Workforce challenges and the regulatory onslaught against manufacturers were some of the key topics covered during a recent NAM meeting with House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN) in Princeton, Minnesota.
What’s going on: Emmer met NAM leadership last Monday for a facility tour of heavy-gauge metal spinnings company Glenn Metalcraft, led by its president and CEO, Joe Glenn.
- On the walkthrough, Emmer got to see and hear the impact of the current legislative deluge hitting manufacturers.
- “My visit to Glenn Metalcraft demonstrated the need to address the regulatory state overwhelming manufacturers in the heartland,” Emmer said. “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.”
“Fighting to thrive”: Glenn spoke candidly about his and other manufacturers’ current struggles with the excessive mandates handed down by federal agencies.
- “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,” Glenn said before thanking Emmer for “giving us a voice.”
- The majority of manufacturers—more than 63%—say they now spend over 2,000 hours a year complying with federal mandates, according to the NAM’s Q2 2023 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey.
Tax treatment of R&D: Emmer’s support of the American Innovation and R&D Competitiveness Act—which would permanently restore immediate research-and-development expensing for small businesses for 2022 and all subsequent years—has been instrumental in the legislation’s progress, NAM Managing Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs Jamie Hennigan told the whip. Now we just need to move the issue forward, he added.
- Glenn underscored the importance of full expensing when he told Emmer that it had helped his company open new facilities.
- Emmer agreed on the necessity of competitive tax provisions and said he, too, wanted to see them reinstated.
A persistent problem: NAM leaders and Glenn also addressed another ongoing challenge for manufacturers in their discussion with Emmer: the acute shortage of skilled workers.
- The difficulty of attracting and retaining skilled workers has consistently ranked among the top problems cited by manufacturers in the Outlook Survey, as Hennigan pointed out.
The last word: “Manufacturers have made it clear that the [Biden] administration’s regulatory agenda could easily derail manufacturing’s recent success,” NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons said in a statement after the visit.
- “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.”
- “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.”