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.

Press Releases

Consequences of a Higher Corporate Tax Rate: 1 Million Jobs Lost in First Two Years

Timmons: “America can’t afford that, especially now.”

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers released a new study detailing the short- and long-term damage to the American economy under tax proposals to increase the corporate tax rate and repeal policies that made manufacturing in America more competitive around the world.

“Manufacturers want to help President Biden achieve his goal of creating jobs in America and strengthening the supply chain so that our country does not face critical shortages, especially during times of national crises.

“As we slowly emerge from the economic catastrophe caused by COVID-19, American businesses are at a pivotal point in our nation’s history. Manufacturers can, and should, lead the economic recovery in the wake of the pandemic. But this study tells us quantitatively what manufacturers from coast to coast will tell you qualitatively: increasing the tax burden on companies in America means fewer American jobs. One million jobs would be lost in the first two years, to be exact,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons.

“After decades of advocating for a tax system that provided competitive rates and modern international tax provisions, manufacturers in America kept our promises following the enactment of the 2017 tax reforms: we raised wages and benefits, we hired more American workers, and we invested in our communities. If we undo those reforms, all of that will be put at significant risk. Manufacturing workers will lose out on jobs, growth and raises. We should be building on that progress, not rolling it back. But the conclusion of this study is inescapable—follow through with tax hikes that give other countries a clear advantage and we’ll see far fewer jobs created in America.”

The study calculated the effects of increasing the corporate tax rate to 28%, increasing the top marginal tax rate, repealing the 20% pass-through deduction, eliminating certain expensing provisions and more. The negative consequences would include the following:

  • One million jobs lost in the first two years;
  • By 2023, GDP would be down by $117 billion, by $190 billion in 2026 and by $119 billion in 2031;
  • Ordinary capital, or investments in equipment and structures, would be $80 billion less in 2023 and $83 billion and $66 billion less in 2026 and 2031, respectively;
  • And more.

“There are some who are well-meaning and have suggested that the U.S. corporate tax rate should increase, but not by as much as the 28% proposed. Unfortunately, what that means is that America will still lose jobs and investment, just not quite as much. America just can’t afford that, especially now,” Timmons said.

Click here for a summary of the study’s details and findings. Read the full study, “Dynamic Estimates of the Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Rate Increases and Other Tax Policy Changes,” conducted by Rice University economists John W. Diamond and George R. Zodrow,” here

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

  • In 2018, manufacturers added 263,000 new jobs. That was the best year for job creation in manufacturing in 21 years.
  • In 2018, manufacturing wages increased 3% and continued going up—by 2.8% in 2019 and by 3% in 2020. Those were the fastest rates of annual growth since 2003.
  • Manufacturing capital spending grew by 4.5% and 5.7% in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
  • Overall, manufacturing production grew 2.7% in 2018, with December 2018 being the best month for manufacturing output since May 2008.

Manufacturers strongly support President Biden’s focus on bold infrastructure investment, which can be achieved through a combination of revenue sources like those identified in the NAM’s ‘Building to Win.’

-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 12.3 million men and women, contributes $2.32 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: Build Now for the Post-Pandemic World

When manufacturing is strong, America is strong

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on President Joe Biden’s infrastructure framework.

“The President’s proposal for historic levels of infrastructure investment reflects many of the investment priorities in the NAM’s ‘Building to Win’ plan, and we look forward to reviewing the details. President Biden’s clear focus on strengthening manufacturing and the workforce of the future shows that he is truly committed to building the next post-pandemic world—one that is stronger and more resilient than in pre-pandemic times.

“Manufacturers have played a leading role in the fight against COVID-19, and we will continue to play a leading role in our economic recovery. When manufacturing is strong, America is strong.

