Policy and Legal

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.

Policy and Legal

NAM Pushes Back on Pass-Through Tax Adjustment

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The NAM is urging Congress to scrap a proposed set of tax changes that would harm pass-through entities, including many manufacturers.

The proposal: As Congress continues to hammer out President Biden’s reconciliation bill, members of the House and Senate have been floating new taxes to help pay for the package. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) has released one set of proposals that would change pass-through tax policy in order to raise an estimated $172 billion over 10 years.

The problem: The proposals from Sen. Wyden’s committee could create a series of challenges, including:

  • Discouraging partnership formation: The proposal would mandate a complex method for tracking gains and losses, which would likely prevent some partnerships from forming in the first place by making the process more onerous and less rewarding.
  • Confusion for existing partnerships: The proposal would make retroactive changes to existing partnerships, creating unnecessary complexity and confusion for pass-through organizations that are already conducting business.
  • Barring legitimate transactions: The proposed rules would present some obstacles that are tougher than those imposed on corporations, making it difficult for pass-throughs to conduct legitimate business.

Why it matters: Pass-through entities account for millions of employees and billions of dollars in capital investment. The current structure of pass-through partnership law offers manufacturers a critical way to start and maintain a business—especially for small and medium-sized manufacturers. Altering the tax rules for pass-throughs could change that calculation.

What we’re doing: The NAM has communicated with the committee and will be doing significant outreach to educate Congress on the impact of these proposed rules and to help find the best solutions for a fairer tax code.

What we’re saying: “If enacted, these proposals could discourage new business formation, stifling entrepreneurship, investment and growth,” said NAM Vice President of Tax and Domestic Economic Policy Chris Netram. “The increased complexity in the tax code would be particularly onerous for small and medium-sized manufacturers who could be forced to divert resources from operations to tax compliance.”

Policy and Legal

NAM Pushes Back on Global Minimum Tax Increase

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The NAM is fighting against congressional efforts to increase the minimum tax on U.S. companies’ foreign earnings above the rate recently reached by a global minimum tax deal—thereby putting globally engaged manufacturers at a significant disadvantage.

The context: For a number of years, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has been leading global tax negotiations that would fundamentally reshape the current international tax system. A centerpiece of the effort is a 15% global minimum tax that more than 130 countries signed off on earlier this month. The deal is intended to be implemented in 2023.

The U.S. angle: The United States already has a global minimum tax, called the global intangible low-taxed income tax, or GILTI, which operates as a minimum tax on the foreign earnings of U.S. multinational corporations. Now, Congress is considering increasing it as part of the reconciliation legislation. In particular, the pending House reconciliation bill would increase the GILTI rate from the current 13.125% tax rate to 17.4%—above the proposed global minimum tax rate.

The problem: The NAM has made clear that the United States shouldn’t move forward with any changes to GILTI before other countries implement a minimum tax, and that the U.S. shouldn’t have a minimum tax regime that results in a higher tax burden than the rest of the world. Such a burden on globally engaged companies would make it more difficult for these companies, including manufacturers, to compete and succeed in the global marketplace.

What we’re saying: “If Congress adopts a harsher tax regime than the rest of the world, it would tilt the scales against manufacturers and manufacturing workers in the U.S.,” said NAM Vice President of Tax and Domestic Economic Policy Chris Netram. “A harsher regime would harm manufacturers, reducing their ability to compete around the world and invest in high-paying jobs here at home.”

Learn more: One NAM study showed that proposed harmful changes to the GILTI regime could cost up to 1 million U.S. jobs.

Press Releases

Manufacturers: Powell Led with Heart and Guided by Conscience

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on the passing of General Colin Powell:

“A soldier statesman and trailblazer whose biography is filled with ‘firsts,’ General Colin Powell led with his heart and was guided by his conscience. As he rose through the ranks, he was a source of inspiration for an ever-growing number of Americans—demonstrating what principled leadership could look like and what was possible in the United States for a child of immigrants.

“As both a general and a diplomat, he understood well the role that manufacturing plays in securing our national defense. And in both public and private life, he advanced those values that manufacturers know make America exceptional: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity.

