Protect Maryland’s Innovators, Reject “Transparency” Legislation

By | Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

From automobile and steel production to print and publishing services, Maryland manufacturers and other research-based companies today serve as global innovators. Manufacturers in particular account for more than three quarters of all private sector research and development (R&D) in the United States. R&D is critical to both their success and the countless other Maryland enterprises that rely on them. And in an extremely competitive global economy, if a company isn’t innovating, it’s falling behind. Read More

The NAM builds bipartisan approach to advance infrastructure

By | Infrastructure, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

We all agree that America’s infrastructure must be updated and brought into the 21st century. The NAM has been leading efforts to build consensus on how to fund, build, and deliver infrastructure that will improve manufacturers’ global competitiveness. Today, the NAM—in partner with leading industry and labor groups—released four principles for congress and the administration to use as they draft an infrastructure bill. The four principles are: Read More

New NAM Analysis Scrutiny Highlights Need for Strong Action to Address Global IP Challenges that Harm Manufacturing in the U.S.

By | Shopfloor Policy, Trade | No Comments

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) yesterday urged the U.S. government to boost its efforts to protect U.S. manufacturing innovation against the threat of IP theft globally in a detailed submission to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). Innovation and intellectual property (IP) remains the foundation for a globally competitive manufacturing sector in the United States. Yet global infringement of IP, including patents, trade secrets, trademarks and copyrights, hurts the ability of manufacturers in the United States not to just innovate, but to sustain and create good-paying jobs. The NAM looks forward to working closely with the Trump Administration on stepped up and vigorous efforts to combat IP theft and to protect and secure strong enforcement of IP rights both at home and abroad. Read More

Ozone Implementation Relief Bill Introduced in House and Senate

By | Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Last week, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) introduced the bipartisan Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017 (S. 263/H.R. 806), legislation to provide much-needed relief and flexibility to manufacturers in implementing the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2015 ozone rule. The bill offers a balanced approach that ensures continued air-quality improvements, while giving states and manufacturers the flexibility necessary to limit some of the economic growth restrictions that exist under the current regulation. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) key-voted similar legislation in the House during the 114th Congress, which the House passed on June 8, 2016, by a vote of 234–177. Read More

Congressman Introduces Bill to Repeal Section 385 Rule

By | Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Last year, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) led the business community’s charge against the Department of Treasury’s proposed Section 385 debt/equity regulation that was proposed in April 2016. Under the original proposal, Treasury could retroactively treat a company’s related party debt as equity in common business transactions, overturning longstanding tax policy and well-established case law. Read More

Protect Montana’s Innovators, “Transparency” Legislation Is Wrong Approach

By | Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Montana manufacturers, technology companies and other research-based operations are global innovators. Manufacturers in particular account for more than three-quarters of all private-sector research and development (R&D) in the United States. R&D is critical to the success of the countless Montana enterprises that rely on innovation. And in an extremely competitive global economy, if a company isn’t innovating, it’s falling behind.

This is especially true for biopharmaceutical manufacturers creating new medicines for patients and animals. However, the price of manufacturing a new medicine is extremely costly and risky. On average, it takes a decade to bring a new patient medicine through the entire R&D process and into the marketplace, and only about 12 percent of the medicines that enter the process are actually approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Therefore, it is absolutely critical that manufacturers’ R&D and proprietary information are not compromised.

Unfortunately, “transparency” legislation was recently introduced in Montana that would force biopharmaceutical manufacturers to turn over highly confidential information and proprietary data related to R&D as well as sales and marketing costs. This approach would have damaging effects and would not reduce health care costs. Requiring manufacturers to publicly reveal a breakdown of specific costs and information related to trade secrets would in no way benefit consumers and could impede competition, which would drive up costs.

The time, effort and costs associated with bringing new medicines or products to market must be acknowledged and valued. While this specific bill is targeted at manufacturers of medicine, it sets an alarming precedent for manufacturers across all industries. In short, it’s a slippery slope for all industries once established.  Any legislation that jeopardizes manufacturers’ highly confidential information and deters innovators from innovating is a threat to consumers, manufacturing jobs and the state’s economy.

The manufacturing industry employs more than 18,700 Montanans in high-skilled and high-wage jobs. Policymakers in Montana and at the federal level should work to create policies that help innovators attract and retain investment. The NAM opposes any efforts that would invalidate longstanding intellectual property and trade secrets protections and force manufacturers of medicines to heed new government-driven demands that are contrary to basic free market principles.

