National Association of Manufacturers

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National Association of Manufacturers
FocusManufacturing and Small Business Advocacy
Area served
United States
Key people
Jay Timmons, President & CEO

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is an advocacy group headquartered in Washington, D.C., with additional offices across the United States. It is the nation's largest manufacturing industrial trade association, representing 14,000 small and large manufacturing companies in every industrial sector and in all 50 states.[1] Jay Timmons has led the organization as President and CEO[2] since 2011.

A 2018 Business Insider article described the NAM as "a behemoth in the US capital, receiving unfettered access to the White House and top lawmakers on Capitol Hill."[3] In 2018, House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady commented that passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would not have happened without leadership from the National Association of Manufacturers.[4]

Policy issues[edit]

The NAM's policy issue work is focused in the areas of labor, employment, health care, energy, corporate finance, tax, bilateral trade, multilateral trade, export controls, technology, regulatory and infrastructure policy.[5] The organization emphasizes four pillars that are supposed to make America great: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty, and equal opportunity.

The NAM releases a Manufacturing Outlook Survey every quarter. As of the second quarter of 2018, according to the NAM, 95.1% of manufacturers registered a positive outlook for their company, "the highest level recorded in the survey’s 20-year history."[6] The same survey found that manufacturers rated "the inability to attract and retain a quality workforce" as their top concern. President Donald Trump mentioned the NAM’s survey in an event at the White House in April 2018.[7]

The NAM’s Manufacturing Institute is a 501(c)3 dedicated to developing a modern manufacturing workforce to help manufacturers get skilled, qualified and productive workers to remain competitive. The Institute sponsors Manufacturing Day on the first Friday of October, a nationwide event for manufacturers to host students, parents, and policy-leaders and "address common misperceptions about manufacturing."

In 2017, the NAM launched the Manufacturers’ Accountability Project (MAP), a campaign run through the Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action (MCLA) to combat frivolous, politically-motivated lawsuits against energy manufacturers. As of August 2018, three of those lawsuits have been dismissed from court.[8]

According to NAM, manufacturing employs nearly 12 million workers, contributes more than $2.25 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, is the largest driver of economic growth in the nation and accounts for the majority of private sector research and development.[1] In 2022, after the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic led to new competition for a dwindling labor force, NAM predicted that, by 2030, 2.1 million US jobs in manufacturing could go unfilled.[9]


NAM supported the EPS Service Parts Act of 2014 (H.R. 5057; 113th Congress), a bill that would exempt certain external power supplies from complying with standards set forth in a final rule published by the United States Department of Energy in February 2014.[10][11] The United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce describes the bill as a bill that "provides regulatory relief by making a simple technical correction to the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act to exempt certain power supply (EPS) service and spare parts from federal efficiency standards."[12]

Board of directors[edit]

The NAM's Board of Directors includes Chairman David Farr, former CEO of Emerson Electric Company, President Jay Timmons, CEO of NAM; and Vice Chair of the Board David T. Seaton, Chairman and CEO, Fluor Corporation, among others.[13]


NAM was founded by Thomas P. Egan, late President of the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce and head of the J.A. Fay and Egan Co., woodworking and machinery company, not long after reading an editorial in the magazine Dixie, out of Atlanta, Georgia, during the depression of 1894. This editorial urged the manufacturers of the time to organize and work together to improve business conditions nationally. Under Egan's leadership, organization began, and a group was created; they called themselves the "Big 50"; he invited them, and asked them to invite others, to Cincinnati. On Jan 25, 1895, in the Oddfellows Temple, where 583 manufacturers attended, NAM was created.[14] "The U.S. was in the midst of a deep recession and many of the nation's manufacturers saw a strong need to export their products in other countries. One of the NAM's earliest efforts was to call for the creation of the U.S. Department of Commerce".[15] The organization's first president was Thomas Dolan of Philadelphia[16] (not, as erroneously listed in some sources, Samuel P. Bush).

The early history of NAM was marked by frank verbal attacks on labor. In 1903, President David MacLean Parry[17] delivered a speech at its annual convention which argued that unions' goals would result in "despotism, tyranny, and slavery." Parry advocated the establishment of a great national anti-union federation under the control of the NAM, and the NAM responded by initiating such an effort.[18]

In an address at its 1911 convention, NAM President John Kirby Jr. proclaimed, "The American Federation of Labor is engaged in an open warfare against Jesus Christ and his cause."[19]

During the depression, NAM commissioned the Campbell-Ewald company to promote the benefits of "American way" capitalism.

