.”

Connectivity: “The technology is available, and businesses have the capability to deliver and realize the potential of a fully connected health care system,” Timmons wrote. “Privacy laws and regulations need updating so that the deployment and adoption of new innovations to improve connectivity in our health care system can flourish.”

HSAs: The NAM believes Health Savings Accounts allow employees to have more control over their health care spending. To ensure HSAs can increase consumer flexibility and benefit American employees, the NAM supports efforts to increase limits and modernize rules governing HSAs.

Value-based arrangements: “Manufacturers are encouraged by the potential for health care innovation through outcomes-based health care arrangements,” Timmons wrote. “These arrangements would align incentives across a range of parties—health care providers, employers, patients, insurers and pharmaceutical and life sciences manufacturers—so that delivery of care, payment arrangements and clinical outcomes are achieved in an efficient manner.”

Association health plans: The NAM supports efforts to reform, advance and strengthen Association Health Plans. AHPs are beneficial especially to small businesses that struggle to offer affordable health care coverage to their employees. The NAM believes that additional legislation is needed to protect the longevity and sustainability of AHPs as a health care option.

Innovation: The NAM believes strong intellectual property protection is essential to creating a more competitive health care market, bringing down prices and fostering innovation by encouraging research and development.

The last word: “Despite the many challenges and strains facing the health care system, we are a nation that prides itself on first-class, best-in-the-world medical care,” Timmons wrote. “Our institutions, public and private, continue to lead the world on patient care, lifesaving treatments and medical research. We must uphold those successes while seeking to control or lower the cost of health care through market-oriented approaches. Employers are leading a great deal of innovation in health care delivery, and those positive developments must be allowed to flourish.”

Press Releases

New Study: Ports Stoppage Would Be Devastating Hit to Manufacturers’ Competitiveness

Cost Economy Half a Billion Dollars a Day, Destroy 41,000 U.S. Jobs

Washington, D.C. – As negotiations between the Pacific Maritime Association and International Longshore and Warehouse Union near a critical deadline, manufacturers are sounding the alarm about potential economic consequences of a port stoppage if disruption were to occur over two weeks at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the nation’s largest port complex. According to a study by Inforum Economics, a 15-day disruption would cost the U.S. economy nearly half a billion dollars a day—for a total of $7.5 billion—and destroy 41,000 jobs, including more than 6,100 in manufacturing.

As the industry continues to grapple with historic supply chain challenges, inflationary pressures and rising transportation and energy costs, manufacturers are calling on the parties to reach an agreement immediately to avoid this continued uncertainty.

“The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach support a major share of cargo relied upon by American businesses and consumers, supporting supply chains across the entire country. With supply chains already stretched thin, inflation at its highest level in four decades and concerns of a recession rising, any disruption would mean a devastating hit to our economy and to manufacturers’ competitiveness,” said National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons. “The disruption would be felt immediately. Manufacturing jobs will be lost if parts and supplies don’t arrive. New equipment, machinery and products can’t be built when ships are backed up and there is no one available to unload and process cargo. Our overseas customers won’t wait for us to fix these disruptions, either—they’ll simply find other suppliers, weakening U.S. manufacturing competitiveness in the process.

“This is why the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union must not allow a disruption at these ports. Manufacturers, our millions of employees and the countless others whose lives and livelihoods depend on the products we make are counting on the PMA and the ILWU to reach a resolution and keep the ports running.”

Background: At the time of publication, the PMA and ILWU are engaged in labor negotiations. The NAM commissioned an analysis using the Inforum LIFT economic model to quantify the impacts of a 15-day closure at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. Specifically, it estimates how such a closure would impact U.S. employment, output and income. These ports have experienced historic disruptions and bottlenecks since late 2020, and nearly 84% of manufacturers now list freight and transportation costs as a key driver of inflation.

