Policy and Legal

Manufacturers need smart laws and effective policies. That’s why the NAM is standing up for manufacturers everywhere – from the halls of power where we advance important legislation, to the courts where we fight to defend our rights.

Policy and Legal

New Unionization Changes Could Harm Manufacturers

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An ongoing push for new unionization policies would be damaging for manufacturers and their workforces, and the NAM is leading the fight against them. NAM Director of Labor and Employment Policy Brian Walsh recently laid out what these efforts are and what they mean for the manufacturing industry.

The background: Recent unionization efforts at major corporations like Starbucks and Amazon have gained headlines across the US. But, according to Walsh, these movements are part of a much broader effort:

  • “Where manufacturers should be really concerned…is the possible changes to union-organizing activity through legislation, such as the PRO Act, or through decisions from the National Labor Relations Board that will change current interpretations of labor law and enact card check nationwide,” said Walsh.

Card check: In case you aren’t familiar with it, card check is an alternative to the secret ballot elections that are required to occur with federal oversight.

  • To begin the unionization process, card check efforts require over 50% of employees to sign a card indicating their interest in forming a union. Card check proposals also jeopardize employees’ right to privately cast their ballots and could lead to less secure union elections, according to Walsh.
  • “The NLRB’s General Counsel, Jennifer Abruzzo, aims to overturn longstanding practices surrounding union elections and card check policies,” added Walsh. “She has also called for overruling prior standards that have given employers the right to speak to their employees on union organizing. This would be devastating for employers.”

PRO Act: “Manufacturers support workers’ federally protected right to collectively bargain, but the Protecting the Right to Organize Act would hurt relationships between employers and employees by allowing unions to access personal employee information in union-organizing drives,” said Walsh.

  • “It is also another way to eliminate the secret ballot by taking away the ability for workers to privately cast their votes in a union election. This makes a worker’s vote known on a physical card for union organizers and their co-workers to see—making them susceptible to pressure campaigns.”

The NAM in action: The NAM is advocating against these policies and has been successful at holding back the PRO Act in the Senate.

  • Most recently, the NAM has been leading a campaign to make sure that card check language is not included in Congress’ final China competition bill.

What’s ahead: “Because of the composition of the NLRB, we expect many cases to be decided against employers,” said Walsh. “This is where the work of the NAM Legal Center is going to be really important in our efforts to beat back union tactics. We will be engaged in NLRB proceedings—and are prepared to go to court when necessary.”

Get involved: To take action on this issue, go here.

Press Releases

Manufacturers Launch Ad Campaign to Protect Manufacturing Competitiveness

Tax Increases Do Nothing to Reduce Energy Costs, Address Supply Chain and Inflation Challenges

Washington, D.C. – Amid historic supply chain challenges and inflationary pressures, along with increasing energy costs, the National Association of Manufacturers is launching a six-figure ad campaign calling on Congress to protect manufacturing jobs by opposing new taxes on the industry, including those meant to punish the very energy manufacturers that are being asked to produce more. The print, radio and digital ads will run in Washington, D.C., and in key states across the country.

“Manufacturers have kept our promises—especially after the 2017 tax reforms—to create jobs, raise wages and benefits and invest in our communities. To keep up this winning record, we need Congress to enact policies consistent with our manufacturing competitiveness agenda. That’s how we’ll strengthen supply chains, expand access to affordable, reliable energy and tamp down inflation. Our industry is ready to keep solving problems and create well-paying jobs—but returning to outdated tax policies will impede our progress,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons.

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

  • In 2018, manufacturers added 260,000 new jobs. That was the best year for job creation in manufacturing in 21 years.
  • In 2018, manufacturing wages increased 3.1% and continued going up—by 2.9% in 2019 and 3.0% in 2020. Those were the fastest rates of annual growth since 2003.
  • Manufacturing capital spending grew 4.5% and 5.7% in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
  • Overall, manufacturing production grew 3.2% in 2018, the best since 2010.

The NAM has published research on the impact of rolling back tax reform (study available here and click here for a summary of the study’s findings) and increasing the U.S. Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income (GILTI) tax burden (study available 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 12.7 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

Manufacturers on Supreme Court Decision

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement following the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization:

“America is at its best when we address difficult questions in a spirit of compassion and empathy, with respect for each other’s deeply held views. That is the example that we will strive to set at the NAM. Our mission is to uphold the values of free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity, which we know have made America exceptional and kept manufacturing strong.

Even amid all positions and strongly held views, many businesses must now discern how best to support employees and families within the framework of the law. The NAM will work to connect our member companies with the legal, HR and health care information and resources they need to navigate the effects of the ruling.”

-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

Manufacturers Warn Gas Tax Suspension Is a Step Backward

Washington, D.C. – Following the decision by President Biden to instruct Congress to suspend federal gasoline and diesel taxes for three months, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:

“Our nation achieved historic progress with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, but this move is likely to derail its implementation by suddenly disrupting its funding, delaying critical projects that Americans desperately need and that are vital to manufacturers’ competitiveness. Our focus should be on increasing energy production here at home—to make manufacturers more competitive, to bring energy and gasoline prices down and to provide lasting relief for American families. We need the same smart, long-term approach that inspired the infrastructure bill to solve today’s energy challenges.

