Policy and Legal

Press Releases

Small Business Success Critical to Manufacturing

Washington, D.C. – Following President-elect Joe Biden’s announcement nominating Isabel Guzman for Administrator of the Small Business Administration, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement:

“Small and medium-sized manufacturers are the heart of the manufacturing industry in America. The NAM has long enjoyed a strong working relationship with the SBA, and this past year in particular the work of the SBA, especially the Paycheck Protection Program, has been critical for small manufacturers weathering the difficult economy. We congratulate Isabel Guzman on her nomination and look forward to working with her to ensure that small and medium-sized manufacturers can thrive in the United States and continue creating great jobs for the American people.”

-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 12.1 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 Congratulate Mayor Walsh on Nomination

Timmons: We look forward to opportunities to work with the Labor Department in the Biden administration to grow and strengthen our workforce

Washington, D.C. – Following President-elect Joe Biden’s announcement nominating Boston, Massachusetts, Mayor Marty Walsh for Secretary of Labor, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement:

“Manufacturers congratulate Mayor Walsh on his nomination. Our industry works every day to build a stronger, safer, more prosperous manufacturing workforce. We have more than half a million manufacturing jobs to fill right now and expect up to 4.6 million will need to be filled by 2028, which is why we launched our Creators Wanted campaign with The Manufacturing Institute, the NAM’s workforce development and education partner. Our focus is on inspiring a new generation and people of all backgrounds to pursue high-paying modern manufacturing careers. We look forward to opportunities to work with the Labor Department in the Biden administration to grow and strengthen our workforce.”

-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 12.1 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 on Judge Garland’s Nomination for Attorney General

Washington, D.C. – Following President-elect Joe Biden’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to serve as the 86th attorney general of the United States, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement:

“America will be well-served by Judge Merrick Garland’s background as a prosecutor, especially his experience in the prosecution of the Oklahoma City bombers, given the need to focus on effective justice after yesterday’s domestic terrorism at the U.S. Capitol.

“Throughout his years on the bench, Judge Garland has demonstrated a strong commitment to upholding the Constitution and rule of law—the cornerstone of our country’s strength and success. In our country today, there is an urgent need to bolster trust in our institutions, and in picking Judge Garland to be our nation’s chief law enforcement officer, President-elect Biden will help build greater trust and confidence in the U.S. Department of Justice. Manufacturers congratulate him on this nomination.”

-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.

Policy and Legal

Mobs Attack Capitol and the NAM Responds

As the whole world already knows, a mob seeking to thwart the certification of the U.S. presidential election overwhelmed police and broke into the Capitol building yesterday, forcing the evacuation of Congress and Vice President Mike Pence. Here are some stories to get you up to speed quickly.

Trump’s actions: The Wall Street Journal (subscription) has a useful overview of the horrifying events, including the outgoing president’s actions. After goading the insurrectionists to action throughout the day and attacking Vice President Pence for refusing to overturn the election results, President Donald Trump eventually released a video in which he issued a half-hearted call for “peace” while telling the mob, “We love you.” Twitter and Facebook both temporarily locked his social media accounts.

Democrats respond: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who is slated to be the next Senate majority leader, called for the removal of President Trump. Other lawmakers have also called for his removal.

  • “The quickest and most effective way—it can be done today—to remove this president from office would be for the Vice President to immediately invoke the 25th amendment. If the Vice President and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president,” said Schumer.

Republicans respond: Some senior Trump officials have resigned, including Special U.S. Envoy to Northern Ireland Mick Mulvaney, who previously served as White House chief of staff.

  • In an interview this morning, Mulvaney told CNBC: “We didn’t sign up for what you saw last night…. We signed up for making America great again; we signed up for lower taxes and less regulation. The president has a long list of successes that we can be proud of. But all of that went away yesterday….”

Other officials are considering resigning, according to The Washington Post (subscription), while some have also proposed invoking the 25th Amendment.

Businesses respond: Businesses and trade associations strongly condemned the rioters and President Trump, according to Fox Business. Business leaders nationwide demanded that elected leaders, including the president, call for an end to violence and support the peaceful transfer of power.

  • “These were destructive acts against our shared principles and beliefs of a peaceful transition of power,” said Ford Motor Company CEO Jim Farley. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said, “Our leaders must call for peace and unity.”

The NAM’s call: The NAM led the business community in a statement condemning the assault on American democracy. It urged our leaders to seriously consider next steps and reiterated its call for an orderly transition. NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons said:

  • “Throughout this whole disgusting episode, Trump has been cheered on by members of his own party, adding fuel to the distrust that has enflamed violent anger. This is not law and order. This is chaos. It is mob rule. It is dangerous. This is sedition and should be treated as such.”
  • “Vice President Pence, who was evacuated from the Capitol, should seriously consider working with the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to preserve democracy.”

Read the full statement here.

The bottom line: The NAM is committed to the millions of men and women who make things in America, and who have helped build a country that offers opportunity and freedom for all. The United States cannot function—as a nation or as a people—without respect for the rule of law and the ties that bind us together. Those who lead us must be especially strong in their support for our sacred institutions—or the country will not survive.