-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 12.7 million men and women, contributes $2.71 trillion to the U.S. economy annually 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

New Unionization Changes Could Harm Manufacturers

Get the Latest News

Get involved

An ongoing push for new unionization policies would be damaging for manufacturers and their workforces, and the NAM is leading the fight against them. NAM Director of Labor and Employment Policy Brian Walsh recently laid out what these efforts are and what they mean for the manufacturing industry.

The background: Recent unionization efforts at major corporations like Starbucks and Amazon have gained headlines across the US. But, according to Walsh, these movements are part of a much broader effort:

  • “Where manufacturers should be really concerned…is the possible changes to union-organizing activity through legislation, such as the PRO Act, or through decisions from the National Labor Relations Board that will change current interpretations of labor law and enact card check nationwide,” said Walsh.

Card check: In case you aren’t familiar with it, card check is an alternative to the secret ballot elections that are required to occur with federal oversight.

  • To begin the unionization process, card check efforts require over 50% of employees to sign a card indicating their interest in forming a union. Card check proposals also jeopardize employees’ right to privately cast their ballots and could lead to less secure union elections, according to Walsh.
  • “The NLRB’s General Counsel, Jennifer Abruzzo, aims to overturn longstanding practices surrounding union elections and card check policies,” added Walsh. “She has also called for overruling prior standards that have given employers the right to speak to their employees on union organizing. This would be devastating for employers.”

PRO Act: “Manufacturers support workers’ federally protected right to collectively bargain, but the Protecting the Right to Organize Act would hurt relationships between employers and employees by allowing unions to access personal employee information in union-organizing drives,” said Walsh.

  • “It is also another way to eliminate the secret ballot by taking away the ability for workers to privately cast their votes in a union election. This makes a worker’s vote known on a physical card for union organizers and their co-workers to see—making them susceptible to pressure campaigns.”

The NAM in action: The NAM is advocating against these policies and has been successful at holding back the PRO Act in the Senate.

  • Most recently, the NAM has been leading a campaign to make sure that card check language is not included in Congress’ final China competition bill.

What’s ahead: “Because of the composition of the NLRB, we expect many cases to be decided against employers,” said Walsh. “This is where the work of the NAM Legal Center is going to be really important in our efforts to beat back union tactics. We will be engaged in NLRB proceedings—and are prepared to go to court when necessary.”

Get involved: To take action on this issue, go here.

Press Releases

Manufacturers Launch Ad Campaign to Protect Manufacturing Competitiveness

Tax Increases Do Nothing to Reduce Energy Costs, Address Supply Chain and Inflation Challenges

Washington, D.C. – Amid historic supply chain challenges and inflationary pressures, along with increasing energy costs, the National Association of Manufacturers is launching a six-figure ad campaign calling on Congress to protect manufacturing jobs by opposing new taxes on the industry, including those meant to punish the very energy manufacturers that are being asked to produce more. The print, radio and digital ads will run in Washington, D.C., and in key states across the country.

“Manufacturers have kept our promises—especially after the 2017 tax reforms—to create jobs, raise wages and benefits and invest in our communities. To keep up this winning record, we need Congress to enact policies consistent with our manufacturing competitiveness agenda. That’s how we’ll strengthen supply chains, expand access to affordable, reliable energy and tamp down inflation. Our industry is ready to keep solving problems and create well-paying jobs—but returning to outdated tax policies will impede our progress,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons.

Background on manufacturing growth following the enactment of tax reform in 2017:

  • In 2018, manufacturers added 260,000 new jobs. That was the best year for job creation in manufacturing in 21 years.
  • In 2018, manufacturing wages increased 3.1% and continued going up—by 2.9% 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 3.2% in 2018, the best since 2010.

The NAM has published research on the impact of rolling back tax reform (study available here and click here for a summary of the study’s findings) and increasing the U.S. Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income (GILTI) tax burden (study available 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 12.7 million men and women, contributes $2.71 trillion to the U.S. economy annually 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 Supreme Court Decision

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement following the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization:

“America is at its best when we address difficult questions in a spirit of compassion and empathy, with respect for each other’s deeply held views. That is the example that we will strive to set at the NAM. Our mission is to uphold the values of free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity, which we know have made America exceptional and kept manufacturing strong.