“One thing is clear for our industry, though. Raising taxes on manufacturers would fundamentally undermine our ability to lead this recovery. Our industry fought for decades to achieve a tax system that includes competitive rates and modern international tax provisions. As a result of the 2017 reforms, manufacturers kept our promises: we raised wages and benefits, we hired American workers, and we invested in our communities. Raising taxes on manufacturers here at home would jeopardize all of that and make it more difficult for them to compete in the global economy—putting investment, jobs and livelihoods at risk. We believe strongly in bold infrastructure investment, and we know it can be achieved through a combination of revenue sources like those we identified in the NAM’s ‘Building to Win,’ which includes user fees and bond financing for capital projects. We also know that making the men and women who make things in America pay for the infrastructure projects that will benefit all Americans just doesn’t make sense and would harm their future. Let’s keep moving forward and not turn back the clock to the archaic tax policies that gave other countries an advantage over America.

“To be sure, President Biden’s proposal on infrastructure investment is strong, necessary and welcome. Achieving our shared goals will be the result of debate, discussion and collaboration with the administration and both parties in Congress. We can achieve the President’s investment objectives while holding firm against financing proposals that would severely harm the ability of manufacturers to invest and hire workers here in the U.S. We look forward to engaging with all stakeholders to achieve an outcome that benefits all economic sectors and all Americans.”

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

  • In 2018, manufacturers added 263,000 new jobs. That was the best year for job creation in manufacturing in 21 years.
  • In 2018, manufacturing wages increased 3% and continued going up—by 2.8% in 2019 and by 3% in 2020. Those were the fastest rates of annual growth since 2003.
  • Manufacturing capital spending grew by 4.5% and 5.7% in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
  • Overall, manufacturing production grew 2.7% in 2018, with December 2018 being the best month for manufacturing output since May 2008.

-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 12.3 million men and women, contributes $2.32 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 Pursues Free and Fair Policies on China

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NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons sent a letter to President Biden on Wednesday urging the president to develop and implement a post-pandemic strategy regarding the U.S. relationship with China.

Why it matters: As the letter notes, China has signed new trade and investment agreements with a variety of nations in Europe and Asia over the past few months, increasing pressure on the United States to engage in a thoughtful and effective way to preserve America’s influence worldwide. But the U.S. relationship with China is also both delicate and complex, requiring the U.S. to challenge China in some areas even as we work to collaborate in others.

A combative adversary: “For manufacturers, China has long been a hub for unfair industrial subsidies and government-fueled overcapacity in areas like steel and aluminum that distort global markets. China continues to promote discriminatory industrial policies, forced technology transfer and intellectual property theft that harm manufacturers and workers in the United States. Increasingly, China is also using global institutions and its economic influence to build alliances that challenge American interests, human rights and democratic values.”

An important partner: “Yet, China will also be a key player in tackling global challenges that matter for manufacturers, from COVID-19 to climate change. And China is a major destination for U.S. exports, with nearly $90 billion in manufactured goods going there in 2020, placing it behind only Canada and Mexico in the ranks of our biggest trade partners and supporting hundreds of thousands of well-paying U.S. manufacturing jobs.”

The big picture: “America’s strategy must reflect the realities of the moment and the future: as we take stock of new post-pandemic realities, China will be a necessary partner, a fierce economic competitor and a major rival challenging American global influence.”

Read the whole thing for a list of the NAM’s policy proposals.

Policy and Legal

Timmons Defends Tax Reform and Advocates Investment Incentives

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When leading members of Congress are asked what organizations were decisive in passing landmark tax reform in 2017, the NAM is often one of the first organizations named. So, when a powerful Senate committee decides to explore issues related to taxes and competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers, the NAM gets the call.

NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons testified before the Senate Committee on Finance on Tuesday to push forward a post-partisan consensus on a number of key manufacturing priorities. A few highlights are below, and you can read the full testimony here.

Pandemic response: “Today, one year after health restrictions began, the light at the end of the tunnel is growing brighter by the second—thanks to the innovation of pharmaceutical manufacturers. Their heroic work, combined with the previous administration’s Operation Warp Speed and this Congress and this administration’s focus on and investment in vaccine distribution, is now saving about 2 million American lives every single day.”

