Policy and Legal

Policy and Legal

“March-In” Rights Would Harm Manufacturing, Economy

a person sitting at a table using a laptop

So-called “march-in” rights that would enable the federal government to seize manufacturers’ intellectual property are “a major threat to manufacturers in America,” according to a new seven-figure ad campaign launched by the NAM.

What’s going on: Last month, the Biden administration issued a proposal that would allow the government to take over privately held patents if those patents had been developed in part with federal research dollars.

The problem: Undermining companies’ IP rights would roll back the progress made under the Bayh-Dole Act, which allowed for commercialization of federally funded research and “unlocked all the inventions and discoveries that had been made in laboratories throughout the United States with the help of taxpayers’ money,” according to a recent op-ed in The Hill.

  • Because the government is “inviting march-in petitions on every patented technology that benefited from even modest federal grants,” the proposal could “decimate American innovation [and] … stifle investment in climate change, sustainable agriculture, advanced computing, energy, medicines” and more, according to the op-ed writers, two former undersecretaries of commerce for intellectual property.
  • In addition, the proposal is “putting American jobs at risk,” according to the NAM’s new ad.

The NAM says: “This radical new proposal is a major threat to manufacturers in America and counter to the president’s goals of growing the sector,” NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons said.

  • “Empowering the government to march in and seize the rights to private-sector patents and technologies threatens American innovation and R&D, putting millions of well-paying manufacturing jobs at risk. Policymakers must protect manufacturers’ intellectual property rights and stop this government overreach.”
Policy and Legal

Congressional Tax Writers Unveil NAM-Supported Tax Deal

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On Tuesday, Congress took an important step toward restoring three of manufacturers’ top tax priorities, as key congressional leaders unveiled a bipartisan tax agreement long sought by the NAM.

What’s going on: The $78 billion Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act—a compromise between House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR)—would restore immediate R&D expensing, return to a pro-growth interest deductibility standard and reinstate full expensing (also known as 100% accelerated depreciation) for businesses’ capital investments.

  • The framework also includes disaster tax relief and $33 billion to partially extend a child tax credit expansion from 2021.

The background: For nearly seven decades, the tax code allowed businesses to deduct R&D costs immediately. But starting in 2022, a change required companies to amortize the costs over a period of years.

  • Also in 2022, a stricter interest limitation—which acts as a tax on investment—went into effect. And last year, full expensing began to phase down.

The NAM’s role: The NAM was instrumental in the deal, having made the business case for the tax provisions’ reinstatement to lawmakers for many months, including via an ad campaign, “Keep America Resilient.”

What’s next: The NAM is urging congressional leadership to schedule a vote on the tax deal. Manufacturers can add their voices at the NAM’s Tax Action Center.

Our take: “Manufacturers appreciate Chairman Smith and Chairman Wyden’s work to reach a bipartisan tax deal with key provisions to advance U.S. economic competitiveness and support manufacturing job creation,” NAM Managing Vice President of Policy Chris Netram said in a social post Tuesday.

  • “Congress must move this legislation forward immediately. The time to act is now.”

NAM in the news: Bloomberg Tax (subscription) cited the NAM’s support of the legislation, while Punchbowl News reported on the NAM’s ads in multiple Kentucky papers and Louisiana’s Shreveport Times urging support of the legislation.

Policy and Legal

Policymakers Demand Tax Action

On Thursday, members of Congress took to the House floor to show their strong support for manufacturers’ top tax priorities.

  • The NAM is waging an all-out campaign to restore these pro-growth provisions, and key House members added their voices by calling on congressional leadership to schedule a vote as soon as possible.

What’s going on: Yesterday evening, a group of House members lined up for short speeches urging their peers in the chamber to join them in making three immediate tax changes: reinstating immediate R&D expensing; loosening a strict interest limitation; and returning to full expensing (also known as 100% accelerated depreciation) for capital investments.

  • Kevin Hern (R-OK) highlighted the harm to America’s competitiveness caused by Congress’ failure to act, asking, “How can we expect to compete with China when it is more expensive to invest, innovate and grow here in the United States of America?”
  • Jodey Arrington (R-TX) echoed that message, saying Congress can “supercharge America’s competitiveness” by giving businesses the certainty to plan job-creating investments.

Why it’s important: Without the restoration of immediate R&D expensing, a pro-growth interest deductibility standard and full expensing for capital investments, manufacturing jobs, R&D and competitiveness will all be in jeopardy.

  • In the NAM’s Q4 2023 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey, 89% of respondents said higher tax burdens on manufacturing activities would make it more difficult to expand their workforces, invest in new equipment or expand their facilities.

Take action: Manufacturers’ voices are crucial during the ongoing negotiations. Visit our Tax Action Center to send your own message about these tax priorities directly to Congress.

Press Releases

ICYMI: House Members Urge Passage of Critical Manufacturing Tax Policies

Washington, D.C. – Following a series of speeches on the House floor calling for swift passage of legislation that will restore pro-growth manufacturing tax policies, National Association of Manufacturers Managing Vice President of Policy Chris Netram released the following statement:

“House and Senate tax leaders reaching a bipartisan agreement on key manufacturing priorities is a positive development—but it is only a critical first step. Now the whole of Congress must approve legislation that restores immediate R&D expensing, a pro-growth interest deductibility standard and full expensing for capital investments. Every day that they fail to act makes it more difficult for manufacturers to drive innovation and investment and hampers our ability to create jobs and raise wages in the United States.”

Below are select remarks from congressional members on the importance of restoring pro-growth tax policies.

Rep. Ron Estes (R-KS):

“Since the beginning of 2022, businesses have been required to spread out or amortize R&D expenses.… Since amortization took place, the growth rate of R&D spending has slowed dramatically, from 6.6% on average over the previous six years to less than one half of 1% over the last 12 months.

“The time to address R&D amortization was at the end of 2021. The next best time is now. We need to pass R&D immediate expensing for the American people and our U.S. economy.”

Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK):

“Last year, the U.K. announced its commitment to make permanent its pro-growth policy for full expensing. The U.S. should be looking to do the same to remain competitive in the global marketplace…. This is more than just an economic issue. This is a national security issue.

“How can we expect to compete with China when it is more expensive to invest, innovate and grow here in the United States of America?”

Rep. Carol Miller (R-WV):

“It is imperative that we make the TCJA permanent. For example, if we cement the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, we can reverse the current limitation on the deductibility of interest payments on business loans that will save over 850,000 American jobs.

“Another example is in research and development. While it was once a paid expense, R&D is now a cost that many small businesses cannot afford. China is subsidizing their R&D costs, giving them a huge advantage over the United States. Modernization and national security shouldn’t suffer because of an elapsed tax change. Our tax code should work for American workers and businesses and not against them.”

-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 $2.85 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 53% 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.

Research, Innovation and Technology

Manufacturers Launch Seven-Figure Ad Campaign Opposing Biden Administration’s March-In Proposal

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers has launched a seven-figure television and digital advertising campaign opposing the Biden Administration’s new proposal that would allow the government to march in and seize the rights to groundbreaking innovations developed by manufacturers.

“This radical new proposal is a major threat to manufacturers in America and counter to the president’s goals of growing the sector,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “Empowering the government to march in and seize the rights to private-sector patents and technologies threatens American innovation and R&D, putting millions of well-paying manufacturing jobs at risk. Policymakers must protect manufacturers’ intellectual property rights and stop this government overreach.”

To view the latest television ad, click 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 $2.75 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 53% 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.

Policy and Legal

Manufacturer Optimism Still Low

 

The higher tax burden being levied on manufacturers continues to hit home.

That’s the message from respondents to the NAM’s just-released Q4 2023 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey.

What’s going on: Historically low levels of optimism persisted among small and medium-sized manufacturers—which compose the majority of the manufacturing sector—in the final quarter of 2023, according to the survey, which was conducted from Nov. 14 to Dec. 1, 2023.

  • Among firms with fewer than 50 employees, 65.9% reported feeling positive about their own company’s outlook, while 63.0% of companies with between 50 and 499 employees reported the same.
  • Overall, 66.2% of respondents felt either somewhat or very positive about their company’s outlook, edging up slightly from 65.1% in the third quarter. It was the fifth straight reading below the historical average of 74.8%.

Burdensome taxes: Some 89% of respondents said higher taxes on manufacturing activities would make it more difficult for them to hire additional workers, invest in new equipment and/or expand their facilities.

Other top challenges: The majority of respondents—61.1%—cited an unfavorable business climate as a top challenge to their company.

  • Hiring and retaining quality employees was high on the list of challenges, too, with 71.4% of manufacturers calling it a primary concern.

A bright spot: Fewer manufacturers now expect a recession in 2024, at just over 34%. In Q3, the figure was 42.2%.

Press Releases

Congressional Inaction on Tax Priorities Holds Small and Medium-Sized Manufacturers’ Optimism Near Pandemic Lows

Eighty-nine percent say higher tax burdens would make it more difficult to hire, invest or expand facilities

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers released its Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey for the fourth quarter of 2023, showing that small companies with fewer than 50 employees and medium-sized firms with between 50 and 499 employees, which make up a vast majority of the sector, continued to have historically lower levels of optimism with 65.9% and 63.0% positivity rates in Q4, respectively.

