At NAM's conference last week, former Michigan Governor and current NAM President John Engler laid out what's at stake for U.S. manufacturers with the Obama administration and the 111th Congress coming to town next month.
First, you have the agenda of the environmental community, including climate change bills, efforts to limit energy production, taxes on energy producers, and potentially burdensome regulations. Next, you have the agenda of the trial bar, including the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and legislative proposals to seek more private rights of action. Finally, you have the agenda of the big labor bosses, including eliminating secret ballots in the workplace, protectionist trade policies, and expansion of the Family Medical Leave Act and mandated sick leave. To help prevent the most debilitating economic policies from being enacted, NAM sent recommendations to President-elect Obama right after the election.
NEMA sent its own recommendations to President-elect Obama several weeks ago. Among these recommendations: Commit to a national energy strategy that includes sufficient fossil, nuclear, and renewable sources while promoting energy-efficient products and processes. As part of the nation's infrastructure improvements, fund the modernization of the electrical grid into a "smart" grid. And do not implement regulatory policies, such as the EU's REACH, that will be so burdensome they prevent manufacturers from improving their competitiveness.