The NAM also encouraged the creation and propagation of a network of local anti-union organizations, many of which took the name Citizens' Alliance.[20] In October 1903 the local Citizens' Alliance groups were united by a national organization called the Citizens' Industrial Alliance of America.[21]

The NAM, in the late 1930s, used one of the earliest versions of a modern multi-faceted public relations campaign. The aim of this effort was to convince the American public and academia of the existential merits of an economic system free of governmental regulation and initiatives, and to combat the policies of President Franklin Roosevelt.[22][23][24] NAM made efforts to undermine organized labor in the United States before the New Deal.[25]

The NAM lobbied successfully for the 1947 Taft–Hartley Act to restrict the unions' power.[26]

The advent of commercial television led to the NAM's own 15-minute television program, Industry on Parade,[27] which aired from 1950–1960.[28]

President Donald Trump addressed the NAM board in 2017.[29] NAM hired several former Trump officials as lobbyists.[30] During the 2021 storming of the U.S. Capitol building, NAM equated the events to "sedition" and called for Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment of the United States Constitution "to preserve democracy."[31]

Presidents of NAM[edit]

Chairmen of NAM[edit]


The NAM has one affiliate. According to its website,[32] the Manufacturing Institute is the 501(c)(3) affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers. The Manufacturing Institute describes its priorities as the development of a world-class manufacturing workforce, the growth of individual U.S. manufacturing companies and the expansion of the manufacturing sector in regional economies. The Manufacturing Institute is the authority on the attraction, qualification, and development of world-class manufacturing talent.[32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "About the NAM". NAM. 26 March 2019.
  2. ^ Shepardson, David; Bartz, Diane (2021-01-06). "Corporate group urges officials to consider quick removal of Trump". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-01-06 – via
  3. ^ Perticone, Joe. "The manufacturing industry suddenly has unfettered access to the White House under Trump, and it's making a killing". Business Insider.
  4. ^ "Chairman Brady Marks Six Months of Tax Reform Wins - Ways and Means". Archived from the original on 2018-12-22. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
  5. ^ "Policy Issues - National Association of Manufacturers". Archived from the original on 2019-05-05. Retrieved 2011-01-18.
  6. ^ "Manufacturers' Outlook Survey". NAM. Archived from the original on 2021-03-11. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  7. ^ "President Donald J. Trump's Tax Cuts Are Energizing American Employers Of All Sizes". – via National Archives.
  8. ^ "Climate Litigation Scorecard - Manufacturers: 3; Trial Lawyers: 0". August 8, 2018. Archived from the original on January 8, 2021. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  9. ^ "StackPath". 8 November 2022. Retrieved 2022-12-06.
  10. ^ "CBO - H.R. 5057". Congressional Budget Office. 23 July 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  11. ^ Hankin, Christopher (15 July 2014). "House Energy & Commerce Committee passes bipartisan regulatory relief for external power supplies". Information Technology Industry Council. Archived from the original on 11 September 2014. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  12. ^ "Committee to Build on #RecordOfSuccess with Nine Bills On the House Floor This Week". House Energy and Commerce Committee. 8 September 2014. Archived from the original on 10 September 2014. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  13. ^ "NAM Board of Directors". Archived from the original on 2018-10-03. Retrieved 2010-05-09.
  14. ^ Hyatt, Harry Middleton (1970). Hoodoo-Conjuration-Witchcraft-Rootwork. Western Publishing, Inc., Hannibal, Mo. p. 6.
  15. ^ "NAM website's history page". Archived from the original on 2017-07-11. Retrieved 2010-12-08.
  16. ^ American industries, Volume 13 By National Association of Manufacturers (U.S.), May 1913, page 33
  17. ^ For more on Parry and his views, see The Scarlet Empire.
  18. ^ George G. Suggs, Jr., Colorado's War on Militant Unionism: James H. Peabody and the Western Federation of Miners. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 1972, pp. 66-67.
  19. ^ Violations of free speech and assembly and interference with rights of labor: hearings before a subcommittee, Seventy-fourth Congress, second session, on S. Res. 266, a resolution to investigate violations of the right of free speech and assembly and interference with the right of labor to organize and bargain collectively. April 10–11, 14-17, 21, 23, 1936
  20. ^ Colorado's War on Militant Unionism, James H. Peabody and the Western Federation of Miners, George G. Suggs, Jr., 1972, page 67-68.
  21. ^ Stuart B. Kaufman, Peter J. Albert, and Grace Palladino (eds.), The Samuel Gompers Papers: Volume 6: The American Federation of Labor and the Rise of Progressivism, 1902-6. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1997; pg. 193, fn. 1.
  22. ^ Burton St. John III, "Press Professionalization and Propaganda: The Rise of Journalistic Double-Mindedness, 1917-1941." Amherst, NY: Cambria Press, 2010; p. 12.
  23. ^ Oreskes, Naomi; Conway, Erik M.; Tyson, Charlie (2020), Livingston, Steven; Bennett, W. Lance (eds.), "How American Businessmen Made Us Believe that Free Enterprise was Indivisible from American Democracy: The National Association of Manufacturers' Propaganda Campaign 1935–1940", The Disinformation Age: Politics, Technology, and Disruptive Communication in the United States, SSRC Anxieties of Democracy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 95–119, doi:10.1017/9781108914628.004, ISBN 978-1-108-90657-9, S2CID 225143421, retrieved 2020-10-14
  24. ^ Oreskes, Naomi; Conway, Erik M. (2023-02-21). The Big Myth: How American Business Taught Us to Loathe Government and Love the Free Market. Bloomsbury Publishing USA. ISBN 978-1-63557-358-9.
  25. ^ LJ Griffin, ME Wallace, and BA Rubin. 1986. "Capitalist Resistance to the Organization of Labor Before the New Deal: Why? How? Success?" American Sociological Review. 51:2:147-67.
  26. ^ Anna McCarthy, The Citizen Machine: Governing by Television in 1950s America, New York: The New Press, 2010, p. 54. ISBN 978-1-59558-498-4.
  27. ^ "National Archives". Archived from the original on 2011-06-30. Retrieved 2011-01-18.
  28. ^ Susan B. Strange and Wendy Shay, "Industry on Parade Film Collection, 1950–1960: #507 Archived 2012-10-20 at the Wayback Machine", National Museum of American History: Archives Center, 10 September 2001.
  29. ^ "Trump speaks at US manufacturing event (full) - CNN Video". 29 September 2017 – via
  30. ^ "Trump-connected lobbyists reap windfall in federal virus aid". AP NEWS. 2020-07-06. Retrieved 2020-07-07.
  31. ^ "Manufacturers Call on Armed Thugs to Cease Violence at Capitol". NAM. 6 January 2021. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
  32. ^ a b "The Manufacturing Institute". The Manufacturing Institute.

