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

SEC Reverses on Proxy Firm Rule

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Press Releases

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

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

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

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

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.5 million men and women, contributes $2.5 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 58% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

 

Press Releases

Manufacturers: SEC’s About-Face Is Deeply Troubling

Washington, D.C. – Following the announcement by the Securities and Exchange Commission that it intends to rescind commonsense investor protections designed to provide oversight of so-called proxy advisory firms—little-known, unregulated entities that exert enormous influence over publicly traded manufacturers—National Association of Manufacturers Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Relations Aric Newhouse released the following statement:

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

-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.

Press Releases

Manufacturers: Now That This Historic Bill Has Become Law, We Can Build a Future Worthy of the Next Generation

Washington, D.C. – Following President Biden’s signing of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons and Trane Technologies Executive Chair and NAM Board Chair Mike Lamach released the below statements:

“Now that this historic bill has become law, we can build a future worthy of the next generation,” said Timmons. “For manufacturers, this is a victory years in the making. In 2016, the NAM released our ‘Building to Win’ plan, which called for exactly this type of bold infrastructure investment. It has guided our advocacy with administrations and legislators of both parties, and the leadership of President Biden and senators from both parties produced a bill that achieved many of our ‘Building to Win’ goals without raising tax rates on manufacturers. And this bipartisan approach can be a model for future legislation—one that puts policy above politics, personality or process.”

“As chair of the National Association of Manufacturers, I’m honored to be at today’s signing and pleased to have been part of this historic, bipartisan process to build a safer, stronger infrastructure,” said Lamach. “The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a critical investment in our nation’s economic recovery and in the future of manufacturing. Funding for critical transportation, broadband, water and energy systems will strengthen supply chains, protect the environment and enable opportunity for people across our country.”

To see key provisions championed by the NAM in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, 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 12.5 million men and women, contributes $2.5 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 58% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

Manufacturers: This Moment and the Transformational Change It Will Bring About Has Been Decades in the Making

Washington, D.C. – Following the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement:

“This moment and the transformational change it will bring about has been decades in the making. Manufacturers commend Congress for coming together to pass this historic, bipartisan legislation. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act makes America stronger, with a promise to renew and revitalize our nation’s physical infrastructure, improving productivity and quality of life for everybody—and without raising taxes or jeopardizing economic growth and manufacturing jobs.

“Failure to invest has been a drain on America’s economy, costing families and businesses significant time and money. This type of investment will enable us to continue to grow our economy and get started on building the world-class infrastructure that will enable us to lead through this century and into the next.”

To see the NAM-championed provisions in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, 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 12.4 million men and women, contributes $2.5 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 58% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

Manufacturers Committed to Promoting Vaccination And Keeping Our Teams, Customers And Communities Safe And Healthy

Washington, D.C. – Following the introduction of a rule by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that employers with 100 or more employees will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4, 2022, or get tested for the virus weekly under government rules issued Thursday, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:

“Manufacturers continue to be committed to promoting vaccination and keeping our teams, customers and communities safe and healthy. Federal vaccine requirements should be flexible enough to ensure we can achieve those goals, and we appreciate OSHA taking many of our inputs into consideration. We are still reviewing the rule, but we will continue to share manufacturers’ perspectives and experiences with the administration to make sure our members aren’t faced with undue cost burdens and other potential disruptions. And as we have been doing throughout the pandemic through our ‘This Is Our Shot’ project, the NAM and The Manufacturing Institute will continue providing manufacturers with the tools needed to communicate effectively about the importance of COVID-19 vaccines—vaccines made for all of us by people like us, manufacturers in America.”

-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 12.4 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 Opposes Book Tax

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The NAM is pushing back on a proposed “book tax” that would significantly raise taxes and penalize manufacturers for undertaking job creating investments across the country.

What it is: Included in the Build Back Better framework, the book tax imposes a 15% minimum tax on the financial statement — or book income — on corporations with over $1 billion in profits. The provision would be effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2022.

Why it matters: Imposing a book tax would create a mandatory parallel tax system separate from the current corporate tax system—one that would deny accelerated depreciation (i.e. 100% bonus depreciation) that serves as a powerful pro-growth tool for manufacturers by reducing the after-tax cost of long-lived capital equipment purchases. Under a book tax such purchases would be deducted based on their useful lives.

  • According to data from the nonpartisan Joint Tax Committee, the manufacturing sector leads all other sectors in the use of bonus depreciation, meaning that imposing a tax like this would disproportionately impact manufacturers.

What we’re saying: “Employing more than 12 million people who make things in America, paying employees nearly 24% more than the average for all businesses and having the largest economic impact of any major sector, the manufacturing industry has been helping to lead the economic recovery,” said NAM Vice President of Tax and Domestic Economic Policy Chris Netram. “However, imposing a book tax would not only undermine the recovery but also make it harder for the next manufacturing dollar to be spent in America, negatively impacting growth in family-supporting American manufacturing jobs.”

What we’re doing: The NAM is urging Congress to oppose the inclusion of a book tax in reconciliation legislation.

Policy and Legal

Lack of Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Hamstrings Manufacturers

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As manufacturers continue to lead America’s economic recovery, they’re doing so in the face of a real—and avoidable—challenge. Because Congress has failed to act, manufacturers in the United States have been operating without a Miscellaneous Tariff Bill since January, which has led to higher prices, greater difficulty in competing with businesses overseas and harm to American workers.

