Trade

With a level playing field and an accessible market, manufacturers in America can out-perform any competitor. That’s why we need smart trade deals that expand opportunities to sell our products around the world and ensure global trade is open, fair and free.

Policy and Legal

The NAM Revives High-Level U.S.–U.K. Talks

The NAM’s Competing to Win Tour in Europe moved on to London early this week, highlighting the imperative to shore up the U.S.–U.K. relationship—and to urgently address other barriers, like permitting reform and workforce shortages, to enable the U.S. to help allies in the face of Russian aggression and other geopolitical threats.

The issue: Russia’s unprovoked war in Ukraine, the aftermath of the worldwide pandemic and China’s quest for global leadership create a new urgency for expanded trade opportunities between democratic countries.

  • The U.S. and the U.K. must work together to shore up supply chains, enhance energy security, boost resiliency and create growth, as NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons emphasized.

The details: Timmons crisscrossed London on Monday and Tuesday, promoting the manufacturing industry and reinforcing its priorities with senior government ministers and officials, including:

  • Nigel Huddleston MP, the U.K. minister of state for international trade
  • Jonathan Reynolds, Labour Party shadow business secretary (one of the architects of the Labour Party’s industrial plan)
  • Jane Hartley, U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s

Support at home: During his visit, Timmons did an interview with CNN International to discuss the NAM’s new Outlook survey, which found that 77% of manufacturers want to see more trade agreements with Europe.

Making industry connections: At the NAM’s sister organization Make UK, Timmons joined a roundtable with CEO Stephen Phipson and addressed some of Britain’s leading manufacturing companies.

  • He spoke about how the U.S. and the U.K. can unlock new trading opportunities going forward and bolster democracy by strengthening commerce.
  • The two groups also reaffirmed their commitment to share market intelligence, data and policy work, as well as to facilitate visits for economic delegations promoting trade, investment and commercial opportunities.
  • They also voiced their continued and mutual support of the Ukrainian people and of the democratic institutions in their own countries.

What they said: “The ties between the UK and United States go back a long way and we have significant political, economic and trade connections,” said Phipson. “Relations with the US are vital and its market is the second most important for UK goods. In a post-Brexit world, it is likely to assume ever greater importance as part of our efforts to boost global trade.”

  • “As world events have made abundantly clear, strengthening democracy, the free enterprise system and strategic alliances in our countries and around the world is essential to our future and the fight against tyranny,” said Timmons. “As the U.S. and the U.K. take steps to build a stronger, more open and secure economic relationship, the NAM urges our leaders to move toward a new U.S.–U.K. market-opening trade agreement that includes strong, clear and enforceable outcomes.”

Meeting manufacturers: In addition, Timmons met with manufacturers that have operations or pending operations in both the U.K. and the U.S. Energy security and regulatory certainty, as well as the worker shortage in the industry, also took center stage in these discussions.

Bottom line: “The tour’s time in London matters to manufacturers in the United States because it strengthens the ‘special relationship’ between the U.S. and the U.K. and boosts the prospects for enhanced cross-Atlantic trade, supporting manufacturing jobs in both countries,” said Ken Monahan, NAM Vice President of International

Press Releases

New Survey: Manufacturers Want Increased Trade with Europe

New Regulations and Taxes Will Hurt Expansion

London, U.K. – As the National Association of Manufacturers’ Competing to Win Tour begins its second week of bolstering strategic alliances across Europe, the association released findings from its Q1 2023 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey. The survey found that expanding trading opportunities with Europe is a top priority for manufacturers, with more than 77% of respondents supporting negotiating new agreements with European nations.

“At a time when democracy and free enterprise are under attack from forces around the world, America can provide the leadership needed to defend our values, our institutions and our way of life,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “By advancing an ambitious trade agreement agenda, we can ensure that the U.S.—and not competitors like China—writes the rules for the global economy and trading system. That has been the focus of our conversations with government, association and business leaders across Europe over the past week.”