Further reading[edit]

  • Burton. St. John III. Press Professionalization and Propaganda: The Rise of Journalistic Double-Mindedness, 1917-1941. (Amherst, NY: Cambria Press, 2010).
  • Delton, Jennifer. The Industrialists: How the National Association of Manufacturers Shaped American Capitalism (Princeton University Press, 2020) online
  • Oreskes, Naomi, Erik M. Conway, and Charlie Tyson. "How American businessmen made us believe that free enterprise was indivisible from American democracy: The National Association of Manufacturers’ propaganda campaign 1935-1940." in The disinformation age: Politics, technology, and disruptive communication in the United States (2021) pp: 95-119.
  • Soffer, Jonathan. "The National Association of Manufacturers and the militarization of American conservatism." Business History Review 75.4 (2001): 775-805.
  • Stalker, John N. "The National Association of Manufacturers: A Study in Ideology" (Ph.D. dissertation. University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1950).
  • Tedlow, Richard S. "The National Association of Manufacturers and public relations during the New Deal." Business History Review 50.1 (1976): 25-45. online
  • Wakstein, Allen M. "The National Association of Manufacturers and labor relations in the 1920s." Labor History 10.2 (1969): 163-176.
  • Watts, Sarah Lyons, Order Against Chaos: Business Culture and Labor Ideology in America, 1880-1915. (New York: Greenwood Press, 1991.)
  • Whitham, Charlie. Corporate Conservatives Go to War: How the National Association of Manufacturers Planned to Restore American Free Enterprise, 1939–1948 (2020)
  • Workman, Andrew A. "Manufacturing Power: The Organizational Revival of the National Association of Manufacturers, 1941–1945." Business History Review 72.2 (1998): 279-317.

External links[edit]