The context: The MTB temporarily eliminates tariffs on imported materials that are either not made in the United States at all or are not available in sufficient quantities. It boosts American competitiveness and ensures that U.S.-made products are competitive with products manufactured outside of the country.

  • Typically, the MTB is reauthorized every few years. In 2018, Congress unanimously passed the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Act of 2018, which reauthorized the MTB through 2020. Unfortunately, the bill expired at the end of last year, and Congress has failed to act, leaving manufacturers in the United States paying extra taxes of $1.3 million per day on vital products that are not available in this country.

What’s happening now: While the Senate passed MTB legislation in June 2021 as part of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, the House still needs to act. If the House doesn’t pass bipartisan MTB legislation soon, manufacturers, their workers and their communities will continue to face unnecessary additional costs—as both Dow and Element Electronics have.

Impact on manufacturers in the U.S.: Manufacturers like Dow are feeling the impact. As prices increase for everyone, manufacturers are also battling rising costs, which makes it difficult to manage cost-effective production and impacts the ability to sustain and expand opportunities for American workers.

  • “For Dow, the MTB supports as many as 6,000 jobs across the United States, from Michigan and Texas to Illinois, Kentucky and beyond,” said Eric Friedman, the senior director of federal government affairs at Dow. “Dow is the largest materials sciences company in North America. It is critical for us to ensure that we have competitive access to our essential inputs for our U.S. operations and can manage costs It speaks directly to our U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and the incredible workforce that drives innovation.”

Meanwhile, the tariffs also create higher prices for consumers, making it more difficult for Americans to purchase goods from U.S. companies.

  • “The MTB’s expiration has reverberations across multiple product lines that Americans use every day, from textiles to cosmetics to cleaning products and insulation,” said Friedman. “These value chains are inextricably tied together. Rising costs for chemicals impacts the 96% of manufacturing downstream that uses our products to make finished goods for both U.S. and global markets. Making our supply chains cost competitive through MTB also supports our consumers who need to manage their costs.”

The harm to small business: For television producer Element Electronics, headquartered in Winnsboro, South Carolina, the lapse of the MTB has caused a significant readjustment, forcing them to downsize their business and lose workers.

  • “As a result of the lapse in the MTB…Element has gone from operating at full capacity and over 520 team members at the end of [2020] to operating just four lines, and employment has dropped to 370 team members,” said David Baer, chief operating officer and general counsel at Element Electronics, in recent congressional testimony.

For Element, restoring the MTB is an urgent matter that would help them compete with companies overseas and reengage with consumers across the country and around the world.

  • “Leveling the playing field through retroactively restoring the MTB…will allow Element’s employees to once again successfully compete against anyone,” said Baer. “Moreover, passing this bipartisan legislation will allow Element and many other companies to get back to doing what we do best—employing hundreds of hard-working Americans in good-paying jobs in a community that relies on Element as one of its primary sources of economic growth.”

What we’re saying: “The Miscellaneous Tariff Bill supports manufacturers and their workers who make things in America and who have been instrumental to America’s economic resurgence,” said Ali Aafedt, director of trade facilitation policy at the NAM. “Amidst a global pandemic, severe supply chain shortages and other hurdles, Congress’ lack of action on the MTB is yet another challenge. Congress has the opportunity to support manufacturers, workers and consumers in the United States by passing bipartisan MTB legislation by the end of the year.”

Press Releases

Manufacturers: Getting U.S. Methane Strategy Right Is Critical As We Tackle Climate Change

Washington, D.C. – Following the introduction of a proposed rule on methane regulation, the National Association of Manufacturers Vice President of Energy & Resources Policy Rachel Jones released the following statement.

“Getting the U.S. methane strategy right is critical as we tackle climate change, and manufacturers stand ready to work with the Biden administration and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to address this pivotal issue in a way that doesn’t harm manufacturing in America.

“Manufacturers are working with the EPA to share their expertise, and many companies are leading the way in rolling out technologies that make it possible to lower both emissions and costs. We look forward to learning specific details of the administration’s full methane strategy as our sector continues to work to make our planet healthy for future generations.”

-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 12.4 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.

Press Releases

New Reconciliation Pay-For Targets Manufacturers in America

New tax will stifle investment in our communities and factories resulting in fewer opportunities across the country

Washington, D.C. – Following the inclusion in the budget reconciliation legislation of a tax on so-called “book income,” the National Association of Manufacturers Vice President of Tax and Domestic Economic Policy Chris Netram released this statement:

“Manufacturers continue to stand in firm opposition against targeting our industry with new taxes to pay for the reconciliation bill. The ‘book tax’ will hit manufacturers harder than other sectors because expanding our operations requires much larger investments in capital equipment than other industries. This new tax doesn’t account for incentives for machinery and equipment purchases and will stifle investment in our communities and factories. If Congress adopts this policy, the result will be fewer opportunities in towns and cities across the country.

“Regardless of intent, these taxes will harm our industry’s ability to drive our economic recovery. The tax reforms of 2017 allowed us to achieve the best year for manufacturing job creation in more than two decades, and wages, benefits and investment surged. Rather than rolling that back or targeting manufacturers with new taxes, we should keep our tax code competitive and build an opportunity economy together.”

Background:

The NAM informed Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee leaders of the negative impacts this policy would have for manufacturing. Read the full letter 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 12.4 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.

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