“It’s clear that Congress’ failure to enact pro-growth tax policies to support innovation and investment before year-end is affecting the manufacturing outlook,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “Combined with the ongoing regulatory onslaught from the Biden administration, we’re facing economic headwinds that threaten all of the bipartisan wins achieved in recent years.”

Overall, 66.2% of respondents felt either somewhat or very positive about their company’s outlook, edging up slightly from 65.1% in the third quarter. It was the fifth straight reading below the historical average of 74.8%.

The NAM has been urging Congress to swiftly restore three critical manufacturing tax policies: immediate R&D expensing, a pro-growth interest deductibility standard and full expensing (100% accelerated depreciation). These competitive tax policies are critical to empowering manufacturers to grow their operations, hire more workers, increase wages, expand facilities and invest for the future.

Key Survey Findings:

  • Eighty-nine percent of respondents said higher tax burdens on manufacturing activities would make it more difficult to expand their workforce, invest in new equipment or expand facilities.
  • Workforce challenges also continue to dominate the sector, with more than 71% of manufacturers citing the inability to attract and retain employees as their top primary challenge.
  • A weaker domestic economy and sales for manufactured products (63.7%), an unfavorable business climate (61.1%) and rising health care and insurance costs (59.8%) are also impacting manufacturing optimism.

You can learn more at the NAM’s online tax action center here.

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 $2.75 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 53% 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.

Policy and Legal

NAM Redoubles Tax-Priority Push

With tax bill negotiations left unfinished before lawmakers left for the holiday break, the NAM is hitting the ground running in 2024.

  • The NAM continues to push for manufacturers’ top three tax priorities: immediate R&D expensing, a pro-growth interest deductibility standard and full expensing for capital investments.

What’s going on: Congress has just a few weeks to reach a government funding deal before a Jan. 19 deadline, “when funding for a range of government agencies is scheduled to lapse,” according to POLITICO. There is a second funding deadline on Feb. 2.

  • The NAM has been calling on Congress to prioritize inclusion of the three tax provisions in any measure it passes.
  • The NAM recently led a coalition of more than 1,300 businesses and associations in highlighting the urgent need for congressional action.

What’s needed: Congress must reinstate immediate R&D expensing; loosen a strict interest limitation; and return to full expensing (also known as 100% accelerated depreciation) for businesses, the NAM said.

Why it’s important: If these fixes aren’t made, manufacturing R&D, jobs and competitiveness could all suffer.

The last word: “These tax provisions are some of the most critical issues facing manufacturers today,” said NAM Vice President of Domestic Policy Charles Crain.

  • “Congress must act immediately to protect manufacturing jobs and maintain America’s competitiveness on the world stage.”

Act now: Visit the NAM’s Tax Action Center to send a message directly to Congress about these critical priorities.

Press Releases

Manufacturers: New Hydrogen Tax Credit Regulations Fail to Incentivize Growth and Investment

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement in response to new proposed regulations on the Clean Hydrogen Production Tax Credit:

“The hydrogen tax credit has the potential to be the world’s strongest tool to build a hydrogen economy, but the Treasury Department proposal would impose so many hurdles to qualifying for the credit that the Biden administration will be left unable to achieve some of its top economic and environmental goals. Manufacturers are deeply disappointed with today’s announcement.

“Hydrogen is vital to reducing carbon emissions and to energy security efforts. If these regulations are put into place, America will lose out on job-creating investments across the country. To incentivize truly transformative growth in the necessary infrastructure to produce, transport and use hydrogen, the Biden administration should finalize a flexible credit that rejects additional requirements that were not included in the original legislation. And to realize the full potential of Inflation Reduction Act provisions, the CHIPS and Science Act and more, permitting reform must be a top priority in the new year.”

Background: The NAM has been urging the Treasury Department to create a flexible credit that rejects additionality and time matching provisions and provides a mechanism that supports carbon capture. More information on the NAM’s advocacy and the impact of these tax credit provisions can be found 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 $2.75 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 53% 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

NAM Statement on Southern Border Closures

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s closure of two critical rail ports in Texas:

“Each day that rail operations at Eagle Pass and El Paso are suspended, more American jobs are put at risk. Snarling supply chains in this way could throw manufacturing production into disarray. Mexico is the United States’ largest trading partner, which means this shutdown threatens to inject serious uncertainty into the economy heading into the New Year.

“Manufacturers support CBP in their mission to protect national security, but stifling trade between the U.S. and Mexico is a direct threat to our economic competitiveness. It is not the solution to immigration challenges, but it does wrongly punish those who are not at fault. The NAM will continue working with the White House, CBP and leaders in the House and Senate to swiftly reopen the rail ports. This is yet another painful consequence of our broken immigration system, and our leaders need to recognize the urgency of fixing that system. Manufacturers are focused on solutions that uphold our laws and strengthen our economy.”

-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 $2.91 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 53% 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.

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