The survey also continues to illustrate the need for Washington to enact policies that support the sector’s competitiveness as businesses face record job openings and increased production and input costs.

“With geopolitical turmoil and a banking crisis injecting further uncertainty into the economy, policymakers must act with urgency on key tax, trade, permitting and regulatory proposals if they want to help manufacturers in America fend off a recession,” said Timmons.

Background: Manufacturers have called on Congress and the White House to address key tax, trade, and permitting policies in recent months and have pressed lawmakers to work across the aisle to move legislation. The NAM conducted the survey from Feb. 21 to March 7, 2023.

Key Findings:

  • Of companies that are engaged in international trade, nearly two-thirds of manufacturers said that Europe was either a somewhat or very important market for their company. With that in mind, 77.7% would support U.S. efforts to launch market-opening trade agreement negotiations with countries in Europe.
  • Nearly three-quarters of respondents (74.9%) listed attracting and retaining a quality workforce as a primary business challenge, with increased raw material prices (60.1%) and supply chain challenges (55.8%) the next biggest impediments.
  • More than 90% of respondents said that higher tax burdens on manufacturing income would make it difficult for their companies to expand their workforce, invest in new equipment or expand their facilities. Similarly, 93.9% suggest that increased regulatory burdens would weaken their ability to invest in their workers, equipment or facilities.
  • More than 74% of respondents said that permitting reform—which would simplify and speed up the approval process for new projects—would be helpful to their manufacturing company, allowing them to hire more workers, expand their business or increase wages and benefits.
  • More than 55% of respondents said that new proposed air standards from the Environmental Protection Agency would raise their costs of compliance, with roughly one-third suggesting that it would lead to increased permitting challenges and lessen investment and facility expansion plans.

Conducted by NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray, the Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey has surveyed the association’s membership of 14,000 manufacturers of all sizes on a quarterly basis for the past 25 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.

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs nearly 13 million men and women, contributes $2.81 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 55% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

President Biden’s Visit to Canada Strengthens Democratic Alliances and Promotes North American Manufacturing Growth

Washington, D.C. and Ottawa, Canada – The following is a joint statement from National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons and Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters President and CEO Dennis Darby on the occasion of the first official visit of U.S. President Joe Biden to Canada:

“The historic ties between Canada and the United States have created one of the strongest bilateral partnerships of any two countries in the world. As neighbors, friends and as manufacturers, we have always worked together to support our industry and the millions of jobs it provides.

“President Biden’s visit to Canada is an opportunity for our two countries to rededicate ourselves to deepening these ties, to redoubling our efforts to grow North American manufacturing and to taking full advantage of the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement.

“To achieve these goals, we must support regional integration, supply chain resilience and sustained economic growth, innovation and jobs. We must also continue to coordinate our efforts to address climate change, develop critical minerals and drive the clean energy transition, while also ensuring that manufacturers across our region have access to all forms of energy.

“As world events make abundantly clear, strengthening economic and strategic alliances between democracies is essential to our future and to countering those that want to undermine our way of life. At every opportunity, we must strengthen democracy and the free enterprise system in our countries and around the world.

“We must take on all these challenges, together, so that the manufacturing industry can continue to lead our economies forward and drive our countries’ continuing prosperity. As our history has proven time and again, when we work together, we accomplish big things and improve the quality of life for all.”

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs nearly 13 million men and women, contributes $2.81 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 55% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

-CANADIAN MANUFACTURERS & EXPORTERS (CME)-

From the first industrial boom in Canada, CME has advocated for and represented member interests. 150 years strong, CME has earned an extensive and effective track record of working for and with 2,500 leading companies nationwide. More than 85 per cent of CME’s members are SMEs and collectively account for an estimated 82 per cent of total manufacturing production and 90 per cent of Canada’s exports.

