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manufacturers Archives - Shopfloor

NAM Weighs in on the EPA’s Proposed Cost-Benefit Analysis Reform

By | Environment, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

In June, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it would solicit public input on whether and how to change the way it considers costs and benefits in making regulatory decisions. As was first reported in Politico on Tuesday, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) filed comments outlining manufacturers’ priorities for reform and listed numerous examples of flawed and costly rulemaking.

The NAM’s comments included the following recommendations:

  • If costs and benefits will accrue over a 30-year time horizon, the agency should provide cost and benefit estimates for the whole time horizon, not simply a snapshot of what costs and benefits would look like in a given year within the range.
  • When compliance with a rule is based on unknown controls, the EPA must base its calculation of those unknown controls on realistic assumptions.
  • When costs and benefits will accrue to the whole economy, the EPA should model the impact on the whole economy, not just a part of it.
  • The agency should avoid relying on outdated data, studies and methodologies, and it should similarly avoid being overly speculative.
  • The agency can achieve the consistency and specificity it seeks through statute-specific rulemakings that allow for more tailored approaches reflecting the unique statutory requirements.

As I wrote in our filing:

Manufacturers strongly support the EPA’s mission. Moreover, the benefits of appropriate regulations are clear and supported by the public. The issue is how to enable the regulatory system to address legitimate concerns without unreasonably impeding innovation, research, development and product deployment. Too often in the regulatory process, the vital national public policy objectives of international competitiveness and technological innovation are given short shrift due to other competing mandates. To protect public health and the environment, the NAM supports a regulatory process designed to adhere to sound principles of science, risk assessment and robust benefit-cost analysis.…In our view, there are three pillars of effective regulatory cost considerations: transparency, scientific integrity and accountability. In other words, the rule-making process should be conducted out in the open and backed up by objective, unimpeachable science, while being overseen by officials who are held accountable.

The NAM’s full comments can be viewed here.

Congress’ Top Tax Writer to NAM: “Pro-Growth Tax Reform Would Not Have Occurred but for Your Leadership”

By | Economy, Shopfloor Economics, Shopfloor Main, Taxation | No Comments

On the six-month anniversary of the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Congress’ top tax writer praised the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and President and CEO Jay Timmons in a Capitol press conference for the organization’s advocacy.

“Thank you to Jay for your leadership of America’s manufacturers,” said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) as Timmons, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin looked on. “This pro-growth tax reform would not have occurred but for your leadership.”

Earlier that day, the NAM released its latest quarterly Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey in conjunction with the anniversary. The results were eye-popping: more than 95 percent of manufacturers surveyed were optimistic about their business outlook—the highest rating in all of the survey’s 20-year history.

Speaker Ryan and Chairman Brady echoed the record-setting results.

“Today there is record optimism among our nation’s manufacturers,” said Ryan. “Tax reform, to be blunt, is the game-changer our economy needed.”

“Our manufacturers are now armed with one of the most pro-growth tax codes in the world. And since tax reform was signed into law, over 70 percent of manufacturers have increased hiring and their workers’ wages due to tax reform,” said Brady.

Marlin Steel Wire Products President and Owner Drew Greenblatt and Jamison Door President and CEO John Williams, both NAM members, also participated in the press conference, along with workers from each company’s shop floor. The full event can be viewed here.

Conducted by NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray, the Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey has surveyed the association’s membership of 14,000 large and small manufacturers on a quarterly basis for the past 20 years to gain insight into their economic outlook, hiring and investment decisions and business concerns.

The NAM releases these results to the public each quarter. Further information on the survey is available here.

Serving Those Who Serve Us: NAM Staff Presented with Employer Patriot Award

By | Shopfloor Main | No Comments

Yesterday, two members of the NAM team were recognized for their support as managers and supervisors to members of our National Guard and reserve services.  NAM Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Ross Eisenberg and Vice President of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources Policy Robyn Boerstling were presented with the Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Employer Patriot Award for Supervisors.

Robyn and Ross were nominated by Jason Melton, a policy coordinator at the NAM, who also is a technical sergeant with the Nebraska Air National Guard serving for 11 years and with the military for 16 years.

“Ross, Robyn and the National Association of Manufacturers have been vital in enabling me to serve the great state of Nebraska and my country in the Nebraska Air National Guard, said Melton. Moreover, their active support and encouragement has been critical to my success and the mission of the Nebraska National Guard and the security of our country. As supervisors, they go above and beyond in their support for my National Guard duties by providing flexibility and exceptional work accommodations while I am away from the office performing military Guard duties in Nebraska and throughout the world. They are deserving of this award, and I want to thank them for their continuing understanding and support of my service.”

