Policy and Legal

Press Releases

NAM Launches Six-Figure Television Ad Campaign Opposing Reconciliation

NAM Urges Senate to Vote “No” on Government Price Controls That Harm Manufacturers

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers has launched a six-figure broadcast and cable television advertising campaign ahead of a potential reconciliation bill that threatens manufacturing innovation and competitiveness. The campaign calls on senators to oppose government price controls that would undermine the development of lifesaving medicines and the livelihoods of manufacturing workers across America who deliver them.

“Government price-setting schemes that undermine our ongoing work to develop lifesaving cures to diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s and respond to health crises are never the answer,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “At a time when manufacturers are already facing extraordinary economic pressures, the Senate should be focused on bolstering our industry’s competitiveness, not undermining it. We are calling on senators to vote ‘no’ on reconciliation and stand with manufacturers and the hardworking Americans who are integral to battling this pandemic and discovering future cures.”

To view the latest television ad, 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 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.77 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 58% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Regulatory and Legal Reform

Manufacturers Sue SEC on Proxy Rule Rescission

“The SEC has failed to provide any substantive justification for its dramatic about-face”

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers filed a lawsuit in federal court today challenging the Securities and Exchange Commission’s rescission of critical components of its 2020 rule on proxy advisory firms. Following the submission, NAM Chief Legal Officer Linda Kelly released the following statement:

“The SEC has failed to provide any substantive justification for its dramatic about-face. Manufacturers depend on federal agencies to provide reliable rules of the road, and the SEC’s arbitrary actions to rescind this commonsense regulation clearly violate its obligations under the Administrative Procedure Act. The NAM Legal Center is filing suit to preserve the 2020 rule in full and protect manufacturers from proxy advisory firms’ outsized influence.”

Background:

The NAM has long called for increased oversight of proxy advisory firms. In July 2020, the SEC issued final regulations to enhance transparency and accountability for proxy firms, a move NAM President and CEO Jay 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) in support of these reforms. A summary judgment hearing in ISS v. SEC is scheduled for July 29, 2022.

In June 2021, the SEC announced that it was suspending enforcement of the 2020 rule; the NAM voiced concern about the agency’s “efforts to bypass the required notice-and-comment process to keep this lawfully issued rule on ice indefinitely.” The NAM later filed suit against the SEC in October 2021 challenging this unlawful suspension. The Western District of Texas held a summary judgment hearing in NAM v. SEC on May 25, 2022; we await the court’s opinion.

In November 2021, the SEC proposed to rescind critical portions of the 2020 rule, a proposal the NAM called “deeply troubling.” The SEC finalized its rescission rule in July 2022, a move that Timmons said “epitomizes ‘arbitrary and capricious’ rulemaking.”

-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 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.77 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 58% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

Manufacturers Urge Reversal of Mexico’s Unfair Energy Policies

Washington, D.C. – Following the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s announcement that the U.S. has requested consultations under the U.S.–Mexico–Canada Agreement over Mexico’s energy policies, National Association of Manufacturers Vice President of International Economic Affairs Ken Monahan released the following statement:

“This bold action from the Biden administration and Ambassador Katherine Tai is critical to stemming measures implemented and proposed by the government of Mexico that contradict the letter and spirit of the USMCA and undermine the rule of law in Mexico.

“Energy and electric power generation measures implemented by Mexico have favored dramatically the interests of Mexico’s state-owned electrical utility and state-owned oil and gas company. This adds costs for manufacturers that rely on existing contracts with energy suppliers and makes it harder for them to meet long-term sustainability goals in Mexico, while also slowing the deployment of renewable energy in Mexico.

“Manufacturers welcome the news that the U.S. has requested dispute settlement consultations with Mexico under the USMCA. We stand ready to work with USTR to quickly reverse Mexico’s unfair energy policies and to address the many other industry challenges in Mexico.”

Background:

On June 30, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons detailed for President Biden a wide range of market access, regulatory and other commercial challenges in Mexico faced by manufacturers. Timmons underscored that “failure to prioritize enforcement of these commercial challenges will undermine the long-term credibility of the USMCA.”