“Since the beginning of this administration, we have provided specific solutions and recommendations for improving energy security and taking an all-of-the-above approach: restarting and expanding oil and gas leasing on federal lands, prioritizing funding and expediting permitting for traditional and emerging energy options, expanding critical mineral mining and processing, strengthening and diversifying clean energy supply chains, promoting regulatory predictability by refraining from revising air standards until previous ones are met, upholding the infrastructure law’s One Federal Decision policy and more. We would be in a better position now if these and other actions had already been taken, and the need to act has only grown more urgent. Manufacturers will continue doing everything in our power to be part of the solution.”

-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.

Policy and Legal

NAM Lays Out Economic Recommendations

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To support the work of Congress’ Jobs and Economy Task Force, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons laid out a series of recommendations designed to strengthen manufacturers’ competitiveness and the economy as a whole.

Supporting innovation: NAM opposes a new provision in the tax code that makes research and development expenses deductible over a period of years, rather than in the same year they are incurred. This change makes R&D more expensive in the US, threatening American innovation as well as manufacturing jobs that are directly or indirectly supported by R&D.

Financing growth: Timmons outlined NAM’s support for reversing the stricter interest deductibility limitation that went into effect this year. “The stricter limitation essentially acts as a tax on investment and makes the U.S. a global outlier,” said Timmons. “Permanently reversing this harmful change will help support future long-term job-creating investments.”

Protecting a level playing field: Timmons urged Congress to prevent several scheduled tax changes to the international tax regime from going into effect. He wrote, “Congress should ensure that manufacturers do not face a harsher tax regime than the rest of the world as it would disadvantage manufacturers and manufacturing workers in the US.”

Ensuring access to capital: Since manufacturing is a capital-intensive industry that requires significant investments in equipment, facilities and R&D, NAM encourages the federal government to help, rather than hinder, access to capital. Timmons urged the government to enable capital formation by publicly traded companies, avoids imposing undue restrictions on pro-competitive mergers and acquisitions, and provides support for small and medium sized manufacturers.

Other recommendations: Timmons further encouraged Congress to strengthen, streamline, and codify the regulatory system to improve regulatory outcomes and efficiency, improve workforce development by updating the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, and bolster supply chain resiliency through the creation of a federal fund that provides grants, loans, and loan guarantees.

The last word: “At this time of high inflation, snarled supply chains, workforce shortages and global instability, manufacturers need every available tool to continue driving economic growth and job creation in the United States,” said Timmons. “As has been abundantly clear in recent years, manufacturing in America is critical not just to our economic health but to public health—to our very lives and livelihoods.”

  • “The decisions policymakers make today will determine whether manufacturing in the United States—and therefore the entire American economy—will remain an engine of growth and opportunity. Manufacturers’ policy agenda provides a solid path forward.”

Read more: For more of the NAM’s policy agenda, check out Competing to Win.

Press Releases

WTO TRIPS Decision Jeopardizes Pandemic Response, Manufacturing Competitiveness

Washington, D.C. – Following a decision by the World Trade Organization to lift intellectual property protections for COVID-19 products, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:

“This damaging decision will undermine American innovation, competitiveness and technology leadership—weakening manufacturing in America and threatening the jobs of manufacturing workers. Even worse, the agreement could exacerbate the supply chain and logistical hurdles that represent the biggest current challenges to global efforts to ensure access to critical COVID-19 products.

“It is alarming and disappointing that the United States would join other countries to give away manufacturers’ innovations to our commercial rivals. Our industry has been on the front lines of efforts to fight COVID-19—developing, manufacturing and distributing vaccines and other essential products needed to save lives and strengthen our economy. American innovation has been at the heart of the manufacturing response to the pandemic and will be just as critical for our ability to lead the world and respond to future global health crises.

“Manufacturers have been vocal supporters of effective solutions at the WTO that leverage trade to fight the pandemic—but this waiver is not one of them. Manufacturers call on the Biden administration to reverse course on this decision and take immediate action to protect this vital technology, American workers and global health.”

-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.

Policy and Legal

DACA Recipients Deserve Certainty

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As we mark a decade since the introduction of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, millions of hardworking people—many of whom were essential workers during the pandemic—remain uncertain of their future, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons said today, as he urged Congress to act.

What’s happening: The vast majority (94%) of those eligible for DACA, a program that provides two-year deportation deferments for some non-U.S.-born young people, are employed in the country’s workforce, Timmons noted in communication to Congress.

  • “More than three-quarters of DACA recipients were essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Timmons said. “In fact, DACA recipients are involved in work across the economy, from construction to hospitality to manufacturing.”

The manufacturing angle: The manufacturing sector, which has nearly 1 million job openings, can’t afford to lose skilled members of its labor pool, according to Timmons.