Even amid all positions and strongly held views, many businesses must now discern how best to support employees and families within the framework of the law. The NAM will work to connect our member companies with the legal, HR and health care information and resources they need to navigate the effects of the ruling.”

-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 12.7 million men and women, contributes $2.71 trillion to the U.S. economy annually 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 Warn Gas Tax Suspension Is a Step Backward

Washington, D.C. – Following the decision by President Biden to instruct Congress to suspend federal gasoline and diesel taxes for three months, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:

“Our nation achieved historic progress with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, but this move is likely to derail its implementation by suddenly disrupting its funding, delaying critical projects that Americans desperately need and that are vital to manufacturers’ competitiveness. Our focus should be on increasing energy production here at home—to make manufacturers more competitive, to bring energy and gasoline prices down and to provide lasting relief for American families. We need the same smart, long-term approach that inspired the infrastructure bill to solve today’s energy challenges.

“Since the beginning of this administration, we have provided specific solutions and recommendations for improving energy security and taking an all-of-the-above approach: restarting and expanding oil and gas leasing on federal lands, prioritizing funding and expediting permitting for traditional and emerging energy options, expanding critical mineral mining and processing, strengthening and diversifying clean energy supply chains, promoting regulatory predictability by refraining from revising air standards until previous ones are met, upholding the infrastructure law’s One Federal Decision policy and more. We would be in a better position now if these and other actions had already been taken, and the need to act has only grown more urgent. Manufacturers will continue doing everything in our power to be part of the solution.”

-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 12.7 million men and women, contributes $2.71 trillion to the U.S. economy annually 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 Lays Out Economic Recommendations

Get the Latest News

Get involved

To support the work of Congress’ Jobs and Economy Task Force, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons laid out a series of recommendations designed to strengthen manufacturers’ competitiveness and the economy as a whole.

Supporting innovation: NAM opposes a new provision in the tax code that makes research and development expenses deductible over a period of years, rather than in the same year they are incurred. This change makes R&D more expensive in the US, threatening American innovation as well as manufacturing jobs that are directly or indirectly supported by R&D.

Financing growth: Timmons outlined NAM’s support for reversing the stricter interest deductibility limitation that went into effect this year. “The stricter limitation essentially acts as a tax on investment and makes the U.S. a global outlier,” said Timmons. “Permanently reversing this harmful change will help support future long-term job-creating investments.”

Protecting a level playing field: Timmons urged Congress to prevent several scheduled tax changes to the international tax regime from going into effect. He wrote, “Congress should ensure that manufacturers do not face a harsher tax regime than the rest of the world as it would disadvantage manufacturers and manufacturing workers in the US.”

Ensuring access to capital: Since manufacturing is a capital-intensive industry that requires significant investments in equipment, facilities and R&D, NAM encourages the federal government to help, rather than hinder, access to capital. Timmons urged the government to enable capital formation by publicly traded companies, avoids imposing undue restrictions on pro-competitive mergers and acquisitions, and provides support for small and medium sized manufacturers.

Other recommendations: Timmons further encouraged Congress to strengthen, streamline, and codify the regulatory system to improve regulatory outcomes and efficiency, improve workforce development by updating the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, and bolster supply chain resiliency through the creation of a federal fund that provides grants, loans, and loan guarantees.

The last word: “At this time of high inflation, snarled supply chains, workforce shortages and global instability, manufacturers need every available tool to continue driving economic growth and job creation in the United States,” said Timmons. “As has been abundantly clear in recent years, manufacturing in America is critical not just to our economic health but to public health—to our very lives and livelihoods.”