-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 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.77 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 58% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

Manufacturers Back Chips Bill, Call for Further Action from Congress

Timmons: “A vote for the CHIPS Act funding is a vote for a stronger, more competitive manufacturing industry in America.”

Washington, D.C. – Ahead of consideration of legislation to bolster U.S. semiconductor manufacturing, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:

“A vote for the CHIPS Act funding is a vote for a stronger, more competitive manufacturing industry in America. But if Congress fails to pass this investment in the coming days, they will hand other countries a competitive advantage and weaken our own economy at a precarious moment.

“Other provisions of the China competition bill still under negotiation also need to make it to the president’s desk, and manufacturers firmly support their inclusion in this package. We will continue our advocacy for the anti-counterfeiting measures, trade provisions, supply chain investments and more. Congress must get those done.

“This week, we can take a powerful step forward with chips funding and move toward a future where semiconductor shortages—and the disruptions they’ve created—are a thing of the past. Other nations are not waiting around to ramp up semiconductor manufacturing. America should be leading, not falling behind.”

Background:

According to the NAM’s latest Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey, more than 88% of respondents said it was important for the federal government to take steps to support the domestic manufacturing sector in the face of increased global competition for industrial investment, with nearly 58% saying “very important” and 30.7% saying “somewhat important.” When asked about what aspects of the China competition legislation were most important for supporting manufacturing activity, the top choices were addressing port congestion and competition issues in ocean shipping (70.9%), eliminating ill-conceived labor provisions that facilitate unionization campaigns (61.3%), strengthening U.S. leadership in energy innovation and competitiveness (58.2%), funding to increase domestic semiconductor production capacity (57.9%), investments to support the critical minerals supply chain (55.7%) and ensuring the tax code provides a full deduction for research expenses (48.3%), among others.

-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 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.77 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 58% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Policy and Legal

SEC Proposes New Shareholder Rule

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed a new rule that could undermine key reforms the NAM secured in 2020—and empower activist shareholders.

The background: Shareholders in public companies generally have the right to submit proposals to corporate proxy ballots.

  • These proposals, which voice shareholders’ views on business and governance topics relevant to the company, can then receive a vote by the full shareholder base.
  • To qualify for inclusion on the ballot, shareholder proposals must meet certain criteria.

Submission thresholds: In 2020, the NAM supported—and the SEC finalized—new thresholds to make it more difficult for activist shareholders to place politically motivated proposals on the proxy ballot.

  • These thresholds require higher degrees of ownership and shareholder support before a proposal can be submitted or resubmitted.

The new rule: The SEC’s proposal leaves the 2020 thresholds in place, but it creates other opportunities for activists and limits the tools companies can use to prevent them from hijacking the proxy ballot.

  • Currently, companies can exclude shareholder proposals that have already been substantially implemented, are duplicative of other proposals on the proxy ballot or are resubmissions of previous failed proposals. Each of these abilities would be limited significantly under the proposed rule.
  • For example, rather than being allowed to exclude all duplicative proposals, companies would only be permitted to exclude virtually identical proposals that address the same subject matter, seek the same objective and do so by the same means.

What we’re saying: “The NAM is concerned that the SEC’s proposed rule may prioritize the agendas of activists over the needs of long-term shareholders investing for the future,” said NAM Senior Director of Tax and Domestic Economic Policy Charles Crain.

  • “We look forward to working with the SEC in the coming months to ensure that manufacturers’ shareholder engagement can continue to focus on issues critical to business growth and investor returns.”

Next steps: Comments on the proposed rule are due to the SEC by Sept. 12.

Policy and Legal

NAM Fights Back Against SEC About-Face

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As the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission turns its back on a bipartisan agreement on proxy advisory firms, the NAM is taking action.

The background: In 2020, the NAM supported—and the SEC finalized—a major rule to increase oversight and transparency with regard to proxy advisory firms. These unregulated and unaccountable entities influence publicly traded companies by recommending how institutional asset managers should vote in corporate proxy contests.