Policy and Legal

Manufacturers Await Possible COVID-19 Regulations

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The NAM is preparing manufacturers for a possible Emergency Temporary Standard that could be issued at the outset of the Biden administration.

What it is: An ETS is a set of mandatory rules and regulations for employers, issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Department of Labor.

What it’s for: An ETS would be intended to protect the health and safety of workers. While manufacturers are encouraged to follow CDC guidance as they develop and implement their own tailored plans to protect against COVID-19, an ETS could impose compulsory requirements on manufacturing operations, HR departments and safety protocols.

What it includes: There’s no concrete information yet about the text of an ETS, but possible new requirements for manufacturers might include:

  • Written plans for stopping the spread of COVID-19;
  • A comprehensive assessment of COVID-19 hazards throughout the workplace and a clear plan for diminishing or eliminating those hazards;
  • Expanded definitions of terms like “positive COVID-19 case,” “high-risk exposure period” and “physical distancing”;
  • Requirements that employees are tested for COVID-19 in some scenarios and paid for the time spent taking tests;
  • Increased recordkeeping and reporting on safety procedures; and
  • Additional requirements for employees to receive paid leave and testing.

What we’re doing: The NAM has already begun its outreach to the incoming Biden administration to discuss the workplace investments, increased safety protocols and best practices that manufacturers have implemented during the pandemic.

  • As part of those conversations, the NAM will also make sure the incoming administration understands the impact of an ETS on vaccine and therapeutics production, supply chains and other essential manufacturing operations.
  • It will also educate NAM members via webinars, direct outreach and labor and employment updates so they can be prepared for any changes.

The last word: “Manufacturers are playing a critical role in fighting this pandemic, even as they go above and beyond to support the health and safety of their employees,” said NAM Director of Labor and Employment Policy Drew Schneider.

“The NAM will never stop working to ensure manufacturers have the tools and support they need to take on that challenge. And we will make sure that the incoming administration, the Labor Department and OSHA have the best possible information about how their actions impact the manufacturing industry and the nation.”

Press Releases

Manufacturers to Congress: Respect Democracy, Elections

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement regarding the congressional certification of the 2020 presidential election.

“Manufacturers fight vigorously for the four pillars that have made America exceptional: Free Enterprise, Competitiveness, Individual Liberty and Equal Opportunity. But holding all of this together is the basic form of government, which has enabled us to protect those pillars: Democracy.

“Manufacturers stand with members of Congress who intend to uphold their constitutional responsibility and vote to certify the Electoral College tallies that resulted from free, fair and legal elections in the states.

“Election officials in both parties, as well as state and federal courts in more than 60 cases, have determined that the outcome is not in doubt. Joe Biden is our next President, and Congress must heed the voice of the American people. In every election, many Americans are disappointed by the results. But disappointment does not justify harming our democracy or undermining faith in our elections based on unproven charges and conspiracy theories. We have always found a way to move forward. This time should be no different, and the need to focus on critical policy priorities is more urgent than ever.

“Hundreds of thousands of Americans are dying from COVID-19—carnage on the scale of a 9/11 event every single day for the past 117 days. Millions are suffering through another month of joblessness, school closures, lack of basic food and necessities and the threat of losing their homes. Throughout this pandemic, America’s manufacturing workers have heroically stepped up to ensure that our country has the supplies, food, vaccines, medicines and equipment we need. Our industry has been fighting to protect our country, and now we ask Congress to join us in healing our nation, instead of fostering more division and vitriol.”

-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 12.1 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

Modern Manufacturing Ready for Aviation Emissions Standards

Jones: "We support these CO2 standards because aligning with international rules will further strengthen the American aerospace manufacturing sector"

Washington, D.C. – Following the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision on emissions standards for airplanes, which aligns U.S. standards with those set by the International Civil Aviation Organization, National Association of Manufacturers Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Rachel Jones released the following statement:

“America’s aerospace manufacturers have been pioneers in developing the technologies that have cut in half airline travel’s carbon footprint over the past 30 years. We support these new CO2 standards because aligning with international rules will further strengthen the American aerospace manufacturing sector and drive innovation, support American jobs and put us in a position to continue leading on the global stage. As we help lead our country’s response to COVID-19, manufacturers remain committed to advancing responsible environmental stewardship.”

-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.

Policy and Legal

Congress’s Funding Package: What Manufacturers Should Know

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Congress’s new funding package, which covers COVID-19 relief and much more, will provide Americans with much-needed security during this holiday season. Manufacturers are among the major beneficiaries, as Congress recognized that the sector is essential to keeping our country healthy, fed and functional throughout the pandemic.

The NAM’s policy team reports that legislators closely followed the NAM’s recommendations in a wide variety of policy areas. Here are a few highlights.

The Paycheck Protection Program: This program was reauthorized with $284 billion in new funding and extended through March 31, 2021. It also lets businesses choose when to spend the loans, expands the list of acceptable uses for the loans and simplifies loan forgiveness.

