NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons is on a barnstorming tour of the U.S., to raise more support among leaders for addressing supply chain challenges, creating more manufacturing jobs and making the country more resilient. He brought this message to the 2022 Arizona Manufacturing Summit in Phoenix, Arizona, yesterday.
Manufacturing’s strength: “I’m pleased to report that manufacturers are shattering expectations across the United States,” said Timmons. “Here’s one encouraging fact: manufacturers have now recovered all the jobs the industry lost at the start of the pandemic—and then some. There are more than 12.8 million people working in manufacturing… And that’s because we’re doing what we’ve always done. We’re solving problems, we’re innovating and leading into the future.”
Challenges ahead: “Inflation has reached the highest level in decades,” said Timmons. “Supply chains are still strained, making it harder to move resources and products. Global instability—especially Russia’s war on Ukraine—shows us it’s more important than ever that we secure domestic energy supplies.”
- “We’re facing a workforce crisis, with less than six job seekers for every ten jobs in America. And almost 70% of Americans today say the country is on the wrong track. Now, we’ve seen some moments of historic bipartisan action in Washington … But there is so much more to be done.”
Competing to Win: Timmons pointed to the NAM’s policy roadmap, “Competing to Win,” which offers an agenda for manufacturing competitiveness on issues including the following:
- Taxes: “We need U.S. tax policy to keep up and encourage more industrial investment here,” said Timmons. “So, we’re calling for making the 20% deduction for pass-through income permanent—and expanding it. The small and medium-sized businesses here deserve confidence that they won’t lose that all-important tool. And we need to fix provisions of the tax law that are making R&D and capital investment more expensive starting this tax year.”
- Trade: “While we’re working on tax policy here at home, we also need to expand opportunities to sell our products overseas,” said Timmons. “Exports are part of our industry’s lifeblood. That means policymakers should hold countries accountable for practices that harm manufacturers in the U.S. We should continue pursuing cutting-edge trade deals, while ensuring that the agreements already in place are delivering for our industry. And we should reject policies at international bodies like the World Trade Organization that would take away intellectual property rights.”
- Immigration: “We need Congress to fix the broken, unreliable immigration system,” said Timmons. “Clearly, we need border security, and we need more avenues for people to come legally and work. It’s critical to our economic competitiveness—and consistent with our values.”
The way forward: “It can be disheartening to know that so many Americans don’t believe the country is on the right track,” said Timmons. “But a focus on policy—getting things done, rather than blaming each other—can change that. And manufacturers are positioned to lead. The work we do to create jobs and to improve the quality of life is essential, and we can’t let up. We won’t let up.”
Manufacturing businesses have long been proponents of equality in the workplace. As legislation to codify protections for LGBT individuals passes through the House of Representatives, the National Association of Manufacturers joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, and other members of the business community in advocating its passage, forging coalitions and providing congressional testimony.
Introduced with bipartisan support in the U.S. House and Senate in March, the Equality Act includes federal protections for individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity under the existing framework of the Civil Rights Act, which already provides protection against discrimination on the basis of religion, national origin, race, color or sex. The goal of the legislation is to ensure that no person can face legal discrimination based on their gender or sexual orientation, setting a clear federal standard to enable individuals to succeed based on their abilities and qualifications to perform a job.
“Employers understand the importance of creating an environment in which the very best people can succeed based on merit,” Patrick Hedren, NAM vice president, labor, legal and regulatory policy, said. “At the same time, manufacturers know that discrimination in any form is antithetical to the values that we work to uphold every day: equality of opportunity, individual liberty, free enterprise and competitiveness.”
In March, more than 40 other industry associations rallied to support the Equality Act, providing an important boost for the groundbreaking legislation. In the weeks since, manufacturing representatives have testified before the House Education and Labor Committee and signed a coalition letter to the House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services calling for the Act’s passage. As Congress considers the way forward, manufacturers have made clear that they intend to advocate forcefully on behalf of the legislation and uphold their commitment to workers of every gender identity and sexual orientation.
“The Equality Act creates a clear federal standard that matches the sentiments manufacturers already share: gender identity and sexual orientation have no impact on an employee’s abilities and discrimination is not welcome on the manufacturing floor,” Hedren said. “We look forward to working with Congress as this important legislation moves ahead.”
Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement after the Department of Labor (DOL) rescinded the 2016 Persuader Rule:
Manufacturers have fought for this victory for many years in the courts, in Congress and with two administrations, using the full weight of our policy, government relations and legal teams, said Timmons. The NAM’s Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action was able to halt the rule in court in 2016.And in 2017, the Trump administration, as part of its broader regulatory relief agenda, thankfully began the process of unwinding the rule. This overreaching rule threatened to impose serious burdens on manufacturers and upend employee–employer communications. Now manufacturers are relieved that this threat to workplace communications is finally and officially off the books. Commonsense steps like this to rein in onerous regulations are a major reason why manufacturers are reporting record-high business optimism.
The Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action (MCLA) is the leading voice of manufacturers in the courts and engages in a range of activities, including direct party litigation and operating a robust amicus program, as well as educating manufacturers about emerging legal trends. The MCLA is led by NAM Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly and NAM Vice President of Litigation and Deputy General Counsel Peter Tolsdorf. More information on the MCLA can be found here.
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) 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 million men and women, contributes $2.25 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters 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 Manufacturers or to follow us on Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.