The ESGR is a Department of Defense organization created to work with employers and service members to enhance the understanding of the missions our service members perform. With such a large percentage of the U.S. Armed Forces now being National Guard and Reserve, the employer plays a vital role in our national defense.

Ross Eisenberg and Robyn Boerstling are awarded the Employer Patriot Award for Supervisors by the Department of Defense. The Adjutant General of Nebraska, Maj. Gen. Daryl L. Bohac presented the award. Photo Credit: D. Bohrer, NAM

Robyn Boerstling and Ross Eisenberg are awarded the Employer Patriot Award for Supervisors by the Department of Defense. The Adjutant General of Nebraska, Maj. Gen. Daryl L. Bohac, presented the award. Photo Credit: D. Bohrer, NAM

More than 80 percent of manufacturers report they cannot find people to fill their skilled production jobs. Meanwhile, thousands of service men and women return home each month, possessing not only an unmatched work ethic but also rigorous technical training and experience.

The NAM and The Manufacturing Institute are committed to connecting veterans to the manufacturing community. Get Skills to Work is a coalition of manufacturing companies and community and technical colleges committed to recruiting, training and retaining veterans in long-term careers in advanced manufacturing and other disciplines.

In partnership with Alcoa Foundation, the Institute has also released an employer playbook on hiring and retaining veterans. The guide, From Military Front Lines to Manufacturing Front Lines: Veterans and Your Workforce,” contains tips and best practices for manufacturers on resourcing, hiring and retaining veterans.

Remembering David Olson

By | Around the States, Presidents Blog | No Comments
David Olson, President of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce

David Olson, President of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce

Manufacturers lost a great leader. Minnesota Chamber of Commerce President David Olson will be missed greatly by manufacturers, his fellow NAM Board Members and many more across the country.

David left us after a life not long enough, but long enough for joy and love and laughter and good times – and long enough to leave a lasting footprint on the business community, his state and his country.

He inspired all of us and will be remembered by the countless individuals whose lives he made better. David always had colorful stories to tell, laughs to laugh, words to write, legislators to buttonhole, lobbies to walk and battles to fight. He passionately led the business community in Minnesota for decades with great optimism and strong faith. As a champion for economic growth, he provided pragmatic solutions that transcended party politics.

What most of us remember best is not specifically what David did or said, but how he did it – as a unique, wonderful, patriotic and highly intelligent human being. He connected with each of us in some unusual way to get a job done. Through his words and actions, he made us proud and proud to know him.

He was the epitome of hardworking Minnesotan values and a leader among his peers. I was fortunate enough to count him as my friend.

In an industry that seems to grow more homogenized every day, David had very much his own voice. His lifetime of dedication serves as a monument to the exemplary man he was.  His integrity and hard work will encourage those who knew him and will continue to benefit those who make Minnesota their home for years to come.  Among the best things David has left behind is his shining example.

With Conventions Over, Time To Put Policy Over Politics

By | America's Business, Economy, Presidents Blog | No Comments

Just as he did in his State of the Union address eight months ago, President Obama again put manufacturing front and center last night in his nomination acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention.

He touted some achievements of his term—new manufacturing jobs and three new free trade agreements—but then laid out a new challenge for the next four years: creating one million manufacturing jobs.

That’s a laudable goal, but it’s clear that something has to change. President Obama simply rehashed some of the policies of his current administration—growing exports, for example (which we, of course, support). But manufacturers need bolder policy prescriptions. After all, the jobs report this morning reflected that manufacturing lost 15,000 jobs last month. If the status quo isn’t working now, why should Americans expect more of the same to lead to one million new jobs?

Of course, the first step in creating one million jobs is to stop going backwards. But that is exactly what is going to continue happening in a few months if our leaders don’t decisively deal with the impending fiscal abyss. The fiscal abyss means job losses for small and medium-sized manufacturers as a result of tax increases as well as job losses for innovators in the defense industry, who will be hit hard by indiscriminate cuts that will do little to solve our long-term fiscal challenges. Add to that the significantly mounting regulatory costs on manufacturers, and the result is a business climate that stifles job creation.

Neither candidate offered policy specifics these past two weeks. Over the next two months, they should. The problems facing manufacturers are abundantly clear, and manufacturers want to hear what both candidates plan to do to solve them.