Supply chains: Timmons also spoke about the need to strengthen supply chains and touted the NAM’s supply chain policy recommendations, calling out three in particular:

  • The need for predictability and stability in the tax code. Timmons spoke about the benefits of tax reform for manufacturers, reinforced how the industry has kept its promise after the historic law was passed and asked Congress to protect the benefits the law provided.
  • The need for a tax code that supports innovation—specifically by preserving manufacturers’ ability to invest in research and development.
  • The need to recognize that “policies that are successful in growing manufacturing will require significant capital expenditures by the small and medium-sized firms that are the backbone of our domestic supply chain.”

Challenges ahead: Timmons called out two proposed changes to the tax code that would make it more difficult for those businesses to invest:

  • “More stringent limitations on interest deductions and the phase out of immediate expensing will take effect in the years ahead. If not reversed, these changes will make it hard to grow manufacturing.”

Manufacturers speak: In addition to Timmons, Intel Corporation Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer George S. Davis and Ford Motor Company Vice President of Global Commodity Purchasing and Supplier Technical Assistance Jonathan Jennings also testified at the hearing.

Questions to consider: Timmons closed by asking a series of questions about whether America would meet its moment—including by ensuring competitive tax rates, investing in infrastructure, developing trade agreements that protect American workers and enacting comprehensive immigration reform that offers a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

His response: “If the answer to those questions is ‘yes,’ if we tackle these fundamental issues, then I’m certain that this Next World that we are building in the aftermath of the pandemic will be built by American workers in American factories, restoring American leadership in the world.”

Press Releases

Timmons Opening Statement to U.S. Senate Committee on Finance Hearing on Made in America: Effect of the U.S. Tax Code on Domestic Manufacturing

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons delivered the following opening statement at a U.S. Senate Committee on Finance hearing entitled Made in America: Effect of the U.S. Tax Code on Domestic Manufacturing.

Click here to watch the hearing.

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

Good morning. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I’m joining you virtually because of the pandemic that this country has endured for more than a year now. But this pandemic is far more than a story of economic hardship and painful loss. It’s also a story of communities and companies rising to the challenge.

America’s manufacturing workers mobilized in ways reminiscent of their resolve during World War II, when manufacturers became the arsenal of democracy. The companies joining me today are part of this effort. Ford remade shop floors to make ventilators and face shields. Intel accelerated access to technology to combat the pandemic. From iconic global brands to family-owned shops, manufacturers answered the call.

Today, one year after health restrictions began, the light at the end of the tunnel is growing brighter by the second—thanks to the innovation of pharmaceutical manufacturers. Their heroic work, combined with the previous administration’s Operation Warp Speed and this Congress and this administration’s focus on and investment in vaccine distribution, is now saving about 2 million American lives every single day.

Manufacturing workers’ achievements are all the more impressive when you consider the disruptions they had to overcome. This pandemic exposed and exacerbated serious supply chain issues that we now must address as we work to build the next post-pandemic world.

In spring 2020, the National Association of Manufacturers released our plan for strengthening manufacturing supply chains. I’ve discussed it directly with some of you.

Our goal is your goal: Ensuring that the next dollar invested in manufacturing is invested in America.

The plan is comprehensive, from taxes to workforce. The central premise is that incentives—not punitive measures—will allow us to achieve our shared goal.

Let me call out three key recommendations.

Number one: We must recognize the importance of predictability and stability in the tax code. Tax reform made manufacturers more competitive, driving historic job creation, wage growth and productivity in its immediate aftermath. Let’s not undo that progress.

Number two: Manufacturers in America can only remain at the cutting edge if our tax code supports innovation. Unfortunately, it will do just the opposite starting next year.

A looming change to the tax treatment of research costs will make it more expensive to perform R&D—potentially costing America its innovation edge.

Number three: Let’s recognize a simple truth—policies that are successful in growing manufacturing will require significant capital expenditures by the small and medium-sized firms that are the backbone of our domestic supply chain.

But two other looming changes to the tax code will make those expenditures difficult. More stringent limitations on interest deductions and the phase out of immediate expensing will take effect in the years ahead. If not reversed, these changes will make it hard to grow manufacturing.

