New Study: Manufacturers Face 297,696 Regulatory Restrictions

As the incoming Trump administration prepares to reform and roll back many misguided federal regulations, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has released a new study revealing the sheer number of business and operational hurdles that manufacturers face on a daily basis as a result of the nation’s current regulatory structure.

The study, called Holding Us Back: Regulation of the U.S. Manufacturing Sector, is based on extensive interviews, a survey of the NAM membership and an analysis of hundreds of specific federal regulations. Key findings include the following:

  • Manufacturers face 297,696 restrictions on their operations from federal regulations.
  • Eighty-seven percent of manufacturers surveyed say that if compliance costs were reduced permanently and significantly, they would invest the savings on hiring, increased salaries and wages, more research and development or capital replacement.
  • Ninety-four percent of manufacturers surveyed say the regulatory burden has gotten higher in the past five years, with 72 percent saying “significantly higher.”

“On day one, President-elect Donald Trump can deliver a boost to manufacturing by taking the lead on balancing our regulatory system,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “As this study demonstrates, manufacturers work diligently to comply with regulations handed down from Washington. We believe in smart regulations that keep our communities and workplaces safe, but too often, these rules go too far or are too complex. Manufacturers want to invest more and hire more in the United States, but too often the cost of doing business—and even just functioning on a daily basis—makes that difficult.

“We have a president-elect who wants to take a hands-on approach to securing jobs here in the United States, and Congress can help get that ball rolling by approving his Cabinet appointees so they can get to work streamlining regulations in their respective agencies.”

Small and medium-sized manufacturers, which comprise more than 90 percent of the NAM’s membership, often bear the heaviest regulatory burden.

“For the past eight years, the outgoing administration has hindered small and mid-sized firms’ success,” said Marlin Steel Wire Products President and CEO and NAM Small and Medium Manufacturers Group Chair Drew Greenblatt. “Time and money that could be spent on job creation are instead wasted on complying with out-of-touch federal rules. We believe in smart regulations—and simply want to see balance and common sense return to rulemaking. Congress and the next administration can work in the best interest of manufacturers by getting to work right away on rethinking red tape and regulations in a thoughtful and productive way.”

Read the full regulatory narrative study here.

To read more about the NAM’s regulatory reform priorities for the 115th Congress, visit our Competing to Win” webpage.

Original press release available here.


MEDIA CONTACT: Jennifer Drogus, (202) 637-3090

Jennifer Drogus

Jennifer Drogus

Director or Media Relations at National Association of Manufacturers
Jennifer Drogus is the Director of Media Relations at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the nation’s largest industrial trade association and the leading voice for the manufacturing sector in the United States. She is responsible for coordinating media and strategic communications to promote the NAM’s policy agenda. Ms. Drogus specifically focuses on media relating to International Economic Affairs, Tax and Domestic Economic Policy, which includes key topics such as trade, investment policy issues and economic conditions for the manufacturing sector.Ms. Drogus also coordinates media for the NAM’s Chief Economist.
Jennifer Drogus

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