  • “The decisions policymakers make today will determine whether manufacturing in the United States—and therefore the entire American economy—will remain an engine of growth and opportunity. Manufacturers’ policy agenda provides a solid path forward.”

Read more: For more of the NAM’s policy agenda, check out Competing to Win.

Press Releases

WTO TRIPS Decision Jeopardizes Pandemic Response, Manufacturing Competitiveness

Washington, D.C. – Following a decision by the World Trade Organization to lift intellectual property protections for COVID-19 products, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:

“This damaging decision will undermine American innovation, competitiveness and technology leadership—weakening manufacturing in America and threatening the jobs of manufacturing workers. Even worse, the agreement could exacerbate the supply chain and logistical hurdles that represent the biggest current challenges to global efforts to ensure access to critical COVID-19 products.

“It is alarming and disappointing that the United States would join other countries to give away manufacturers’ innovations to our commercial rivals. Our industry has been on the front lines of efforts to fight COVID-19—developing, manufacturing and distributing vaccines and other essential products needed to save lives and strengthen our economy. American innovation has been at the heart of the manufacturing response to the pandemic and will be just as critical for our ability to lead the world and respond to future global health crises.

“Manufacturers have been vocal supporters of effective solutions at the WTO that leverage trade to fight the pandemic—but this waiver is not one of them. Manufacturers call on the Biden administration to reverse course on this decision and take immediate action to protect this vital technology, American workers and global health.”

-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 12.7 million men and women, contributes $2.71 trillion to the U.S. economy annually 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

DACA Recipients Deserve Certainty

Get the Latest News

Get involved

As we mark a decade since the introduction of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, millions of hardworking people—many of whom were essential workers during the pandemic—remain uncertain of their future, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons said today, as he urged Congress to act.

What’s happening: The vast majority (94%) of those eligible for DACA, a program that provides two-year deportation deferments for some non-U.S.-born young people, are employed in the country’s workforce, Timmons noted in communication to Congress.

  • “More than three-quarters of DACA recipients were essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Timmons said. “In fact, DACA recipients are involved in work across the economy, from construction to hospitality to manufacturing.”

The manufacturing angle: The manufacturing sector, which has nearly 1 million job openings, can’t afford to lose skilled members of its labor pool, according to Timmons.

  • “Further disruptions to the legal status of this worker population would be devastating,” he said.

What can be done: Legislators should make moves before the scheduled July 6 Court of Appeals hearings on DACA’s legality, Timmons recommended.

“Congress should act ahead of the courts and legislate to ensure a stable future for this population. We look forward to engaging with [policymakers] as we work towards a solution for these deserving individuals.”

Press Releases

Manufacturers Warn of Harmful Impact of Proposed Interest Expense Limitation

Analysis Shows Limiting Interest Deductibility Disproportionately Harms Manufacturers, Costs Jobs

Washington, D.C. – Following the release of an analysis­­­ on the damaging effects of a proposed interest expense limitation under consideration by Congress, National Association of Manufacturers Managing Vice President of Tax and Domestic Economic Policy Chris Netram released the following statement.

“Manufacturers are already facing incredible economic headwinds due to increased input costs, labor shortages and strong inflationary pressures. This analysis shows that limiting tax deductions for interest on business loans disproportionately harm manufacturers at a perilous time—costing hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic growth at a time when our industry is trying to drive our nation’s recovery.

“When Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, manufacturers raised wages, invested in U.S. operations and spurred growth. Congress should be considering proposals that double down on the TCJA’s winning record rather than considering tax increases that will sabotage our recovery.”

The analysis was prepared by EY’s Quantitative Economics and Statistics group.

 Key Findings:

The EBIT-based 163(j) and proposed163(n) interest expense limitations before market adjustments would cost:

  • 623,000 Jobs
  • $31.6 Billion in Employee Compensation Annually
  • $60.1 billion in GDP Annually

-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 12.7 million men and women, contributes $2.71 trillion to the U.S. economy annually 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.

View More