NAM to Congress: We Need Regulatory Relief

Messinger1.jpgAmerican companies are snowed under by federal regulations.

Just ask Dyke Messinger, president and chief executive officer at Power Curbers Inc. in Salisbury, N.C.

Messinger, who testified for the National Association of Manufacturers Thursday before the House Small Business Committee, told lawmakers he had to hire an employee just to fill out all the paperwork from EPA, OSHA and other government agencies.

“He’s expensive,” said Messinger, whose company makes equipment that turns concrete into curbs and gutters. “He basically handles all that for us.”

After the hearing Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) told Messinger that lawmakers need to hear more from real companies about how federal regulatory requirements affect them.

Messinger’s company has 104 workers in Salisbury, Cedar Falls, Iowa, and White House, Tenn. His regulatory requirements can exceed $10,000 per employee.

If you want to read Messinger’s testimony in full, click here.

The House Small Business Committee is mulling draft legislation to improve the Regulatory Flexibility Act, which was first enacted in 1980 to ease the burden of federal rules on businesses, especially smaller ones.

The NAM supports a new-and-improved law. For instance, Messinger told Velazquez, ranking member Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), and other lawmakers the NAM wants to improve a periodic review of regulations impacting small businesses. And the NAM says the indirect cost of regulations on businesses should be weighed before they are put into effect.

American companies shell out $1.1 trillion a year to comply with federal regulations. The NAM’s “Escalating Cost Crisis” report released in 2006 said American manufacturers are already saddled with a 31.7 percent cost advantage compared to our nine largest trading partners.

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