Last year’s bipartisan infrastructure bill, known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, was a big victory for manufacturers—but now that the bill has been made law, the NAM is still working to make sure funding is distributed effectively and efficiently to the programs and projects that need it. That includes action on $48 billion in federal funding for expanded broadband access and broadband infrastructure, which will be primarily disbursed by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce.
With the NTIA in the early stages of designating and developing broadband priorities, the NAM recently reached out to submit a set of principles that the process should follow to ensure effective funding allocation.
- Strong national standards: The NAM supports uniform requirements and industry performance standards across the entire United States. Divergent state and regional regulations can hamper the development of broadband access and interfere with the IIJA’s goal of increasing signal availability broadly. The significant funding provided in IIJA presents a valuable opportunity to develop nationwide service standards, which will encourage the growth of our national economic connectivity.
- Transparency: “The NTIA should remain committed to transparency in both program requirements and project allocations,” said NAM Director of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources Policy Ben Siegrist. “ Manufacturers in America support broadband expansion not only for the needs of their local communities, but as an asset to improve American commercial competitiveness in a global business marketplace. Transparency in federal allocations, clarity of purpose and reliability of federal partners will ensure that competitive benefits are achieved on behalf of all enterprises in all regions.”
- Fair, timely and efficient rollout: The NAM encourages the NTIA to develop a framework for investing the IIJA funds through open competition, thoughtful evaluation and without delay. Further, the NTIA can ensure a concise and efficient rollout by avoiding overly complicated language or regulatory processes.
The last word: “Manufacturers in America understand the overwhelming value that expanded broadband access and infrastructure will provide for communities, consumers and commercial enterprises in all corners of the country,” said Siegrist. “From domestic economic competitive advantage to improved livelihoods and neighborhoods, the NTIA’s mission through IIJA directives can dramatically and positively impact the success of our national shared interests.”
Washington, D.C. – Ahead of the midterm elections, the National Association of Manufacturers released its policy roadmap, “Competing to Win,” a comprehensive blueprint featuring immediate solutions for bolstering manufacturers’ competitiveness. It is also a roadmap for policymakers on the laws and regulations needed to strengthen the manufacturing industry in the months and years ahead.
With the country facing rising prices, snarled supply chains and geopolitical turmoil, manufacturers are outlining an actionable competitiveness agenda that Americans across the political spectrum can support. “Competing to Win” includes the policies manufacturers in America will need in place to continue driving the country forward.
“‘Competing to Win’ offers a path for bringing our country together around policies, shared values and a unified purpose,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “The NAM is putting forward a plan filled with ideas that policymakers could pursue immediately, including solutions to urgent problems, such as energy security, immigration reform, supply chain disruptions, the ongoing workforce shortage and more. Manufacturers have shown incredible resilience through difficult times, employing more workers now than before the pandemic, but continued resilience is not guaranteed without the policies that are critical to the state of manufacturing in America.”
The NAM and its members will leverage “Competing to Win” to shape policy debates ahead of the midterm elections, in the remainder of the 117th Congress and at the start of the 118th Congress—including in direct engagement with lawmakers, for grassroots activity, across traditional and digital media and through events in key states and districts as we did following the initial rollout of the roadmap in 2016.
The document focuses on 12 areas of action, and all policies are rooted in the values that have made America exceptional and keep manufacturing strong: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity.
Learn more about how manufacturers are leading and about the industry’s competitiveness agenda at nam.org/competing-to-win.
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