Policy Positions from the National Association of Manufacturers

9 Sep, 2011

By: Trade & Industry Development

Administration Should Abandon Discretionary Reconsideration of Ozone Standard
EPA Ozone Effort Causes Uncertainty for Manufacturers Despite Delay

National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons issued this statement following the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement that it needs more time to finalize the proposed ozone standard:

“Manufacturers have made it very clear that this discretionary action by the EPA to revise the ozone standard would harm the economy and threaten job creation. Today the Administration took yet another step in delaying the standard and manufacturers hope this is a sign that the Administration is hearing our concerns.

The economic recovery remains stalled and manufacturers are facing unprecedented regulations. Piling on an unnecessary and unrealistic ozone standard would be yet another setback. Studies show the proposed ozone standard could result in millions of jobs lost and $1 trillion per year in compliance costs.

We ask the President and his Administration to abandon their current reconsideration efforts until a review is required in 2013 and to carefully consider the drastic consequences this standard will have on job growth and the struggling economy.”


S&P Downgrade Ushers in Greater Uncertainty, Underscores Need for Pro-Growth Policies
Lower credit rating will have negative ripple effect throughout supply chain

National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons issued this statement on Standard & Poor's (S&P) decision to strip the U.S. of its AAA rating:

“This downgrade by just one of the three agencies is troubling news for manufacturers because higher interest rates are now on the horizon. Given the weakened state of the economy, higher borrowing costs will have ripple effects throughout the entire economy. Most notably, they will hinder recovery in the housing market, which has a direct impact on manufacturing.

This is an unprecedented move, so the magnitude of the downgrade is somewhat unknown. That said, manufacturers are bracing for a negative impact on many levels. Higher interest rates will likely affect what state and local governments can borrow. These governments invest in infrastructure, and manufacturers build their roads and schools. If borrowing costs go up for these governments, manufacturers may see a slowdown-- this will impact jobs and job creation during a time of historically high unemployment.

The NAM understands the need for improved fiscal responsibility, as urged in this action by S&P, but it must also come with a growth strategy. Manufacturers have long called for policymakers to support our manufacturing strategy that puts forward a pro-growth, pro-competitiveness, pro-manufacturing agenda. We need regulations that are balanced and clear, a tax code that is competitive, and an agenda that fosters job creation.

Manufacturers recognize that some programs are critical to our nation's economic and national security. As rates go up, the cost of interest payments will rise, actually increasing the federal debt. Policymakers need to evaluate every line item in the federal budget. If the expenditure is not directly related to growth, it needs to be seriously reviewed to determine if the program needs to be modified, reduced or eliminated. Too often, Presidents and Congresses have enacted expensive programs that are politically popular, with little or no regard for future economic impact. Now is the time for difficult decisions and priority setting to take place in Washington. We need leadership from our policymakers.”


EPA Utility Regulation Will Cost Jobs
Utility MACT Rule Will Raise Energy Prices and Harm Economic Growth

National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Vice President for Energy and Resources Policy Chip Yost released this statement after the NAM filed comments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed Utility MACT rule:

“Affordable energy and jobs are top priorities for manufacturers, and the EPA’s proposed Utility MACT rule threatens to deal a lethal blow to both. The EPA’s Utility MACT proposal is yet another example of excessive overreach that will dampen economic growth and result in job losses.

If implemented, the finalized Cross-State Air Pollution Rule and the proposed Utility MACT rule will cost an estimated 1.44 million jobs by 2020. These two rules will increase retail electricity prices nationwide by 11.5 percent and cost the electric sector a staggering $18 billion per year to comply. This will stifle investment and severely damage our competitiveness at a time when our economic recovery has stalled and the unemployment rate hovers at 9.2 percent.

In its current form, the Utility MACT proposed rule only adds to the uncertainty facing manufacturers. The cumulative regulatory burden coming from the EPA, such as reconsideration of the ozone air quality standards and the various other MACT regulations, will cost jobs and will continue to slow our economic recovery. Manufacturers urge the EPA to slow promulgation of the proposed rule and extend the timeframe for compliance as our nation’s job creators cannot afford more costly regulations.”


Manufacturers Encouraged by Path Toward Votes on Free Trade Agreements
Announcement by Sens. Reid and McConnell Brings Agreements a Step Closer to Passage

National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons issued this statement on the announcement by Senators Reid (D-NV) and McConnell (R-KY) to vote on the pending Colombia, Korea and Panama free trade agreements when Congress returns from August recess:

“With each passing day, manufacturers are losing valuable market share to competitors overseas. The opportunity to reverse this trend is at our fingertips. By entering into free trade agreements with Colombia, South Korea and Panama manufacturers in the United States will add an estimated $13 billion annually in exports.

The announcement by Leaders Reid and McConnell that the Senate will vote on the agreements – and the assurances from Chairman Camp (R-MI) that the House is also prepared to move forward in September – means that we are moving closer to creating 100,000 jobs that have been languishing at a critical time for our economy.

Manufacturers urge Congress to pass all three agreements and Trade Adjustment Assistance. American workers are losing nearly $8 million a day in wages and benefits while the agreements remain stalled. We can no longer afford to wait, and we look forward to a vote in early September.”


Manufacturers: Agreement on New Fuel Standards Is a Positive Step
White House Plan Calls for a Single National Standard

National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement regarding a plan by the White House to nearly double U.S. fuel economy standards by 2025:

“The agreement reached between the White House and the auto industry on new fuel standards is a positive development. Reasonable fuel economy standards based on sound technological and economic grounds are critical not only to the auto industry, but also to the manufacturing supply chain.

Fuel savings must be achieved without compromising jobs. This is an example of government and job creators working together in partnership to achieve mutually shared goals. This type of consensus building should serve as a model for future rulemaking.”

For more information about the NAM’s efforts to promote affordable, reliable and secure energy, please visit


About NAM:

The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing has a presence in every single congressional district providing good, high-paying jobs. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit