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Urge Congress to Oppose Amendments that Undermine the Fair Labor Standards Act!

Over the last few months, Members of Congress have introduced changes to appropriations measures that use the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to change current procedures governing federal contractors.

Proposed amendments have been offered that prohibit federal funds from being used for a contract with a company that discloses, via the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS), that they have had any violation of the FLSA. This amendment would change the longstanding process in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) by which suspension and debarment actions are taken against a federal contractor. The amendment would create an automatic suspension or debarment for any violation of the FLSA, whether willful or not. Amendments like this set a dangerous precedent and create unintended consequences that would harm the entire supply chain and could result in thousands of jobs lost.

Under these changes, companies might be automatically debarred from future federal contracts for minor reporting errors.

NAM urges strong opposition to this amendment when it is offered on any other appropriations’ bill, or any other bill in the House of Representatives or the Senate. We ask our members to take action by sending a letter discouraging Congress from supporting legislative language aimed at changing current procedures pertaining to the FLSA.

August Recess = Advocacy In Action

At the end of this month, Congress will adjourn for recess and the NAM’s Advocacy team wants to ensure that you have all of the tools necessary to engage your elected officials during this August recess period!

Members of the U.S. House and Senate will return home to their districts/states for a month-long recess period from August 4 through September 8. This is a perfect opportunity to contact your legislators to discuss critical issues of importance to the manufacturing community.

Take Action During the Recess Period

1) Contact your members of Congress and set up a meeting! Ask your elected officials for a meeting in their district office so that you can discuss the legislative priorities with them face to face.

2) Invite your Representatives and Senators to your manufacturing facility. Show them what your operation entails, what your company makes and how your employees produce on a daily basis. Plant tours are a great way for lawmakers to meet you and your employees, hear manufacturing success stories and see first-hand how their votes impact your business. If you are willing to host a plant tour, check out our online plant tour guide.

3) Start to Plan Your Get Out the Vote (GOTV) Program. Election Day is November 4, and manufacturers must be well-informed and present at the polls. The NAM has launched an Election Center with a number of resources available for our members to use in their plants. Our GOTV materials underscore the importance of the manufacturing vote and let your elected officials know that your employees are educated and well informed voters who have your support to participate in the political process.

NAM Resources 

Click here to visit our August Recess Action Center to access all of the tools available to help you put your advocacy in action that include:

Talking Points for Policy Issues
Helpful Tips for Having a Successful In-District Meeting
Links to all “Get Out The Vote” Resources
NAM’s Plant Tour Guide

For More Information, please contact:
Jeanine H. Arnett
Director, Public Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy
jarnett@nam.org  
202.637.3121

Congress MUST Act Now on Export-Import Bank Reauthorization!

The U.S. Export-Import Bank’s authorization is set to expire on September 30, 2014, and a lapse in authorization would undermine the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers in a tough global economy to the detriment of American manufacturing and American jobs. Congress must swiftly pass a long-term reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank – your lawmaker needs to hear directly from you!

The U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank is a vital tool to help grow U.S. exports and increase American jobs. As the official export credit agency of the United States, Ex-Im Bank assists in financing U.S. exports from thousands of American companies – big and small. In fact, nearly 90 percent of Export-Import Bank’s transactions directly support U.S. small business. The Ex-Im Bank helps level the playing field when U.S. exporters face foreign competitors with government backing or when companies enter emerging markets.

Your Immediate Action is Needed:

Manufacturers need a stable, long-term reauthorization of Ex-Im Bank. Your company can have a real impact on securing Congressional reauthorization for the Ex-Im Bank. Here’s what we need you to do today:

1. Please call your Senator and Representative’s Washington office now. Scroll down for clear and straightforward talking points.

2. Click here to send an email in support of moving Ex-Im reauthorization forward.

3. Please forward this link to your fellow manufacturing executives, your employees and to your entire supply chain – we need to rally the manufacturing army!

4. Click here to describe how the Ex-Im Bank has helped your business. These testimonials prove invaluable when communicating with lawmakers on how their legislation can help your business.

Visit the NAM’s official Ex-Im website: www.nam.org/ExIm.

For more Information, please contact:

Lauren Airey
Director, Trade Facilitation Policy
lairey@nam.org 
202.637.3141
 

Manufacturers: Take Action NOW in Support of the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill

Status:
On December 31, 2012, the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) expired due to Congressional inaction. Congress’s failure to pass a new MTB has resulted in a substantial tax hike on America’s manufacturers, increasing their production costs, damaging their competitiveness and threatening American jobs. Unfortunately, more than 530 days have passed since this critical jobs legislation expired and neither the House nor the Senate have passed MTB legislation.

We need manufacturers to contact their House and Senate members and tell them to move the MTB immediately! Failure to act on the MTB has resulted in a whopping $748 million tax on manufacturing in the United States, and economic losses amounting to $1.857 billion over the next three years. Manufacturers across the United States are already paying these costs!

What You Can Do Today:

1. Scroll down to easily send an email to your member of Congress, encouraging them to support passage of the MTB.

2. Call your lawmaker's office: Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 225-3121.

3. Is your manufacturing company facing this higher tax if the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill isn’t passed quickly? If yes, please forward this alert to your company employees and ask them to contact their member of Congress.
We need your team members to join us in this effort!

4. Do you have a strong working relationship with your member(s) of Congress? Click here to let us know!

Background:
The Miscellaneous Tariff Bill supports and grows manufacturing jobs in the United States by cutting manufacturers’ costs and strengthening their competitiveness. This is particularly critical given the major challenges that manufacturers across the United States are facing in an increasingly challenging global economy.

Manufacturers of all sizes use the MTB to obtain raw materials, inputs and other products that are not available in the United States. Without Congressional action on the MTB, manufacturing production costs are significantly higher, damaging our nation’s manufacturing competitiveness and threatening American jobs.

All 2,100 duty suspension bills introduced last year have been thoroughly and meticulously vetted by the International Trade Commission and the Department of Commerce. Regrettably, Congress has not acted on MTB legislation, and the tax increases have been in place since January 1, 2013.


* For more information on the MTB issue, please visit the NAM’s policy site.
Click here for the NAM’s primer on the MTB.
Click here to read manufacturers’ stories about why the MTB matters to them.

Unless Congress acts on the MTB, costs will continue mounting for manufacturers and jobs will continue to be negatively impacted. Your members of Congress need to hear from you!

Tell Congress to Support R&D Credit Legislation

Status:
On Wednesday, the House of Representatives will consider H.R. 4438, the American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2014. This bill would restore, enhance, and make permanent the tax credit for research and development. Specifically, the bill would permanently extend the R&D tax credit, retroactive to January 1, 2014, and enhance the alternative simplified credit (ASC) formula to 20 percent from the current 14 percent rate.
Congress needs to hear a united message from manufacturers in support of this key R&D tax credit legislation. We need you to reach out to your lawmaker before the anticipated vote on Wednesday, May 7.

What You Can Do Today: 

Click here to contact your Representative and urge them to support H.R. 4438, the American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2014.

Background:
With the significant global competition for R&D investment dollars, the U.S. must maintain a globally competitive system that supports high-skilled, high-paying jobs. Investments in research and innovation have positive spillover effects in the U.S. economy. The R&D tax credit has a significant impact on private R&D spending and the creation of valuable research jobs here in the U.S. Proposals to expand the R&D credit and make it permanent have a long history of bipartisan support in Congress.

Since it was first enacted in 1981, the R&D tax credit has been extended 15 times, most recently under the fiscal-cliff deal in early 2013. That extension expired at the end of 2013, negatively impacting investment in important research and economic growth. The on-again, off-again nature of the current credit makes it difficult for businesses to plan and decreases the incentive value of the provision. In addition, most of our competitor nations provide more generous, permanent R&D incentives, drawing critical private sector R&D dollars from the United States.

For More Information, please contact:

Christina Crooks

Director, Tax Policy
E-mail: ccrooks@nam.org
Direct: (202) 637-3076

Your Voice Can Still Have an Impact: Support Needed for Keystone XL Pipeline!

Status:
On April 18, the Obama Administration announced that it would once again delay action on the Presidential Permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline, despite the fact that the project has completed every step necessary to warrant a decision on a federal permit. There is now no timetable for a Presidential decision on Keystone XL. The Keystone saga could very easily drag into 2015.

Senators John Hoeven (R-ND) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) have introduced S. 2280, a bill to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. Members of the Senate need to hear manufacturers’ support for a vote on this bill. The evidence strongly supports approval: it will create tens of thousands of jobs, drive $3.4 billion in GDP growth, and will make us more energy secure while minimizing environmental impacts. Approval would also be a strong sign to investors around the world that the U.S. is “open for business.”

What You Can Do: 

Click here to send an email to your Senators to encourage their support for S. 2280, which would approve the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Please forward this email to 25, 50 or even 100 manufacturing allies right now! Encourage your employees, supply chain, family and friends to take action through the NAM’s advocacy action center.

Forward this new web ad to your business and personal networks. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), joined with the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), to release a new web ad calling on President Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

Background:
The final supplemental Environmental Impact Statement issued by State Department earlier this year concluded that the pipeline does not pose material or even unusual environmental, health or public safety impacts. The Senate may soon consider legislation that would approve the pipeline project but that legislation would still need to be signed by the President.

Completion of the Keystone XL pipeline continues to be a priority for manufacturers. Keystone XL has the ability to create jobs, not only in the construction sector but thousands of manufacturing jobs in areas such as concrete, steel pipes, fittings, valves, pumps and control devices to name just a few.

Americans want to reap the economic and energy security benefits of the Keystone XL pipeline. This project would allow the United States to get even more oil from Canada - currently our largest single source of oil. Manufacturers will benefit not only from access to the oil produced from North Dakota, Montana and our ally Canada, but also from the thousands of manufacturing jobs that will be created to build, operate and maintain this privately funded, $5.3 billion infrastructure project.

Contact Your Representative in Support of Immigration Reform

Status:
The U.S. House of Representatives needs to address immigration reform. Manufacturers support reform that addresses all aspects of the broken immigration system and support a bipartisan solution to the country’s immigration problems.

Manufacturers are significantly impacted by the lack of workers with skills to meet the needs of advanced manufacturing. Please contact your Representative today and let the House know that the immigration laws as they stand are not workable. Immigration reform is necessary to strengthen the workforce and allow the United States to live up to its full potential.

What You Can Do:

Please take a few moments to contact your Representative to urge a bipartisan immigration solution as a step forward to modernizing our immigration system.

1. Scroll down to send an email to your Representative to encourage support of comprehensive immigration reform.
2. Call your Representative: scroll down and select "Phone," or call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
3. Do you have a strong working relationship with your member(s) of Congress? Click here to let us know!

Background:

In a 2010 survey, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) members chose “creating a market based system to attract talent” as the most important goal of immigration reform. Adopting a legal immigration system that better reflects market demands and provides the flexibility needed to respond to specialized skill needs is vital to maintaining manufacturers’ ability to fuel economic growth.

NAM’s Key Immigration Reform Policies:

• Access to talented individuals with a high-quality education and advanced skills is critical to manufacturers’ capacity for innovation and business success.

• Creation of a legal system to address the future flow of workers necessary for our workforce needs.

• A workable employment verification and border security system to stem illegal immigration.

• A thoughtful component to legal immigration reform that addresses the estimated 12 million undocumented workers in the United States.

Contact Your Member of Congress and Ask Them to Stop the Ambush Election Rule!

Over the past five years, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued decisions and proposed rules that are harmful to employer-employee relations and the ability of manufacturers to create jobs. One of the most harmful actions is their current proposal to change union election procedures, also known as “ambush election” proposals.

Recently, the NLRB proposed another rule on ambush elections that would shorten the time frame in which a union election can take place, to 10-20 days, and would require employers to provide union officials with their employees’ private contact information such as: personal email addresses, home addresses, and telephone numbers.

The U.S. House of Representatives has responded to these proposals by introducing two pieces of legislation, H.R. 4320, “The Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act,” and H.R. 4321, “The Employee Privacy and Protection Act”, that attempt to protect employees. H.R. 4320 and 4321 seek to ensure that employees have at least 35 days to consider information before voting for or against joining a union. The bills also protect employees’ personal contact information from being disseminated to union officials.

H.R. 4320 and 4321 allow Congress to protect the employer-employee relations by not allowing the NLRB to implement ambush election practices. The NLRB’s proposed rule is one of the most harmful actions to employer-employee relations and the ability of manufacturers to create jobs. NAM has submitted comments and participated in the public hearing expressing manufacturers’ concerns to the proposed rule but more action is needed to ensure that the ambush election rule does not go into effect. You can take action now by sending an email to your member of Congress now and urge them to support H.R. 4320 and H.R. 4321.

Please share this information with your employees, suppliers, clients, and other contacts in the manufacturing community and encourage them to take action as well! Passage of H.R. 4320 and 4321 will send a strong message to the NLRB that this rule is ill-advised and unsupported by manufacturers across the nation.

Take Action Now!

NAM TAKE ACTION: Trade Promotion Authority Bill Is Here!

It’s Time for YOU to Contact Congress

Status:
Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation has finally been introduced in Congress by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI). The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act would renew TPA for up to seven years, giving the United States a critical tool to help accelerate and implement comprehensive, market-opening negotiations that will make manufacturers more competitive globally. TPA was last renewed in 2002 and expired in 2007.

Opponents of opening trade opportunities are already sending a loud message to lawmakers. Washington needs to hear from manufacturers TODAY.

Four Things You Can Do Today:

1. Scroll down to quickly and easily send an editable email, fax or letter to your Representative and Senators. We have to show Congress that TPA matters!

2. Call your members of Congress in Washington now. Scroll down to check out the NAM’s simple talking points and legislator contact information, or call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

3. Share your story. Click here to describe how trade has strengthened manufacturing within your company, or in your area.

4. Please forward this email to 25 or 50 or even 100 manufacturing allies right now! Encourage your friends to take action through the NAM’s easy advocacy center.

For more information, please visit the NAM’s Trade Promotion Authority Issue Page.


Background:
TPA is a partnership between Congress and the President that facilitates development and approval of trade agreements. It ensures congressional input on trade negotiations and increases Congress’s power to shape and influence deals. Every president since Franklin Roosevelt has had trade negotiating authority.

Trade agreements negotiated under TPA are delivering for manufacturers and workers. The United States enjoys a $130 billion manufacturing trade surplus with its 20 existing trade agreement partners. In 2012, those countries purchased nearly half of all U.S. manufactured goods exports.