The NAM is indisputably the leading voice for manufacturers in the courts. With the help of the top legal advocates in the country, we are pushing back against current challenges, safeguarding the advances we have made already and preventing future threats to your interests as a manufacturer. At all stages, we are engaged and fighting to win for you, for your employees and for the progress you deserve.

The NAM’s expert and unrivaled team of lawyers—combined with our resources and reach—makes us equipped to tackle any challenge. We are trusted to fight for large and small manufacturers in every sector and at every level across the country.

NAM Legal Resources at a Glance

What We Do: Fight and win legal battles for manufacturers nationwide, protecting our progress and breaking new ground to support the nearly 13 million hardworking men and women who make things in America.


How We Do It: We bring together the most respected legal experts in the country to fight for manufacturers. From leading the manufacturing industry’s litigations efforts, to tackling major issues like regulatory overreach and reform, to supporting key cases, the NAM has created an unmatched team that can tackle tough legal challenges.


Why It Matters: The legal assault against manufacturers is constant. Whether you are grappling with complex compliance issues, facing groundless lawsuits or struggling under the weight of unfair regulations, you shouldn’t have to fight alone. The NAM is your ally and your legal advocate, and we will never stop fighting for you.
The United States Supreme Court Building at sunset in Washington DC, USA.

Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action

The Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action leads the manufacturing industry’s involvement in litigation, fighting regulatory overreach, defending sensible regulatory reforms and supporting key cases in court through “friend of the court” briefs. We keep members like you informed through conference calls and webinars—and we educate the public with regular briefings and media appearances.

Our legal experts fight every day and win for NAM members and manufacturing priorities, protecting manufacturers’ ability to grow, innovate and create jobs.

A Winning Record

2019 was a banner year for the MCLA as it racked up important wins for manufacturers:

Additional Wins for Manufacturers in 2019:

  • Reversing overbroad collective bargaining interpretations by the National Labor Relations Board
  • Limiting the power of federal agencies to change the law without fair notice
  • Protecting vertical mergers that enhance efficiency and transparency

Fights That Matter

The most important legal fights can take years to resolve. The MCLA remains vigilant to win the fights that matter as it tackles tough and diverse issues in court:

Promoting a Vibrant Manufacturing Workforce 

Protecting a STEM-Educated Workforce
The NAM intervened in a lawsuit to defend a federal program that allows for the employment of hundreds of thousands of skilled workers for manufacturers. Known as “STEM OPT,” the program allows STEM-educated students to remain and work in the United States for up to three years after completing their education. A labor group is seeking to invalidate the entire program by suing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Safeguarding H-4 Spousal Work Permits
Ending work permits for spouses of certain H-1B visa holders awaiting green cards—called H-4 spouses—would rapidly remove 91,000 individuals from the American workforce. It would also imperil the vital H-1B visa program. That’s why the MCLA filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to protect these H-4 work permits. By working with the Department of Homeland Security and through the courts, as well as through Congress, on immigration issues, the NAM takes a multipronged approach that other organizations can’t match.

The MCLA filed an amicus brief with more than 140 other organizations and businesses calling for the Supreme Court to uphold the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The Supreme Court’s decision will determine the future of more than 800,000 Dreamers living in the United States.

Standing Against Public Nuisance Suits

The NAM filed amicus briefs in two federal appeals courts and the U.S. Supreme Court to oppose misguided efforts to impose “public nuisance” liability on energy manufacturers. Several cities and the state of Rhode Island have sued energy companies over climate change. The federal courts that have ruled on the merits have dismissed the claims. In the plaintiffs’ appeals, the MCLA filed amicus briefs explaining how Supreme Court precedent forecloses such lawsuits and that climate change is a shared challenge properly addressed by innovation and legislation.

Preserving Tax Incentives for Exports

The NAM sued to challenge a federal regulation that strips manufacturers of a congressionally mandated tax incentive to increase domestic manufacturing and exports. The regulation at issue involves “duty drawback”—the refund of taxes, duties or fees paid on imported goods when the same or similar goods are exported. A recent federal rule disallows drawback claims for distilled spirits, wine, beer and other products. The NAM’s lawsuit seeks to invalidate the rule and require a replacement rule that reflects Congress’ clear intent in allowing such claims.

Supporting the Free Trade of Energy Products

The NAM has fought back in multiple cases against states seeking to obstruct pipelines and shipping routes that keep manufacturers in business. Manufacturers depend on the trade and transportation of energy products, and the pipelines that make it all possible create jobs for manufacturers across the country.

Manufacturers’ Accountability Project

Special interest groups—including trial lawyers, public officials, deep-pocketed foundations and activists—are focused on undermining manufacturers in the United States through groundless tort litigation and taxpayer-funded, politically motivated investigations. The NAM helps empower our members to fight back and set the record straight through the Manufacturers’ Accountability Project. Our innovative initiative is countering the misinformation campaigns by these special interest groups and protecting the ability of all manufacturers to continue to grow and provide millions of jobs to working Americans.

MAP 2019 by the numbers graphic


Manufacturers’ Compliance Institute

Compliance issues are complicated. That’s why our award-winning Manufacturers’ Compliance Institute provides legal and regulatory compliance guidance to NAM members through partnerships with top-tier law firms, giving our members free access to the best possible legal assistance as they navigate their compliance obligations. No matter the size or sector of your business, our experts can help you navigate the compliance process and make the best decisions for your company and employees.


MCI Webinars by the Numbers

NAM members served
Council of Manufacturing Associations members served
Manufacturers deserve the most effective legal support available. Whether you are pushing back against harmful regulations, facing lawsuits that could disrupt your business or navigating complex compliance issues, the NAM is with you every step of the way.

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