Ultimately, ensuring that next manufacturing dollar is invested right here in America requires looking at the entire business climate.

And that means that this Congress will have to address other pressing questions.

Will tax rates for businesses of all sizes remain competitive—or better yet, become more competitive—so that we can keep attracting investment?

Will the regulatory system provide certainty and clarity?

Will health care become more affordable—without compromising free market principles?

Will this nation finally make the bold investments in infrastructure that are long overdue?

Will energy be abundant, affordable and reliable?

Will export opportunities increase while we enforce our existing trade agreements to protect American workers?

And will we achieve comprehensive immigration reform to ensure that those hidden in the shadows or brought here as children can become permanent, productive members of society?

If the answer to those questions is “yes,” if we tackle these fundamental issues, then I’m certain that this Next World that we are building in the aftermath of the pandemic will be built by American workers in American factories, restoring American leadership in the world.

Thank you, and I look forward to your questions.

-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 12.3 million men and women, contributes $2.32 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 Helps Avert Compliance Crisis

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Manufacturers across many sectors were surprised in recent weeks by a ban on products containing a chemical called PIP (3:1), which was slated to go into effect after March 8, 2021. Due to the incredibly short compliance window and because PIP has not been regulated elsewhere in the world, it is a major challenge even to identify its potential presence in supply chains.

The sudden ban could have caused significant disruption in the manufacturing industry and snarled the economic recovery, NAM Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Rachel Jones tells us. Here’s what you need to know.

Why it matters:  While there is no PIP chemical manufacturing in the United States, it can be found in a broad array of components that are used in electronics; robotics and manufacturing equipment; gaskets, clamps, tubes, harnesses, cables and casings; and in many other applications for flame retardant purposes. The ban would have a serious impact on manufacturers in the United States, forcing them to scrutinize every component of their supply chains for PIP, rework manufacturing processes and find new materials in an impossibly short timeframe.

The COVID-19 angle: Many of the products that would be impacted by this rule are being used to conduct research into COVID-19, whether that involves an examination of COVID-19 variants or developing, producing, storing and distributing COVID-19 vaccines. If this rule goes forward without being fixed, some of these products could become unavailable at a time when they are needed most.

What we did: The consensus from some experts was that changing the Biden EPA’s approach on this matter was a futile effort. But the NAM pressed forward and asked the EPA to issue a “no action assurance” for downstream manufacturers until the PIP rule can be amended to include a reasonable compliance timeframe. At the same time, the NAM moved forward in court to preserve relief options and to ensure that manufacturers affected by the rule can be made whole.

The results: After the NAM’s intervention, the EPA announced a 180-day “No Action Assurance” and opened a new 60-day comment docket to reexamine the rule. The NAM will continue to work with the EPA to find a reasonable approach that supports manufacturers and upholds critical standards.

The last word: Jones says, “When manufacturers are willing to speak up on challenging issues, we can solve complex problems. I have zero doubt that EPA’s extraordinary action was in response to our work with many NAM members and collaborative solutions-focused advocacy. While we celebrate this important interim victory, it is only a 180-day window of relief and manufacturers need more time.”

Press Releases

Manufacturers: PRO Act Is Anti-Worker

New Survey Shows Danger to Operations and Relationships

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the below statement in advance of the House of Representatives’ vote on the Protecting the Right to Organize Act. In the latest Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey, a startling 97% of respondents familiar with the PRO Act said it would negatively impact operations and damage relationships with manufacturing workers.

“When you consider the harm that it will do to the employer–employee relationship, it’s clear the PRO Act is anti-worker,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “As the latest Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey highlights, manufacturers have deep concerns about the PRO Act’s intrusions on worker privacy and restrictions on workplace communication—among many other issues. It will make it harder for manufacturers to thrive and more difficult to foster positive, inclusive workplace cultures.

“Manufacturers recognize and support workers’ federally-protected right to collectively bargain. But the PRO Act will upend the modern workplace, and it could set back our industry, our workers and their families at a time when optimism is finally on the rise.”