Business Operations

Competing to Win Tour Visits Merck KGaA in Darmstadt, Germany, and VDMA in Frankfurt

The NAM’s Competing to Win Tour in Europe continued with stops at Merck KGaA in Darmstadt and VDMA, the association of Germany’s engineering industry, in Frankfurt. The visit to Merck KGaA provided a firsthand look at the leadership, culture and operations that are producing about 300,000 products and that played an instrumental role in saving the world from the pandemic.

Living its values: Merck KGaA and its science and technology entities have 60,000 employees around the globe, with approximately 26,000 employees in 66 countries outside of Germany, including the U.S. Its products appear not only in healthcare settings, but in grocery stores where they ensure food and beverages are safe and in transportation where they monitor the air we breathe.

  • Matthias Heinzel, CEO of the Merck KGaA Life Science business, and Thaddeus Burns, head of government and public affairs, welcomed the tour and provided insights into the company’s operations.
  • The tour of the Merck Innovation Center showcased the company’s state-of-the-art design and technology, while the visit to the growing Membrane operations gave the tour group an opportunity to explore the latest developments.
  • A brief stop in the company’s museum provided a historical perspective on the origins of the company, which was founded by the Merck family and began with a small pharmacy named Angel that is still in business today.

VDMA: The tour group also visited VDMA, the association of Germany’s engineering industry, which represents more than 3,300 companies in the sector and focuses on the advancement of trade opportunities.

The last word: The visit to Merck KGaA in Darmstadt underscored the importance of interconnectedness between the U.S. and Europe. It highlighted the vital role alliances play in strengthening enterprises that are essential to our democratic way of life and its protection worldwide.

  • “Merck KGaA is a company that lives its values and is a strong champion of free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity, putting its aspirations into action,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons.
Policy and Legal

The NAM Talks Democracy, IP and Trade in Geneva

On the first two days of the NAM’s Competing to Win Tour in Europe, Timmons took part in “frank and engaging” discussions with global leaders in Geneva. The conversations focused on reinforcing transatlantic partnerships, bolstering democracy, addressing trade challenges and emphasizing the crucial role manufacturers play in promoting global stability.

The details: Timmons met with influential figures including WTO Director-General Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, WTO Deputy Director General Angela Ellard, U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland and Lichtenstein Scott Miller and U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission in Geneva David Bisbee.

  • NAM representatives also participated in an event on intellectual property co-hosted by the NAM and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations.

The substance: In the meetings, Timmons delved into the negative impact of the WTO/TRIPS waiver expansion, the need to restore the WTO dispute settlement system’s functionality and the crucial role of manufacturers in supporting democracies and global institutions.

  • ‘“Frank & engaging discussion w/ @JayTimmonsNAM CEO of the US National Association of Manufacturers & his delegation. Focused on geopolitical tensions & impact of @wto, challenges w/ the TRIPS waiver extension to therapeutics & diagnostics, dispute settlement system & road to #MC13 [the WTO’s next ministerial conference in early 2024],” tweeted Okonjo-Iweala following the meeting.

Speech in brief: At the IFPMA event, first covered by Politico, Timmons stressed the significance of IP protections in driving innovation and developing new treatments, reinforcing the NAM’s opposition to an expansion of the TRIPS waiver to cover diagnostics and therapeutics. Attendees included Geneva-based government delegations, the WTO secretariat and NAM member companies.

  • “In America, our industry works to advance the values of free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity—the values that keep our industry strong,” said Timmons. “But increasingly, we find these values, which so many of us share, under attack—in particular from authoritarian regimes that have little regard for free markets and little respect for an individual’s right to determine their own destiny. That’s why our transatlantic relationship matters more than at any time in recent memory.”
  • “[O]ne of the most important ingredients for innovation is how a country protects intellectual property. IP enshrines the understanding that years or even decades of hard work and sleepless nights, millions and millions of dollars and so much more will be rewarded,” he continued.
  • “Expanding this [WTO/TRIPS waiver of IP] would set a precedent that would spiral across the manufacturing sector,” he concluded. “Some voices—here in Geneva and around the world—are already expressing desires to implement similar waivers for renewable and green energy technologies, or to automatically trigger an IP waiver for any future pandemic. If we don’t draw the line now, the outcome is obvious: an anti-innovation domino effect that destroys jobs, livelihoods and lifechanging products.”

