NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons has been making the most of his time on the road during the Competing to Win Tour, delivering a strong message to congressional leaders about top manufacturing priorities. He did so again yesterday on permitting reform with congressional leaders in Washington:
- “Some of the biggest obstacles preventing manufacturers—and therefore the entire American economy—from reaching our full potential are the permitting delays, red tape and complicated bureaucracy that have plagued us for decades,” he told the leadership of several House committees.
He went on to cite a number of different areas in which permitting reform is desperately needed, including . . .
Energy: Permitting reform is crucial to almost every sector of energy manufacturing, from oil and gas all the way to nuclear and clean energy technologies.
- “For example,” Timmons noted, “the siting of and infrastructure for hydrogen power generation and transportation and for advanced, small modular and micro-nuclear reactors have progressed far too slowly.”
- “Manufacturers depend on access to reliable and affordable energy to expand, which is why we support reforms that would foster transparent, streamlined and timely federal regulatory processes for the siting, permitting and licensing of energy delivery infrastructure of all types,” he continued.
Transportation: Manufacturers also need railroads, highways, airports and ports to run their operations and get their products out the door.
- “Yet obtaining permit approvals for these projects often takes years, especially when reviews are piecemeal and duplicative,” Timmons pointed out. “[M]any companies are waiting on the sidelines because transportation infrastructure construction moves too slowly—or not at all.”
- “To ensure the broad and beneficial impact of [the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021] … it is critical to clear permit backlogs and ease processing timelines,” he said.
Resource development: Manufacturers prioritize sustainability, Timmons noted, but “restricting access to America’s abundant natural resources hinders our ability to strengthen domestic supply chains.”
- “The inconsistent administration of critical mineral policies, for example, has limited our ability to use a wide range of resources that lie on and beneath federal lands—resources that are critical to producing everything from cars to medical devices,” he added.
- “Streamlining resource permitting and leasing policies will help stabilize manufacturing supply chains, control costs for consumers, reduce our reliance on foreign countries and create jobs in the U.S.”
Environmental standards: Manufacturers have worked steadily to improve U.S. air quality, helping to “lead our country to the cleanest air in the modern world,” said Timmons.
- “Unfortunately, when federal agencies continually revise standards before current standards are met and before states have implemented prior mandates, they create unpredictability”—which may mean that new manufacturing facilities get built in other countries instead, where they don’t face as rigorous standards.
- However, if Congress makes regulations more predictable and consolidates review processes, the U.S. “can continue to build on its strong record of environmental stewardship by boosting domestic manufacturing, which is environmentally cleaner than international competitors,” Timmons concluded.
Congressional intent: Congress should make sure that permitting reform isn’t just passed, but also implemented as easily as possible, Timmons advocated.
- It should conform to “on recent and future statutory streamlining efforts such as One Federal Decision,” while making sure federal agencies don’t duplicate each other’s efforts and waste time.
The last word: “Permitting affects every aspect of our lives—from our economic security to our national security,” said Timmons. “[I]f we seize this opportunity to lead, there is no limit to what manufacturers in the United States can accomplish—for the good of our people and for the good of the world.”
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