Background: More than 130 organizations representing manufacturers nationwide joined an NAM letter opposing the PRO Act.

-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 $2.32 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’ Optimism Continues to Rise

Highest Reading in Two Years

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers released its first Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey of 2021 and the first since the Biden administration took office. The survey showed manufacturers’ optimism increasing to nearly 88%—the highest reading in two years, and up from 74% in the Q4 2020 survey. This steady improvement represents an increase of 54 percentage points since the results of the first survey that measured manufacturers’ sentiment after the pandemic was declared (34% in Q2 2020).

“As vaccines roll out at a faster pace and we see signs of an improving economy, manufacturers’ optimism is rising fast,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “Our industry is creating new jobs and investing in new projects, buoyed by signs that we may finally be getting COVID-19 under control. Of course, our industry knows we are not out of the woods yet. That’s why we continue to lead by example, wearing face coverings and promoting vaccination. The smart health protocols are more important than ever. This is our shot—not just to end the pandemic but to build a new and stronger economy that creates opportunity for all.”

Key survey findings include the following:

  • In the first quarter, nearly 88% of manufacturers said they were either somewhat or very positive about the outlook for their company.
  • Increased costs of raw materials (76%) and the inability to attract and retain talent (66%) were the top-two biggest challenges facing manufacturers in 2021.
  • Other top worries included rising health care and insurance costs (50.9%), transportation and logistics costs (50.2%), supply chain challenges with inventory management (48.7%) and an unfavorable business climate, including taxes and regulations (44.0%).

Read the full Q1 2021 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey results 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 12.3 million men and women, contributes $2.32 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: America Is Still Living in Crisis, Action Is Needed

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on the American Rescue Plan.

“Manufacturers have witnessed the health and economic devastation that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to too many families across our country. The American people have endured immense pain and uncertainty for a year now, and we have more difficult months ahead. Too many people continue to need help with the basics—housing, food and financial stability. So as Congress continues to consider relief and support for these families, we urge lawmakers to take a bipartisan approach that ensures resources are targeted in the most effective way to have the most powerful impact. The vaccines developed by innovative pharmaceutical manufacturers will help bring an end to this pandemic, so we urge all lawmakers to support vital resources to deploy more vaccines as quickly as possible and arm Americans against COVID-19.

“America is still living through a crisis, and crisis demands action. Manufacturers believe the best course is one that is focused on providing the relief Americans need and one that achieves broad support.”

-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 12.3 million men and women, contributes $2.32 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 Pushes Back on PRO Act

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The NAM is speaking out against H.R. 842/S. 420, the Protecting the Right to Organize Act.

Impacting workers: The bill would remove the right to a secret ballot in union elections, allow unions to access personal employee information in union-organizing drives, prevent workers from working as independent contractors and force workers to pay union dues even if they do not support the union.

Impacting businesses: The bill would also increase liability and penalties, threaten supply chains and create an adverse relationship between employers and employees—while also making it harder for businesses to access legal counsel.

Our take: “The PRO Act is a misguided attempt to fundamentally restructure American workplaces and would infringe on workers’ rights to a secret ballot, workplace democracy and personal privacy,” said NAM Vice President of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources Policy Robyn Boerstling in a letter to Congress.

  • “This bill is being considered during an unprecedented global pandemic, in which manufacturing workers are supplying Americans with the medicine, protective equipment and goods necessary to defeat COVID-19… It is critical that Congress consider policies that support manufacturers in the fight against COVID-19, but the PRO Act would do the opposite.”

In other congressional news, the NAM threw its support behind H.R. 5, the Equality Act of 2021, which would amend the Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, public education, federal funding, credit and the jury system.

  • “Manufacturers have known for years that an inclusive workplace with meaningful anti-discrimination protections helps them hire and retain the best possible workforce,” said NAM Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary Linda Kelly in a letter to the House of Representatives. “Individuals can only thrive when they can bring their whole selves to work. Manufacturers can only attract talented employees when those employees feel safe from discrimination, harassment or worse at work and in their communities.”
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