The big picture: More than a worldwide center for diplomacy, Switzerland is the seventh largest investor in the U.S. Timmons’s visit comes at a critical inflection point for the country and amid heightened stresses on global institutions, due to COVID-19, Russia’s unprovoked war in Ukraine and competition with China, among other geopolitical challenges.

News coverage: Politico’s Morning Trade newsletter spotlighted Timmons’s trip, while The Wall Street Journal (subscription) quoted him on the importance of new U.S. trade agreements.

Next up: The tour will continue in Frankfurt, Germany, where the NAM will further demonstrate manufacturers’ leadership and the potential for a more robust transatlantic alliance.

Policy and Legal

NAM Goes to Europe to Strengthen Partnerships

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s speech at the recent NAM board meeting highlighted the importance of manufacturers in the U.S. to the world at large. But it also made another, implicit point—that the NAM has a robust platform for engaging global leaders on issues critical to the industry.

NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons heads across the Atlantic next week to bolster these strategic alliances, as well as advance key competitiveness priorities and elevate manufacturers’ role as the “Arsenal of Democracy.” While there, he will affirm the values shared by Americans and Europeans alike, including free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity.

The itinerary: The trip will take Timmons to Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Belgium, France and the United Kingdom, during a critical inflection point for U.S.–European Union and U.S.–U.K. partnerships.

  • Timmons will take part in high-level meetings with government officials, international intergovernmental organizations like the World Trade Organization, U.S. embassies and European trade association counterparts.
  • He will also meet with global manufacturing leaders, visit sites vital to the U.S.–European alliance and draw attention to the support manufacturers are providing in key countries like Poland.

The trade theme: Ahead of this trip, Timmons recently urged President Biden to resume forging trade agreements with our international partners, both in Europe and around the globe.

  • As Timmons put it, “By advancing an ambitious trade agreement agenda, we can ensure that the U.S.—and not competitors like China—writes the rules for the global economy and trading system.”
  • “At a time when democracy and free enterprise are under attack from forces around the world, America, as it has done in decades past, can provide the leadership needed to defend our values, our institutions and our way of life.”

The bigger picture: Timmons’ Europe trip follows many other NAM efforts to engage with international partners, which include recent meetings with Danny McCoy, CEO of the Irish Business Employers Confederation, and Goldy Hyder, president and CEO of the Business Council of Canada.

  • It also follows Timmons’ trip to Mexico as a part of the U.S.–Mexico–Canada business delegation meetings at the North American Leaders’ Summit.
  • Among other key moments, he communicated directly to new Mexican Economy Minister Raquel Buenrostro the myriad of regulatory and trade policies that violate the spirit, if not the letter, of the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement.

The last word: “The NAM’s competitiveness agenda isn’t just something we can achieve here at home,” said NAM Executive Vice President Erin Streeter.

  • “It requires action and partnership abroad, particularly in Europe. Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and COVID-19 are just two examples of why the resilience and strength of the transatlantic alliance is so important.”
  • “We’re looking forward to the impact we’ll make for manufacturers in the U.S. and in defense of our shared values.”  
Press Releases

Zelenskyy to Manufacturers: We Will Prove That Democracy Is Stronger Than Tyranny

Timmons: America, and the American business community, stands with Ukraine today, tomorrow, through the end of the war

Boca Raton, FL – This morning, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivered remarks to the National Association of Manufacturers Board of Directors.

To view the address and a transcript of the remarks, click HERE.

Key Excerpts:

Voldodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine:

But what will our joint victory mean? This is not a purely ideological battle. Yes, we will prove that democracy is stronger than tyranny. When Russia loses, we will prove that terrorist states cannot overcome the power of a united democratic world.

…..