  • Since last January, the SEC’s new leadership has taken steps to undermine and reverse the 2020 rule. The NAM has filed suit against the SEC for refusing to enforce the 2020 rule, called on the agency to provide “reliable rules of the road” and opposed a proposed rule to reduce proxy firm oversight.

The new rule: Yesterday, the SEC released a final rule that rescinds many of the critical reforms the NAM secured in 2020. Specifically, the new rule removes requirements for proxy firms to engage with impacted companies and their shareholders, and it weakens the 2020 rule’s anti-fraud provisions.

Arbitrary and capricious: The SEC is making these substantial changes absent any new evidence—because the 2020 rule was never allowed to take effect. It has also failed to articulate a satisfactory policy justification. Federal agencies are prohibited from issuing regulations that are “arbitrary and capricious”—an easy descriptor for the SEC’s actions given the agency’s abrupt and unjustified about-face.

NAM in action: The NAM announced yesterday that it plans to file suit against the SEC to preserve the 2020 rule. It will argue that the SEC’s decision to change course without allowing the 2020 rule to take effect and be fairly evaluated epitomizes arbitrary and capricious rulemaking.

What we’re saying: “The SEC has offered no justification for abandoning a decade’s worth of bipartisan, consensus-driven policymaking,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “This move will undoubtedly harm the competitiveness of publicly traded manufacturers, and it will hurt Main Street investors.”

Policy and Legal

Why Nuclear is Key to Climate & Energy Security

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As energy prices remain at their highest levels in more than a decade, there’s little sign that the U.S. is on a steady course toward energy security. That’s why the NAM is urging the federal government to pursue all available options—including nuclear.

The lowdown: Nuclear energy is a safe, reliable and the largest zero-emission source of energy in the U.S.

  • At a time of pronounced supply chain challenges, oil-and-gas lease cancellations and costly shortages of critical minerals, nuclear energy could go a long way toward fortifying the grid.
  • In addition, the technology has advanced enormously in recent years. Microreactors, small enough to be moved by truck, are poised to help solve the challenge of powering remote areas.
  • The Department of Energy also recognizes the importance of nuclear energy, recently noting its relevance to energy security in the department’s Supply Chain Assessments.

What we’re saying: “The reality is that to meet our growing electricity needs and climate goals, nuclear-generated power must be part of the solution,” said NAM Director of Energy and Resources Policy Chris Morris. Here are his key policy recommendations:

  • Encourage capital formation: The NAM secured a significant $6 billion investment in the Civilian Nuclear Credit Program through the recent infrastructure bill, but more robust investments will be needed to ensure operations continue at current nuclear projects, Morris said.
  • Relicensing: Licensing and permitting processes should meet the highest standards, but the Nuclear Regulatory Commission often takes years to complete them. The NRC should use its position on the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council to make efficiency improvements in its licensing processes under the recently announced Permitting Action Plan.
  • Fuel supply chain security: The U.S. imports uranium for civilian nuclear use from Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Canada and Australia, among others. Meanwhile, new advanced reactor concepts will utilize high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU) which is now solely produced by Russia and China. The NAM has been calling on policymakers to prioritize increasing domestic production.
  • SMRs and microreactors: Small modular reactors use factory-built components to streamline construction, while microreactors are portable and self-sufficient. Both will be crucial for next-generation nuclear power—but the U.S. government must invest in their manufacturing and modernize regulations accordingly.
  • Spent fuels: The NAM has long supported ongoing R&D into the storage and transportation of spent fuels—and progress is being made. Just yesterday, NRC staff recommended licensing a new storage project in New Mexico, “determining there would be largely minor environmental impacts from the project,” according to POLITICO (subscription).
  • Public perception: Commercial nuclear power is sometimes viewed as dangerous or unstable based on historic misconceptions. In truth, the U.S. nuclear industry is leading the world in best practices, safety and accountability. Policymakers must engage with local communities to provide the facts and emphasize the importance of nuclear power for combating climate change.

The last word: “Our current fleet and the next generation of nuclear power must be a substantial part of a clear-eyed strategy to address climate and energy security,” Morris said.

