Reforming the permitting process for infrastructure projects could raise standards of living in America, unlock the full potential of ambitious recent legislation and make us less dependent on hostile foreign nations—all while making manufacturing in the U.S. more competitive, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons told lawmakers yesterday.
What’s going on: Timmons gave testimony at “Opportunities to Improve Project Reviews for a Cleaner and Stronger Economy,” a hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, where he stressed the need to fix the needlessly time-consuming, complex permitting system.
- “For manufacturers, permitting reform is essential for our ability to compete in the global economy,” he said. “If we want more critical minerals for chip manufacturing, more domestic energy development and transport . . . more manufacturing facilities and jobs back home, better highways, bridges, airports [and] waterways, then we need permitting reform to make them a reality in the near future.”
Cut the wait: There is no reason for projects to take a decade or more to get approval, Timmons said.
- “If Washington could streamline the process—like manufacturers do in our businesses every single day—we could do more for this country,” Timmons continued, citing a White House Council on Environmental Quality report which found that environmental impact statements take an average of four-and-a-half years to complete.
- Timmons noted that in the case of one project, permits “from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were delayed a year due to the failure of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to complete a required informal consultation under the Endangered Species Act.”
What to do: Timmons urged senators to work together to realize the following manufacturing priorities for permitting reform:
- Consolidated permitting processes with enforceable deadlines
- Fast approvals for transportation infrastructure projects
- A commitment to developing homegrown critical resources
- A moratorium on federal-agency regulations prior to the implementation of current standards
- Congressional assurance that lawmakers will hold the administration to recent and future statutory streamlining efforts
Protecting our values: Leaner, more efficient permitting and a commitment to sustainability and other American values can go hand in hand—and that’s exactly what manufacturers want, according to Timmons.
- “Manufacturers have a deep commitment to environmental stewardship, and we do not believe corners should be cut,” he said. “We believe in protecting our community, our neighbors and our environment. Reform is about . . . ensuring that this country—a democracy rooted in free enterprise—isn’t outpaced or outflanked or overtaken by nations that don’t share our values, don’t respect the environment or don’t recognize the dignity of human rights.”
Washington, D.C. – Today, the National Association of Manufacturers, members of the NAM’s Council of Manufacturing Associations and Conference of State Manufacturers Associations launched Manufacturers for Sensible Regulations, a coalition addressing the impact of the current regulatory onslaught coming from federal agencies.
According to the NAM’s Q2 2023 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey, more than 63% of manufacturers report spending more than 2,000 hours per year complying with federal regulations, while more than 17% of manufacturers report spending more than 10,000 hours.
“President Biden and Congress have prioritized strengthening the manufacturing sector in America through historic legislation like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act, initial permitting reform actions in the Fiscal Responsibility Act and even some energy provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “Unfortunately, the continued onslaught of regulations is having a chilling effect on investment, curtailing our ability to hire new workers and suppressing wage growth, especially for small and medium-sized manufacturers. The recently released regulatory agenda from the administration shows this barrage isn’t stopping.”
“Washington is creating tremendous doubt across our sector at a time when we’re still dealing with economic uncertainty. And the unbalanced regulations coming out of this administration threaten to undermine our ability to grow, compete and win on a global scale,” said American Cleaning Institute President and CEO, NAM board member and CMA Chair Melissa Hockstad. “We want President Biden’s manufacturing agenda to succeed. Unfortunately, we are seeing the signs that the regulatory agenda is jeopardizing the investments enacted over the past 18 months.”
“U.S. pulp and paper manufacturers recognize the need to address the challenges of our changing climate and share the administration’s goal to secure a more sustainable future,” said American Forest & Paper Association President and CEO Heidi Brock. “This can only be achieved by working with—not against—manufacturers to craft achievable and balanced regulations that address environmental challenges without threatening manufacturing jobs.”
“Manufacturers have proven to be extraordinarily resilient in recent years, leading Utah and the entire country coming out of the pandemic and through times of geopolitical turmoil,” said Utah Manufacturers Association President and CEO, NAM board member and COSMA Chair Todd Bingham. “But the regulatory agenda currently coming out of our nation’s capital has the potential to derail the gains we’ve made during this administration. We will work with our state partners and the White House to find solutions to help grow our sector in the most responsible way possible.”