The American business [community] has every opportunity to take on leadership positions both in the reconstruction of the Ukrainian economy and infrastructure, and in demonstrating to the world that human nature should serve worthy goals and that it produces, and will always produce, the best result.

……

All these are not just investment opportunities, not just industries and not just growth. This is a wide space for victories—your victories, American business. And I urge you to prepare for these victories now, to come to Ukraine now so that by the time we restore peace, your hard work has already yielded results. And I believe that it will be soon. Thank you for your attention. I invite all of you to Ukraine. Glory to our brave soldiers. Glory to Ukraine.

Jay Timmons, President and CEO, National Association of Manufacturers:

Ukraine’s fight is our fight because this is far more than a war between two countries. It is a battle between freedom and tyranny. So America, and the American business community, stands with Ukraine today, tomorrow, through the end of the war and as Ukrainians rebuild their country after Russia is defeated.

….

We reaffirm our support for the “sanctions implemented against Russia” and for Ukraine’s “fight to preserve freedom and independence.” And we reaffirm our “commitment … to safeguarding democracy and democratic institutions not only here at home, but also abroad.”

…..

Manufacturers in America will continue to stand with Ukraine, and we will be there after Russia is defeated so that we can help you and your people build a stronger nation forever rooted in our shared democratic values.

BACKGROUND: The NAM has been an active and vocal supporter of Ukraine’s fight to defend democracy. More information on these efforts can be found below:

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs nearly 13 million men and women, contributes $2.81 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 55% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

News

Transcript: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses the American business community

Official transcript of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s address to the American business community at the National Association of Manufacturers Board Meeting on Tuesday, Feb 28, in Boca Raton, Florida.

Jay Timmons, President and CEO, National Association of Manufacturers:

For more than a year now, the courage and resolve of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine has inspired and rallied the free world to support the cause of the Ukrainian people.

He has reminded us all that the system that makes our way of life possible cannot be taken for granted. Ukraine’s fight is our fight because this is far more than a war between two countries.

It is a battle between freedom and tyranny. So America, and the American business community, stands with Ukraine today, tomorrow, through the end of the war and as Ukrainians rebuild their country after Russia is defeated.

And today, the NAM Board of Directors is honored to welcome President Zelenskyy to speak with us live via video link.

As he shares this address—to manufacturers and to the American business community—we reaffirm this Board’s resolve from a year ago, “denouncing Russia’s invasion.”

We reaffirm our support for the “sanctions implemented against Russia” and for Ukraine’s “fight to preserve freedom and independence.”

And we reaffirm our “commitment … to safeguarding democracy and democratic institutions not only here at home, but also abroad.”

Ladies and gentlemen, his Excellency, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine. Mr. President, the floor is yours.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine:

Thank you so much!

Thank you, Mr. President [Timmons], thanks everybody!

Thank you for your kind words and support!

Ladies and Gentlemen!

I greet you from free Ukraine. Thank you for your attention and support of our struggle for freedom and independence.

I’m sure that none of you doubt that we will win despite. Ukraine is indeed the place where democracy will defeat tyranny. The united democracy — Ukrainian, American, all our allies and partners.

But what will our joint victory mean? This is not a purely ideological battle.

Yes, we will prove that democracy is stronger than tyranny.

When Russia loses, we will prove that terrorist states cannot overcome the power of a united democratic world.

And when we restore our territorial integrity, we will also restore the full power of international law, which is equally important for everyone in the world.

However, the battle is for much more, and there will be more winners in it.

The human nature is yet another battlefield where the confrontation continues right now.

In the world, will that creativity of the human mind be more successful in solving good or evil?

What will give more prospects, hard work or complicity in making money from the aggression?

This confrontation is going on right now. And that is why right now we are calling on all businesses to come to Ukraine and to leave the Russian market.

It is obvious that post-hostilities, reconstruction of Ukraine will give an extraordinary moral advantage to all businesses that will be in.

And it is also obvious that every business that is now helping the Russian tyranny in any way will not be able to avoid problems and their reputation crisis.

