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Manufacturing Insiders: Insights from the Nation’s Largest Industrial Trade Association

Posted 4:00 AM by

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) recently invited members of Manufacturing CPAs (Katz, Sapper & Miller included) to its Washington, D.C., office for an exclusive conversation about issues NAM is currently researching and advocating. NAM is the nation’s largest manufacturing trade association in the United States, so we thought it best to pay attention.

The conversation, led by NAM team members who are championing manufacturing interests in their respective fields, was fast-paced and packed with updates on issues ranging from tax reform to workforce issues. Highlights include:

Changes to taxation and domestic economic policy: NAM is advocating a more robust research and development tax credit system, increasing the capital cost recovery system, and lowering both corporate tax rates and pass thru tax rates – all efforts that would ease the tax burden of U.S. manufacturers. It is also encouraging Congress to reach a more equitable international tax system. Concerns include the border adjustment tax proposal and the possible elimination of deduction for interest payments. The window to get tax reform passed in 2017 is closing, so time is of the essence.

Unheard effects of the “1-in-2-out” order: The media has widely reported on President Trump’s “1-in-2-out” executive order, but the impact of the order’s cost-neutral requirement has been grossly under-reported. This requirement states that not only must two existing regulations be removed for every one that’s created, but the new regulation must also be cost-neutral.

NAM Vice President Rosario Palmieri described this part of the order as being “an earthquake that was still being felt throughout D.C.” as the reduction of revoked orders can only look at on-going compliance costs and must ignore sunk/startup costs.

Dream It. Do It. program: It is no surprise that workforce issues are one of the top concerns for the NAM. Multiple initiatives are being tested in the industry to address the vast employee shortage in manufacturing, such as:

  • Apprenticeships
  • Internships
  • Industry certifications
  • Workforce development boards
  • Community colleges
  • High school programs

But one particular solution that NAM continues to push is the “Dream It. Do It.” program. Developed by The Manufacturing Institute, NAM’s research arm, to address the shortage of qualified workers in manufacturing, the program piloted in 2005 in Kansas City and has since spread to nearly 40 states. The program aims to create strong regional alliances of industry, government and education leaders to increase awareness of and interest in manufacturing’s high-paying careers, and it helps young people acquire the necessary education and skills to pursue those careers. 

Manufacturing Executive Leadership Program: NAM has partnered with the Center for Creative Leadership to host the Manufacturing Executive Leadership Program. Rather than tackling traditional leadership topics, the program encourages manufacturing business owners to use their influence to change the conversation in D.C. Specifically, it focuses on developing the essential strategic leadership skills needed to communicate with policy makers. NAM will even coordinate meetings between members and their respective congressmen.

As 2017 progresses, we look forward to seeing the strides NAM will make. For the most up-to-date information on its efforts, visit or follow the association on social media.

About the Author
Brian Schmidt is a partner in Katz, Sapper & Miller’s Business Advisory Group. Brian provides tax, accounting and consulting services to a wide variety of businesses and industries, including tax planning and strategies, tax compliance, and financial statement analysis. Connect with him on LinkedIn.


About the Author
Jason Patch is a partner in Katz, Sapper & Miller’s Audit and Assurance Services Group and partner-in-charge of the Manufacturing and Distribution Services Group. Jason advises clients on accounting, compliance, risk management, and internal control matters. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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