“Sadly, his death is also a stark reminder of just how vicious COVID-19 can still be—and that Americans must remain ever vigilant as we fight the pandemic.

“Service to his country was his life’s work, and as we mourn his passing, our country is grateful for his decades of leadership. Manufacturers extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Alma, his children and his entire family.”

-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 Sues SEC to Maintain Proxy Firm Oversight

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The NAM is stepping up to protect a hard-won victory on an issue critical to public company governance—oversight of proxy advisory firms.

The background: Proxy firms advise institutional investors (like retirement fund managers) on how to vote on the policies of the companies they invest in. The problem is that the two main proxy firms—ISS and Glass Lewis—have generally operated without any oversight, and as a result, their work has relied on questionable methodologies and ignored conflicts of interest. These issues have often caused problems for manufacturers and their shareholders given the power these firms wield.

  • Last year, following years of advocacy by the NAM, the Securities and Exchange Commission finalized a rule that provides targeted oversight of these firms. The rule requires that proxy firms disclose conflicts of interest and create procedures to give companies a chance to respond to their recommendations.

The problem: Following the change in presidential administrations, the SEC announced that it is taking steps to revise or rescind the rule that was finalized last year. On top of that, it has suspended enforcement of the rule during the review process and plans to prevent many provisions from going into effect as planned on Dec. 1.

Our move: The NAM is filing suit against the SEC for refusing to enforce the rule without going through the official process to change or replace it, as required under the Administrative Procedure Act. Agencies cannot set aside regulations they happen to disagree with, and the NAM is contending that the SEC has acted unlawfully by effectively rescinding the rule without inviting public comment on its impact on market participants, including manufacturers. Of course, the NAM also intends to fight any effort to revise or rescind the rule under normal procedures, but that comes later.

The stakes: If the NAM wins the suit, the SEC will have to leave the rule on the books until it comes up with substitute regulations through notice-and-comment rulemaking, and proxy firms will have to comply with the basic safeguards required under the rule.

The last word: “The SEC’s rule on proxy advisory firms was a victory for manufacturers, but also for accountability and transparency,” said NAM Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly. “The NAM intends to stand up for this rule, to hold the SEC to its responsibilities and to ensure that manufacturers on the public market and manufacturing workers with retirement savings are protected from proxy firms’ outsized influence.”

Press Releases

Manufacturers Fight SEC’s About-Face on Proxy Advisory Rule

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers filed a complaint in federal court against the Securities and Exchange Commission for its nonenforcement of the lawfully adopted 2020 final rule on proxy advisory firms—unregulated third parties with outsized influence on shareholder votes and manufacturers’ corporate governance policies.

“The SEC is changing course, attempting to suspend a commonsense rule that enhances transparency into the work of proxy advisory firms without any opportunity for public comment by the NAM or anyone else,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “When the SEC finalized this reasonable, light-touch regulation, manufacturers strongly supported these necessary reforms because they protect the interests of manufacturing workers, retirees and everyday investors. The NAM Legal Center is filing suit to protect manufacturers from this unlawful about-face and to ensure that this rule stays on the books.”

Background:

The NAM has long advocated increased oversight of proxy advisory firms—little-known, unregulated entities that exert enormous influence over publicly traded manufacturers. These firms have significant conflicts of interest and issue error-filled, one-size-fits-all proxy voting recommendations that can impact the direction of a business and the value of investors’ shares. In July 2020, the SEC issued final regulations limiting proxy firms’ outsized influence, a move Timmons called a “long-sought, major win for the industry and millions of manufacturing workers.”

In October 2020, the NAM filed a motion to intervene in ISS v. SEC (ISS’s attempt to overturn the rule), followed by a motion for summary judgment outlining why the SEC’s lawful, reasonable and minimally invasive rule must be upheld. In June 2021, the SEC announced it was reviewing the rule and suspending enforcement thereof, at which point NAM Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly made clear that the NAM would fight “any efforts to bypass the required notice-and-comment process to keep this lawfully issued rule on ice indefinitely.”