Taxes: The last round of stimulus, called the CARES Act, included a payroll tax credit for “eligible employees” affected by the virus. This new package extends that credit through June 30, 2021, while also upping the percentage from 50% to 70%. Meanwhile, it increases the amount of workers’ pay that qualifies for this tax credit from $10,000 for the year to $10,000 per quarter.

And that’s not it for taxes. This package also extends or makes permanent many other provisions. For example, it extends the deadline by which workers must pay back deferred payroll taxes, while also extending the temporary, refundable tax credit for small and medium-sized employers that are providing required paid leave.

Labor: As you’ve probably read by now, the package gives workers on unemployment $300 per week on top of their state benefits. These payments will last until March 14, 2021.

Vaccines/COVID-19 care: And now for the measures that will help end this pandemic for good. The package includes $20 billion for the purchase of vaccines, making them free for all who need them; $8 billion for vaccine distribution; $20 billion to assist states with testing; and a $20 billion distribution from the existing provider relief fund.

And we’re still not finished . . .

Long-term fixes: Congress also included manufacturing priorities that predate the pandemic and remain absolutely crucial.

  • Energy: This is the big one—the first comprehensive modernization of U.S. energy policy in well over a decade, and an upgrade that the NAM has long fought for. We can’t cover all of its many provisions here, but they include everything from energy storage to nuclear development to carbon capture to renewable energy. It’s a major victory for manufacturers and the NAM.
  • Environment: The legislation also includes a provision for phasing down hydrofluorocarbons—greenhouse gases used in refrigeration. Relatedly, it creates new R&D programs for technologies that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the power sector. Both are high priorities for manufacturers’ sustainability efforts.
  • Anti-counterfeiting measures: These measures are designed to protect manufacturers’ intellectual property, and they include the empowerment of the Federal Trade Commission to take action against bad actors exploiting the pandemic.
  • Transportation: As part of this package, Congress passed the bipartisan Water Resources Development Act, which provides a two-year authorization for ports, inland waterways and important water infrastructure investments.
  • Broadband: And lastly, the package funds the improvement of digital infrastructure and broadband access, including for underserved and rural populations. It also includes a support program for those experiencing hardship due to COVID-19.

What’s missing? Since you ask, the package does not include the liability protections that the NAM advocated. But the NAM will continue working on this priority next year.

The last word: NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons said of the legislation, “Some are stirring up controversy over aspects of the spending text to drum up ratings or score political points. But the bottom line is manufacturers—and all Americans—need relief now. This package gives manufacturers and many other Americans a lifeline in the face of the disaster this pandemic continues to wreak on lives and livelihoods. There is unfinished work for sure. But it makes no sense to hold up an action that can bring real relief to this country.”

You can read a more expansive list of policy wins here.

Press Releases

Manufacturers Encouraged by EPA’s Proposal to Keep Obama Ozone Standard

Jones: “This decision, based on sound science, advances important goals while supporting sustainable domestic growth.”

Washington, D.C. – Today, the EPA announced its final decision to retain the clean air standards for ozone. NAM Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Rachel Jones released the following statement:

“Manufacturers’ commitment to clean air is why we support the EPA’s decision to keep the ozone standards established under the Obama administration. This decision comes after careful review and consideration of the most current available scientific evidence and risk and exposure information, as well as consultation with the agency’s independent science advisors.

“This decision, based on sound science, advances important goals while supporting sustainable domestic growth. We have long supported smart policies that protect the environment and improve public health, and the policy announced today is the right approach.”

-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

Policy and Legal

EEOC Presents Mandatory Vaccine Guidance

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As the largest inoculation effort in human history kicked off this month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provided guidance on mandatory employee vaccinations. Here is a brief summary, courtesy of NAM Director of Labor and Employment Policy Drew Schneider.

What they’re saying: The EEOC allows employers to require employees to take the vaccine, so long as the company meets requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.

Equal employment laws still apply during the pandemic, but the EEOC states that they “do not interfere with or prevent employers from following the guidelines and suggestions made by the CDC or state/local public health authorities about steps employers should take regarding COVID-19.”

Disabilities and direct threats: “If an employee is unable to take the vaccine due to a disability, an employer may only exclude the employee from the workplace if that worker presents a ‘direct threat’ to other workers and the employer is unable to provide a reasonable accommodation to the employee that would eliminate or reduce the risk to other employees,” says Schneider.

“If an employer suspects that the employee poses a direct threat, the employer should conduct an individualized assessment of four factors to determine whether direct threat exists: duration of risk, severity of potential harm, likelihood of harm and the imminence of potential harm.”

Religious objections: If an employee objects to the vaccine because of a sincerely held religious practice or belief, an employer must provide reasonable accommodation unless it poses an undue hardship under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Schneider explains. According to the EEOC, courts have defined “undue hardship” as having more than a minimal cost to the employer.

The NAM says: NAM President and CEO Timmons said in a recent statement about potential vaccine mandates, “While there are likely legal concerns with blanket mandates, if any of our members believed that a requirement at their company was the right thing to do, we would certainly support that within the bounds of the law. Because America’s future depends on folks rolling up our sleeves in a new way.”

Check out the guidance here.

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