Omar Nashashibi Omar Nashashibi

PMA Puts its Stamp on Washington, D.C.

June 8, 2022

As the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) celebrates its 80th year, we should reflect on what the U.S. Congress and government have faced and how their actions affect our industry. In the decades since PMA began to actively lobby policymakers in the nation’s capital, the federal government has recognized PMA as the voice of the industry. 

ITC-Copper-2019Today, U.S. manufacturers face conflict in Europe and threats from Asia, and are challenged to invest in new technologies that promise to change the world forever. In the year of PMA’s founding, 1942, U.S. metal formers made parts to support war efforts in Europe, deter an expansion of the war in Asia and help usher in new technologies. The politics then differed from today. Then, Democrats held significant advantages in both chambers on Capitol Hill, whereas today the Senate is evenly divided, and many predict a Republican takeover of the U.S. House after this November’s elections. 

However, the importance of U.S. manufacturing to America’s security and economy remains as strong today as in 1942. During the eighteen months of this 117th U.S. Congress, lawmakers introduced 1036 bills mentioning the word manufacturing, approaching the 1187 from the previous 2-yr. Congress covering 2019-2020. Compare that with 20 yr. ago when, during 2001 and 2002, lawmakers put forward only 596 bills involving manufacturing. 

This increased level of interest by lawmakers did not occur overnight. It took years of active involvement by PMA staff, its members and a full-time advocacy team in Washington, D.C. This constant activity positions PMA as a leading and trusted resource by politicians and policymakers who make daily decisions affecting U.S. manufacturing. 

In the past year alone, PMA has worked with its allies on Capitol Hill to block tax increases, raise spending on apprenticeships and job training, and draft legislation to help U.S. manufacturers compete against China while improving domestic supply-chain resiliency.

Often, we define success in Washington, D.C., as what Congress does not do rather than by what it does. PMA and other groups have lobbied during the past year to block efforts to increase taxes on C-corporations and passthrough businesses. Had manufacturers not engaged in this active lobbying campaign, businesses would have begun paying the higher tax rates on January 1, forcing them to redirect critical resources during a time of rising raw-material and supply costs. 

Also, after pressure from PMA and its allies, President Biden replaced the 25-percent tariff on steel and 10-percent tariff on aluminum from Europe with tariff rate quotas. This means that for most of those alloys used by metal formers coming from the European Union, the tax on imports is lifted until reaching a certain quota. The U.S. remains the highest-priced metals market in the world and PMA fought for American manufacturers to play on a more equal footing with its European counterparts.

That equal footing, though, requires addressing continued threats from overseas, specifically Russia and China. PMA is working with the U.S. Congress on bipartisan legislation to strengthen U.S. supply lines, incentivize domestic manufacturing of semiconductors and other new technologies, and provide resources for STEM education and training.

Some reports estimate that Beijing invests as much as $150 billion annually on semiconductors and regularly updates its industrial policy. Many believe that this is a contributing factor to why the United States, and the world, became over-reliant on Chinese imports, a strategy supported by funding. Lawmakers in both parties have heard for years the voices of PMA and others calling upon the United States to develop a national industrial policy. Policymakers in Washington, D.C., have begun to move forward after hearing those calls. 

PMA and its allies are lobbying lawmakers to invest in American industry in a way not seen since World War II. Threats from overseas and challenges at home have led policymakers to look internally to America’s manufacturers—as an employer base and to also strengthen our supply lines. 
In 1942, 42 charter member companies, during a time of conflict around the world, founded what is now PMA. Today, 80 yr. later, with conflict around the world, the U.S. continues to rely on PMA, its member companies, and all manufacturers more than ever. 

Omar Nashashibi is a founding partner with The Franklin Partnership, a bipartisan lobbying firm based in Washington, D.C., and a key component of PMA’s One Voice advocacy efforts launched in 2008 in partnership with the National Tooling & Machining Association.

Industry-Related Terms: Alloys, Lines
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms


See also: Precision Metalforming Association

Technologies: Management


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