-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

Manufacturers: China Is Not Following Through on Important Commitments Made in the 2020 U.S.–China “Phase One” Agreement

Washington, D.C. –  Following remarks today by U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement:

“China is not following through on important commitments made in the 2020 U.S.–China ‘Phase One’ agreement, and it also remains a hub of bad behaviors—from intellectual property theft to market-distorting industrial subsidies—that harm manufacturers and their employees here in the United States. Manufacturers agree with Ambassador Tai that we need a new, holistic and pragmatic approach to our relationship with China. We are pleased that the Biden administration’s approach reflects key priorities for manufacturers in the U.S., including holding China accountable on the ‘Phase One’ deal, allowing manufacturers to seek tariff relief, stepping up direct U.S. engagement with Chinese officials and working with our allies to ensure that the U.S. shapes the global rules for trade. We look forward to working with USTR on robust measures to ensure quick action in each of these areas to hold China accountable and to strengthen manufacturers and manufacturing workers 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.

Press Releases

Manufacturers Counting on Congress to Vote for Historic Infrastructure Investment

Washington, D.C. – In advance of tomorrow’s scheduled vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement:

“Congress faces a critical vote tomorrow on historic, bipartisan infrastructure investment. Our lawmakers have an opportunity to demonstrate they can continue to work together to accomplish bold initiatives that make America stronger. One thing is certain: it is impossible to claim to be ‘for the worker’ and for the middle class while actively derailing generational investments to the infrastructure these people use every day. The more than 12 million men and women of manufacturing are counting on lawmakers to send this vital legislation to President Biden’s desk now.”

-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 $2.35 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

Manufacturer Presses Congress on Workforce Development

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Manufacturers are working hard to create apprenticeship and workforce development programs that can help strengthen our industry, close the skills gap and prepare new workers for exciting, fulfilling careers.

Last week, Leah Curry, president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana, urged Congress to take up these priorities when she testified to the Senate Subcommittee on Employment and Workforce Safety. Curry is also an honoree of The Manufacturing Institute’s 2013 STEP Ahead Awards, which recognizes outstanding women leaders in the industry, and a longstanding member of the MI Board of Advisors.

In her remarks, Curry drew on her own experiences to illustrate how apprenticeship programs can help prepare workers to take on a new career. Here are some of the highlights.

Delivering early exposure: “I came across the idea of pursuing technology as a career by chance after already embarking on a serious course of post‐secondary studies. If I was exposed to technical or STEM programs before college, I would have landed on my pathway much [sooner]. Since 2010, Toyota has provided $3.5 million to 184 K–12 schools in Indiana and across the country to implement Project Lead the Way programs that provide students with more STEM education and career pathways.”

Emphasizing hands-on experience: “Combining classroom learning with on‐the‐job experiences is a powerful way to learn, particularly in manufacturing. In states where Toyota operates manufacturing plants, Toyota has collaborated with local community colleges to develop the highly successful advanced manufacturing technician (or AMT) program.”

  • “Nationally about 400 employers pool talent from 32 chapters in 12 states in what is known collectively as the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education or FAME USA. FAME USA is now led by The Manufacturing Institute, and it is quickly becoming America’s premier homegrown manufacturing education network.”

Promoting diversity: “We cannot overstate the importance of intentionality around bringing historically underrepresented people into STEM careers. Toyota is collaborating with the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity on its ‘Make the Future’ program, which provides tools to help educators, counselors, administrators and recruiters increase the participation and persistence of women and other historically underrepresented student groups in education paths that prepare them for advanced manufacturing careers.”

The path forward: In her testimony, Curry emphasized two critical policy recommendations.

  • Combine education and training: First, Curry urged Congress to consider workforce development policies in combination with education policies. “If education policies are not flexible enough to allow students to explore various pathways,” said Curry, “students may ultimately bypass even the best workforce development opportunities.”
  • Reauthorize WIOA: Second, she called for reauthorization of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. “In doing so, the committee should continue to allow for greater private-sector participation in the workforce system,” said Curry. “The FAME USA system proves that employers want to and can drive workforce development to new heights.”

Learn more: Click here to find out more about the FAME USA program, founded by Toyota and now operated by the MI.

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