Press Releases

Manufacturers to Sue SEC on Proxy Advisory Firm Rule

“The SEC has offered no justification for abandoning a decade’s worth of bipartisan, consensus-driven policymaking”

Washington, D.C. – Following the Securities and Exchange Commission’s announcement that it is rescinding critical reforms designed to protect publicly traded manufacturers and their investors from unregulated and unaccountable “proxy advisory firms,” National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:

“The SEC has offered no justification for abandoning a decade’s worth of bipartisan, consensus-driven policymaking. This move will undoubtedly harm the competitiveness of publicly traded manufacturers, and it will hurt Main Street investors. The SEC’s decision to change course without allowing the 2020 rule to take effect and be fairly evaluated epitomizes ‘arbitrary and capricious’ rulemaking. The NAM will be filing suit in the coming weeks to preserve the 2020 rule’s commonsense reforms and protect manufacturers from proxy advisory firms’ outsized influence.”

Background:

The NAM has long called for increased oversight of proxy advisory firms. In July 2020, the SEC issued final regulations to enhance transparency and accountability for proxy firms, 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) in support of these reforms.

In June 2021, the SEC announced that it was suspending enforcement of the 2020 rule; the NAM voiced concern about the agency’s “efforts to bypass the required notice-and-comment process to keep this lawfully issued rule on ice indefinitely.” The NAM filed suit against the SEC in October 2021 challenging this unlawful suspension. Oral arguments in NAM v. SEC took place in May 2022.

In November 2021, the SEC proposed to rescind critical portions of the 2020 rule, a move the NAM called “deeply troubling.” The NAM filed comment opposing the recission proposal in December 2021.

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.7 million men and women, contributes $2.71 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 58% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

North American Manufacturing Industry Statement on the Two-Year Anniversary of the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement

Washington, D.C. – The leading organizations representing manufacturers and millions of manufacturing workers in the United States, Mexico and Canada released the following statement on the two-year anniversary of the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA/T-MEC/CUSMA):

“On this two-year anniversary, we recognize the substantial value that this agreement and the North American Free Trade Agreement have represented for our industry’s competitiveness, our economies and North American workers. Manufacturing is critical for the entire North American economy. Our closely integrated supply chains contribute more than $3 trillion annually to the North American economy, and more than $2 billion worth of manufactured goods cross our borders each day.

“The USMCA can only reach its full potential if it is fully implemented in a manner that upholds its letter and spirit. That is why manufacturers across North America continue to strongly and respectfully urge political leaders to work together to live up to the commitments of the agreement, which garnered broad support in all three countries. Full compliance with the agreement will provide certainty for the more than 23 million manufacturing workers in the United States, Mexico and Canada and boost our region’s ability to compete with the rest of the world.

“The Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), the Confederation of Industrial Chambers of Mexico (CONCAMIN) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) reiterate our longstanding commitment to engage with the Canadian, Mexican and U.S. governments to ensure that the USMCA/T-MEC/CUSMA is fully implemented and that it supports our industry’s competitiveness and our workers at this critical time for our economies.”

Background: Earlier this week NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons wrote to President Biden about certain challenges in U.S.-Mexico trade relations.

 

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.7 million men and women, contributes $2.71 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 58% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. 

 

-CME-

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is Canada’s largest trade and industry association, and the voice of manufacturing and global business in Canada. CME directly represents more than 10,000 leading companies nationwide. As Canada’s leading business network, CME – through various initiatives, including the establishment of the Canadian Manufacturing Coalition – touches more than 100,000 companies from coast to coast, engaged in manufacturing, global business, and service-related industries.

 

-CONCAMIN-

The Confederation of Industrial Chambers of the United Mexican States, CONCAMIN, established in 1918, is the main organization representing the different industrial sectors and activities of high importance for the economic development of Mexico. The National Confederation of Industrial Chambers, is by law a mandatory consultative body of the State since its creation 104 years ago, it represents 118 Chambers and Associations.

It generates 48 out of every 100 formal jobs in the country. Through 1.2 million Economic Units, we contribute 40% of the GDP and 90% of the country’s exports. 

Policy and Legal

NAM Outlines Health Care Priorities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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