Manufacturers Support Rollback of RMP Rule

By | Environment, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Manufacturers strongly support Rep. Markwayne Mullin’s (R-OK) Disapproval Petition under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Accidental Release Prevention Requirements: Risk Management Programs under the Clean Air Act (RMP rule). The National Association of Manufacturers has long expressed concerns over the EPA’s proposed and, ultimately, final approach in this rule, which will create significant additional burdens without any safety benefits. The EPA’s RMP rule will overlap and conflict with other federal programs designed to promote safety and security, meaning that the EPA’s proposal will be duplicative and add regulatory burdens for manufacturers—and likely inconsistencies—with no additional benefits. In addition, the disclosure requirements raise concerns related to sensitive business and security data, which could actually threaten facility security.

Manufacturers support the CRA Disapproval Petition offered by Rep. Mullin and look forward to working with him, the other cosponsors and the rest of Congress to ensure this legislation makes it to the president’s desk for his signature.

 

 

More in Congress Call for Urgent Repeal of the Medical Device Tax

By | Health Care, Shopfloor Policy, Taxation | No Comments

Co-authored by Christine Scullion, NAM Director of Human Resources Policy

For years, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has been urging Congress to do away with the 2.3 percent excise tax on medical device manufacturers stemming from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that threatens to hinder growth and innovation in this industry. Now, more members of Congress are joining in calling for a repeal of this onerous taxand fast!

The NAM has always strongly opposed industry- and product-specific taxes, as they serve to inhibit growth in targeted sectors and impede on the ability of  companies to compete in the global marketplace. The 2.3 percent tax applies to sales of taxable medical devices starting in January 2013, but thanks to the efforts of manufacturers and our friends in Congress, a two-year moratorium on the medical device tax was enacted. The moratorium runs out at the end of 2017, making swift repeal a priority.

Congressmen Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and Ron Kind (D-WI) have been leaders on this issue and have most recently introduced the Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2017 (H.R. 184) to repeal the medical device tax once and for all. A bipartisan majority of 245 members of the House have cosponsored H.R. 184. As another positive sign of support in the House, Congressman Jim Banks (R-IN) and 17 other members of the House freshman and sophomore class sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) asking that H.R. 184 be put on the fast track toward passage and enactment.

On the other side of the Capitol, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and a bipartisan group of nine senators have introduced the Medical Device Access and Innovation Protection Act (S. 108), which also aims to repeal the medical device tax. The NAM strongly supports H.R. 184 and S. 108 and applauds the bipartisan, bicameral support the legislation has received.

While the effort to repeal and replace the ACA will be a considerable undertaking, the NAM is urging Congress to include full repeal of the law’s burdensome taxes on manufacturers, including the medical device tax, “Cadillac” tax and the health insurance tax in the upcoming budget reconciliation bill.

 

Manufacturers Deliver a United Call to Invest in Infrastructure Now

By | Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Republicans and Democrats unified today to advance an infrastructure agenda in the 115th Congress. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) began the hearing “Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America” by referencing a letter to President Donald Trump from nearly 400 manufacturing, labor, business, construction and policy groups urging for a broad infrastructure bill that addresses all types of infrastructure and includes a solution to make the Highway Trust Fund solvent. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) worked with a broad business coalition to secure support for the effort from national organizations as well as local and state groups from every state in the country.

Committee members heard a united message about the immediate need to upgrade transportation and infrastructure systems to ensure U.S. global competitiveness. Testimony came from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and four NAM members:

  • Frederick Smith, chairman and CEO of FedEx Corporation
  • David MacLennan, chairman and CEO of Cargill, Incorporated
  • Ludwig Willisch, president and CEO of BMW of North America
  • Mary Andringa, chair of the board of Vermeer Corporation

Andringa shared Vermeer’s Lean journey and the steps taken to reduce waste and increase efficiency in the manufacturing process.

“If ports are clogged, trucks are delayed, power is down or the internet has a lapse, productivity and customer service are impacted,” said Andringa. This is not just my story. Across the manufacturing sector, transportation logistics matter, and congestion—whether at a port or on a crowded highway—is waste that drives the consumer’s cost up like a hidden tax.”

To read more of Andringa’s testimony, click here. To watch the hearing, click here.

The NAM will continue to educate new members of the 115th Congress about the central role infrastructure plays on the shop floor and will continue to lead advocacy efforts supporting a 21st-century infrastructure system. In Building to Win, the NAM described the immediate need to update our roads, bridges, transit systems, ports, inland waterways, broadband and telecommunications networks, airports and runways, pipelines, energy infrastructure, drinking water and wastewater systems and railways. The blueprint includes solutions, such as possible funding and financing mechanisms, as well as good governance policy reforms, such as streamlining permitting.

While manufacturers were encouraged by President Trump’s campaign promise to rebuild American infrastructure and make it “second to none,” accomplishing this will require continued advocacy and education efforts to gather the bipartisan support to encourage a significant change from the status quo.