Manufacturers collectively face more than 297,000 restrictions on their operations from federal regulations. That’s what the National Association of Manufacturers is reporting, saying that if the cost of those rules were cut then they could allocate capital to everything from research to modern technologies to jobs.
The trade association says that it stands ready to work with the Trump administration to rollback those regulations. Its study, called “Holding US Back: Regulation of the U.S. Manufacturing Sector,” says that overwhelming majority of its members say that the regulatory has gotten worse over the last five years.
“On Day One, President-elect Trump can deliver a boost to manufacturing by taking the lead on balancing our regulatory system,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “As this study demonstrates, manufacturers work diligently to comply with regulations handed down from Washington. We believe in smart regulations that keep our communities and workplaces safe, but too often, these rules go too far or are too complex. Manufacturers want to invest more and hire more in the United States, but too often the cost of doing business—and even just functioning on a daily basis—makes that difficult.
The flip side of the argument is that environmental will say that the rules were not arbitrarily put into place — that they are there to protect workers and to safeguard community health and safety. Many manufacturers, for instance, think the air pollution rules are too strict while most hi-tech companies agree with such restraints.
The manufacturers’ association says that small and medium-sized businesses make up more than 90% of its membership. The regulatory burden is especially tough on them, it adds.
“For the last eight years, the outgoing administration has hindered small and mid-sized firms’ success,” said President and CEO of Marlin Steel and NAM Small and Medium Manufacturers Chairman Drew Greenblatt. “Time and money that could be spent on job creation are instead wasted on complying with out-of-touch federal rules. We believe in smart regulations—and simply want to see balance and common sense return to rulemaking. Congress and the next administration can work in the best interest of manufacturers by getting to work right away on rethinking red tape and regulations in a thoughtful and productive way.”