Jobs and Energy Go Hand in Hand

By | Energy, Presidents Blog | No Comments

The NAM and Politico teamed up at the conventions to host events focusing on “Growing the Economy.” You can read about the RNC event here and yesterday’s DNC event here.

Politico has hosted a number of other discussions, one of which caught my eye today.  The subject was energy policy. A replay of the event is available here.

A discussion of energy policy could just as well have been held at our events on jobs and the economy.  After all, a strong, pro-growth energy policy can help create jobs, particularly in manufacturing, which is energy intensive, using one-third of the U.S. energy supply.

While members of both parties talk about an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy, the United States has yet to adopt anything of the sort.  We have abundant resources at our disposal, but many remain off limits, whether through the inaction of Congress or the overzealousness of regulators, to name just two reasons.

An all-of-the-above energy strategy means just what it says.  It means using traditional sources of energy like coal and oil.  But, the Environmental Protection Agency through its Utility MACT and Cross-State Air Pollution rules is looking to drive coal-fired power plants out of business.  As for oil, permitting delays and other regulatory obstacles continue to thwart new exploration and development offshore.

An all-of-the-above strategy also embraces new opportunities such as those presented by the shale gas boom.

And alternative sources have a role to play too. Nuclear needs to be part of our energy mix—it’s a form of clean energy we have yet to utilize fully. Long-term development of this vital energy source has unfortunately fallen victim to political battles. And, there have been many new and exciting innovations with renewable sources of energy like wind and solar that have helped expand the use of these important resources.

Our nation’s energy policy can’t single out one of these sources.  We must embrace them all, especially if we want to grow manufacturing and remain competitive. Reliable and abundant energy will bring investment to our shores—and with it, jobs. And it will encourage manufacturers in the United States to expand their operations and hire more workers.

As we develop additional sources of energy, manufacturers will be able to grow their capabilities. Manufacturers are doing more with less because they are harnessing new technologies and becoming more energy efficient. Earlier this week, I had the chance to speak with manufacturers about their efforts to develop new and innovative systems that lower energy costs by making manufacturing facilities more efficient. NAM member Ingersoll Rand and its CEO Mike Lamach hosted an event with Senator Amy Klobuchar and Gen. Wesley Clark to discuss the issue and its role in a comprehensive energy policy.

A strong energy policy is a strong jobs policy.  That’s something for the men and women we put into office this November to think about.

Trade Growth Essential for Manufacturing Renaissance

By | America's Business, Economy, General, Presidents Blog | No Comments

NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons is blogging from the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte this week. 

Jay Timmons makes remarks at an NAM/Politico event on jobs and the economy. / Photo by David Bohrer

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) kicked off its week at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) today. Just as we did in Tampa, we are partnering with Politico, and today we hosted an event featuring a number of top policymakers who are attending the DNC.

Delaware Governor Jack Markell joined Rep. Brad Miller of North Carolina and former Rep. Susan Molinari, who is now a government affairs executive with Google, at the Politico Hub. White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer also participated, as did Austan Goolsbee, former chairman of the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors.

The panelists gave a nod to manufacturing as a bright spot in the economic recovery, but news this morning once again demonstrated that we have a lot of work ahead of us. Manufacturing contracted in August, the third month in a row. Reflecting on the global economic uncertainty, Goolsbee commented, “Most any country in the world would rather have our problems.”

But that is little consolation to the 8.3 percent of Americans who are unemployed, and the millions more who are underemployed.  The United States did not achieve its economic leadership by default—because our competitors were worse off.  We did so by out-innovating and out-working them, feats made possible by our system of free enterprise.

Economist Austan Goolsbee fields questions at an NAM/Politico event on jobs and the economy. / Photo by David Bohrer

One tenet of free enterprise is free trade, and a topic that came up repeatedly during the panel discussion today was trade. Ninety-five percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the United States. Reaching these customers is critical for manufacturers’ growth, yet obstacles stand in the way of increased exports.

For one, many nations have tariffs or other trade barriers that make products from the U.S. less competitive. The U.S. can help bring these barriers down through free trade agreements. But right now, out of the dozens of trade pacts being negotiated around the world, the U.S. is party to just one.

Revitalizing the nation’s trade agenda is one part of a pro-growth plan to strengthen manufacturing and grow jobs and the economy. The NAM has an agenda that will lead the way.

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