  • “Further disruptions to the legal status of this worker population would be devastating,” he said.

What can be done: Legislators should make moves before the scheduled July 6 Court of Appeals hearings on DACA’s legality, Timmons recommended.

“Congress should act ahead of the courts and legislate to ensure a stable future for this population. We look forward to engaging with [policymakers] as we work towards a solution for these deserving individuals.”

Press Releases

Manufacturers Warn of Harmful Impact of Proposed Interest Expense Limitation

Analysis Shows Limiting Interest Deductibility Disproportionately Harms Manufacturers, Costs Jobs

Washington, D.C. – Following the release of an analysis­­­ on the damaging effects of a proposed interest expense limitation under consideration by Congress, National Association of Manufacturers Managing Vice President of Tax and Domestic Economic Policy Chris Netram released the following statement.

“Manufacturers are already facing incredible economic headwinds due to increased input costs, labor shortages and strong inflationary pressures. This analysis shows that limiting tax deductions for interest on business loans disproportionately harm manufacturers at a perilous time—costing hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic growth at a time when our industry is trying to drive our nation’s recovery.

“When Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, manufacturers raised wages, invested in U.S. operations and spurred growth. Congress should be considering proposals that double down on the TCJA’s winning record rather than considering tax increases that will sabotage our recovery.”

The analysis was prepared by EY’s Quantitative Economics and Statistics group.

 Key Findings:

The EBIT-based 163(j) and proposed163(n) interest expense limitations before market adjustments would cost:

  • 623,000 Jobs
  • $31.6 Billion in Employee Compensation Annually
  • $60.1 billion in GDP Annually

-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.

Policy and Legal

NAM Urges Biden Administration to Protect Innovation

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NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons urged Biden administration officials to support innovative manufacturers and reject a dangerous proposal to waive intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and other products.

  • Timmons’ call went out to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and senior White House officials.

The situation: Timmons’ advocacy comes in response to a World Trade Organization proposal that would waive IP rights for a broad range of COVID-19 products, putting American innovation and jobs at risk.

  • As this goes to press, the U.S. and other countries are actively negotiating potential text ahead of the WTO’s forthcoming ministerial conference that kicks off this Sunday.

The issue: IP rights have been crucial in supporting American innovation and manufacturing during the pandemic. They have incentivized the rapid development of vaccines, COVID-19 therapeutics, personal protective equipment and other essential products and created the legal certainty for hundreds of innovative partnerships to ramp up their production.

The challenge: The controversial WTO proposal is rooted in the false premise that global vaccination efforts are lagging due to a lack of supply.

  • “The primary challenge to global COVID-19 vaccination is not supply, but distribution and demand,” said Timmons.
  • Facilitating global COVID-19 vaccination will take solving supply chain bottlenecks and logistical challenges while improving the ability of local health systems to deliver the vaccines and effective treatment.

The way forward: Instead of the waiver, the U.S. should push for creative efforts to fight COVID-19, including building consensus for the Trade in Health Initiative, working with like-minded countries to develop practical innovations that leverage increased trade and targeting WTO-identified trade bottlenecks.

  • “The NAM and its members stand ready to work with you and your agencies to advance solutions that will, once and for all, tackle this devastating pandemic,” said Timmons.

NAM in action: The NAM recently launched an advertising campaign in key states and districts on the issue, urging the administration to protect American jobs and innovation.

Policy and Legal

The NAM Calls on Congress to Help on Energy, Climate

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The U.S. needs a unified climate-change strategy that will strengthen our energy security while empowering manufacturers, the NAM told the House of Representatives’ Energy, Climate and Conservation Task Force this week.

What’s happening: The Republican task force is one of seven recently created by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to enact targeted policy solutions to current challenges and guard against future crises.

  • Among these are rising energy prices, supply chain instability and a lack of critical minerals—all dilemmas that can be fixed through sound policy, NAM Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Rachel Jones told the task force.

What can be done: “We welcome the ECC Task Force’s proposals that will address current challenges, including increasing domestic energy production; stabilizing and securing supply chains—particularly domestic production and processing of critical materials, minerals and chemicals; permitting reform that provides regulatory certainty for the development and deployment of projects; and innovation policies that incentivize an all-of-the-above energy approach rather than picking winners and losers,” Jones said.

Why it matters: Jones urged task force members to seek solutions found in the NAM’s comprehensive climate blueprint, The Promise Ahead, as well as its supply chain recommendations and energy and environmental policy agendas.

  • Jones stressed the need for a unified domestic and global approach to tackling climate change while strengthening U.S. energy security.

Manufacturers matter: Jones also hammered home the importance of including manufacturers in the conversation about climate and energy fixes.

“An agenda for the future must recognize manufacturers as the solution to emerging environmental challenges and build on the strong steps manufacturers have already taken to become more sustainable and tackle climate change; apply sound science and evidence-based approaches in new proposals; and appropriately balance the United States’ economic and environmental interests so that achieving one goal does not mean ignoring the other.”

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