The American business has every opportunity to take on leadership positions both in the reconstruction of the Ukrainian economy and infrastructure, and in demonstrating to the world that human nature should serve worthy goals and that it produces, and will always produce, the best result.

The Ukrainian life will inevitably get a new start after this war.

We need to rebuild the energy system of Ukraine based on new security principles.

It is in Ukraine that we will combine green transformation with security transformation and create an example for the same transformation in other countries, such as to protect a specific country from any aggression against the energy industry.

And such that protects all humanity under that framework of a smart climate policy. For example, on the virtual power plants market, 7 out of 15 key companies are American.

This is the experience that Ukraine needs.

Ukraine is an opportunity that will give a historic impulse to the entire industry — solar power plants, wind power plants, small hydroelectric power plants, biomass burning plants.

Our modernized and centralized energy system is a project worth hundreds of billions of dollars and with the potential of replication for other nations.

We need to restore hundreds of thousands of industry, infrastructure and social facilities, residential buildings, whole cities’ industries.

This is a colossal task but realistic. Ukraine is interested in projects to create a full production cycle of titanium, lithium, aluminum and ferrous metals.

Ukrainian oil refineries, which were destroyed by Russia missile strikes, and the capacious domestic market provide the opportunity to restore this industry on a modern technological basis.

Machine building in Ukraine, agricultural processing in Ukraine, weapons production in Ukraine, including modern drones–IT in Ukraine, infrastructure and transport in Ukraine, a localization of business in Ukraine, convenient logistics with other markets from Ukraine, human capital of Ukraine.

All these are not just investment opportunities, not just industries and not just growth. This is a wide space for victories. Your victories, American business.

And I urge you to prepare for these victories now, to come to Ukraine now so that by the time we restore peace, your hard work has already yielded results.

And I believe that it will be soon. Thank you for your attention. I invite all of you to Ukraine. Glory to our brave soldiers. Glory to Ukraine.

Jay Timmons, President and CEO, National Association of Manufacturers:

Mr. President, your leadership is not only inspiring your people in face of the unspeakable, but also inspiring us. It is inspiring the world.

Manufacturers in America will continue to stand with Ukraine, and we will be there after Russia is defeated so that we can help you and your people build a stronger nation forever rooted in our shared democratic values.

And, I want the Board to know that at President Zelenskyy’s request, we will be sharing the video of his remarks with our members so that they too can hear his powerful words.

###

Policy and Legal

“Competing to Win” Comes to Louisiana

Few things are more quintessentially Louisianan than seafood and Tabasco sauce, and on the third stop of the NAM’s Competing to Win Tour on Thursday, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons got to spend some time with both.

The first stop: Laitram LLC, the Harahan, Louisiana–based manufacturing leader in seafood and nuts processing equipment, played host to Timmons, Louisiana Rep. Garret Graves (recently tapped by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy as Elected Leadership Committee chair) and Louisiana Association of Business and Industry President and CEO Stephen Waguespack.

  • Laitram President and CEO Jay Lapeyre (who also serves as chairman of the Cato Institute Board of Directors) and his team led the group through a facility tour of Intralox, a subsidiary of Laitram specializing in conveyer belts and equipment that improve productivity, food safety and reliability in high-speed package sorting.
  • Timmons, Rep. Graves and Waguespack spoke with line employees across the facility, and Timmons was impressed by the company’s successes in employee retention: “Nearly everyone I met had been there a decade or more … One team member recently marked 46 years with the company,” he noted afterward.

Talking policy: Timmons moderated a roundtable discussion on manufacturing policy opportunities and challenges with Laitram’s senior staff, Rep. Graves and Waguespack after the tour.