The NAM survey also highlighted that only 67% of manufacturers are positive about their own company’s outlook, the lowest since Q3 2019. It shows the consequences of regulations: If the regulatory burden on manufacturers decreased, 65% of manufacturers would purchase more capital equipment, and more than 46% would increase compensation.
The group has been meeting with key members of the Biden administration and Congress to highlight the devastating impact of unbalanced regulations.
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 $2.90 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.
With a membership including 260 national manufacturing trade associations representing 130,000 companies worldwide, the Council of Manufacturing Associations creates partnerships across the industry, amplifies manufacturers’ voices and connects members to experts and trade association executives. CMA members gain insights, share perspectives, form coalitions and ensure manufacturers have a strong voice in national policy.
Members of the Conference of State Manufacturers Associations serve as the NAM’s official state partners and drive manufacturers’ priorities on state issues, mobilize local communities and help move federal policy from the ground up in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
Princeton, MN – The National Association of Manufacturers hosted House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN) at Glenn Metalcraft for a facility tour on Monday to discuss the impact of the current regulatory burden manufacturers are facing across federal agencies.
Leaders also discussed manufacturers’ policy priorities as outlined in the latest version of “Competing to Win,” the NAM’s comprehensive blueprint to bolster manufacturers’ competitiveness.
“My visit to Glenn Metalcraft demonstrated the need to address the regulatory state overwhelming manufacturers in the heartland. Small and medium-sized manufacturers are working hard to grow their businesses and increase compensation for employees, but those efforts are undermined by new regulations and the lack of permanent, competitive tax policies to promote research and development and capital investment,” said House Majority Whip Tom Emmer. “I want to thank the National Association of Manufacturers and Glenn Metalcraft for providing insight that will guide my work in Congress.”
“Manufacturers across the country are fighting to thrive under the weight of an increasing number of unbalanced and often unfeasible regulations from agencies across the federal government—all amid an uncertain economic environment,” said Glenn Metalcraft President and CEO Joe Glenn. “Glenn Metalcraft would like to thank Whip Emmer and the National Association of Manufacturers for giving us a voice and calling attention to this issue.”
“Manufacturers are struggling to navigate substantial regulations from Washington on top of the deluge of new laws from St. Paul. We appreciate Whip Emmer for expanding our state-level efforts on the national stage,” said Minnesota Chamber President and CEO Doug Loon. “The National Association of Manufacturers is an excellent partner in championing policies for businesses to grow and compete globally. We appreciate their efforts with the Biden administration and Congress to hold agencies accountable and deliver sensible regulations.”
“The barrage of federal regulations from Washington has created serious concern across our industry, with manufacturers reporting that it’s standing in the way of job creation, investment and wage growth. Manufacturers have made it clear that the administration’s regulatory agenda could easily derail manufacturing’s recent success. Glenn Metalcraft and so many others are forced to make tough decisions as agencies issue unbalanced regulations that threaten our sector’s ability to grow and compete,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “The positive effects of tax reform, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the CHIPS and Science Act are all being undermined by the growing regulatory burden, and I want to thank Whip Emmer for spotlighting this threat in his home state of Minnesota.”
Background: Recently, the NAM, members of the NAM’s Council of Manufacturing Associations and Conference of State Manufacturers Associations launched Manufacturers for Sensible Regulations, a coalition addressing the impact of the current regulatory onslaught coming from federal agencies.
According to the NAM’s Q2 2023 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey, more than 63% of manufacturers report spending more than 2,000 hours per year complying with federal regulations, while more than 17% of manufacturers report spending more than 10,000 hours. The NAM survey also highlighted that only 67% of manufacturers are positive about their own company’s outlook, the lowest percentage since Q3 2019. It shows the consequences of regulations: If the regulatory burden on manufacturers decreased, 65% of manufacturers would purchase more capital equipment, and more than 46% would increase compensation.