The National Association of Manufacturers issued on June 28 a comprehensive strategy for U.S. manufacturing calling for policy action that includes corporate tax reductions, tort reform and easing of regulatory burdens.
The Washington-based industrial trade organization recommends reducing the corporate tax rate to 25% or lower without imposing offsetting tax increases. The United States only trails Japan with the second-highest corporate tax rate among the major industrial countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, NAM notes in its "Manufacturing Strategy for Jobs and a Competitive America" report.
Regulatory policymaking should be the role of Congress rather than federal bureaucracies, the association says. NAM specifically refers to the Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to establish greenhouse-gas regulations and proposed expansion of the Federal Trade Commission's authority.
Legal reform also is needed to end the U.S. system of "jackpot justice" that results in high legal costs for manufacturers, NAM says. NAM suggests providing clear standards for liability and justice for all parties, including statutes of limitations, sanctions of frivolous claims and limits on punitive damages. The association is calling for federal pre-emption for federally approved products in national commerce, which would prevent lawsuits at the state level. It's also asking for opposition to legislation, such as tax deductions for contingency lawsuits, that incentivizes and subsidizes litigation against manufacturers.
Other issues supported in the report include the establishment of a permanent R&D tax credit, stronger counterfeiting enforcement, raising the number of employer-sponsored immigration visas, less-restrictive export laws and the approval of pending trade agreements.
The full report is available at NAM's website at www.nam.org.