  • Lapeyre and his team expressed concerns about pass-through tax rates, which impact Laitram given that it is an S-Corp. They also raised alarms about the recent phaseout of pro-growth tax deductions for research and development and bonus depreciation.
  • Trade emerged as a top priority for Laitram and its global enterprise, and Lapeyre also shared his perspective on the need for more regulatory certainty, particularly in the light of a potential new rule from the Federal Trade Commission limiting the use of noncompete agreements.
  • Meanwhile, Rep. Graves emphasized the continued importance of protecting tax reform and pointed to ongoing efforts in Congress to advance permitting reform.

The second stop: The NAM team then headed to Avery Island, about two hours outside of New Orleans, where they visited McIlhenny Company, the maker of the iconic red-and-green-bottled Tabasco pepper sauce.

  • Timmons was given a full tour of the 155-year-old company’s facilities, which included stops at the manufacturer’s barrel-aging warehouse, blending facility, bottling and packing plant and its onsite restaurant.
  • McIlhenny Chief Operating Officer Michael Terrell—a fourth-generation employee of the company—and Agricultural Manager Christian Brown—a sixth-generation employee—guided the tour around the facility, which showed off some of the manufacturer’s recent bottling-plant innovations. These included label readers, case packers and a packet line, as well as several sustainability initiatives.

The last word: As Timmons said at the outset of the competitiveness tour, “The story of manufacturing in America is one of resilience and defying the odds. All manufacturers ask is that in Washington, when it comes to policy, don’t stack those odds against us.”

Policy and Legal

Manufacturers in the U.S. Stand with Ukraine

Manufacturers in the U.S. are united with their counterparts in Ukraine as that country continues to grapple with the destruction caused by Russia’s invasion.

That was the message of “Rebuilding Ukraine: Inaugural Conference of Manufacturers in the U.S. and Ukraine,” an event that took place yesterday thanks to the partnership between the NAM and the Ukrainian League of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.

The background: In March 2022, in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the NAM Board of Directors voted unanimously in support of a resolution denouncing the invasion and supporting the people of Ukraine.

  • In addition to affirming shared values of freedom and independence, the resolution expressed support for economic and financial sanctions against Russia, demanded removal of Russia from the World Trade Organization and called for the end of normalized trade between Russia and the U.S.
  • In the months since the invasion, the NAM has stood consistently with Ukraine and supported actions against Russia.

The conference: Led by NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons and ULIE President Anatolii Kinakh, the conference included representatives from a diverse range of companies from both countries, who spoke to the challenges ahead and the need to support Ukraine as it rebuilds. The event also featured opening remarks from Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova and other senior Ukrainian government officials.

  • Manufacturers in the U.S. described the support they have provided for Ukraine—from financial and technology support to equipment and humanitarian aid—and laid out areas in which they would like to continue to partner with Ukraine. These included R&D and university collaborations and sourcing for products and personnel.
  • Ukrainian officials laid out urgent needs for their country, including rebuilding infrastructure, strengthening logistics and supporting areas such as clean energy, education and workforce training.

The result: The NAM and ULIE signed a Memorandum of Understanding that laid out common values and mutual goals.

  • The organizations affirmed their shared “commitment to democratic values, the rule of law and the furtherance of democracy, freedom and opportunity for our citizens and other countries around the world.”
  • The two groups agreed to create a “framework” to help explore areas of collaboration in business, trade and economic relations.
  • The NAM and ULIE identified a series of steps the organizations can take to increase cooperation, from sharing information about each other’s services and activities to promoting visits between representatives and creating additional joint meetings and conferences.

What they’re saying: “Manufacturers have demonstrated their unwavering support for Ukraine and denounced Russian aggression,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “Manufacturers in the U.S. have a long and proud history of standing firm in support of democracy, the rule of law, transparency, freedom and opportunity. We stand with President Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian people as they defend those values today and as they work to rebuild their country in the years ahead.”

Said Kinakh: “This is the first business conference of Ukraine and the U.S. on such a scale. In our view, it will enable our partners in the U.S. to learn about the true situation in Ukraine, the business climate and our priorities. It will be the basis to shape direct ties, common interests and business plans that will boost economic activities of Ukraine.”

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