On March 19, Jay Timmons petitioned the Chair of the National Governor's Association, the President of the US Conference of Mayors, the President of the National League of Cities and the President of the National Association of Counties to urge support for "designating, in our states and localities, all manufacturing facilities, supply chains and their employees as 'essential infrastructure' and 'essential businesses' to assure clear, consistent and more uniformly aligned guidance to businesses as our nation responds to the COVID19 pandemic."
The letter reads:
Dear Governor Hogan, Mayor Barnett, Councilmember Buscaino and Commissioner Borgeson:
During this time of crisis, manufacturers in America continue operating while doing everything possible to assure the health and safety of more than 12.8 employees, their families and their communities. The country is depending on the many things our members make—from equipment and vehicles needed for our nation’s first responders, to items seemingly not critical but very much a part of the supply chain necessary for both comfort and survival during these uncertain times. Therefore, I am requesting your support for designating, in our states and localities, all manufacturing facilities, supply chains and their employees as “essential infrastructure” and “essential businesses” to assure clear, consistent and more uniformly aligned guidance to businesses as our nation responds to the COVID19 pandemic. There have been many well-intentioned actions to shutter all businesses in certain localities, and the result has unfortunately adversely impacted operations for the supply chain. In addition, we are working with the Pandemic Task Force and the Department of Health and Human Services to survey manufacturers to determine if some factories can be repurposed for critical supplies, and they cannot do so if closed. It is imperative that governors, states, counties and cities apply similar standards and provide guidance on these orders to clarify “essential infrastructure” and “essential business” so that all manufacturers can continue to provide lifesaving goods and services. Without clear and consistent guidance, there is the potential for devastating consequences that could impact public health, safety and the very livelihoods of the men and women who are proud to work as manufacturers. To help maintain consistency and effectiveness of state and local declarations and orders, I urge states, counties, cities and other jurisdictions to expeditiously develop model language to define certain essential businesses. We are ready and willing to work together to support this effort and appreciate your urgent attention in order to keep manufacturers open and operating safely during this national crisis.
This followed the announcement of an updated Policy Action Plan including a $1.4 trillion "Manufactures Resiliency Fund" and a federal designation that "deems the manufacturing supply chain 'essential' to help mitigate any interruptions in providing the supplies that are critical to the health and safety of America."
For more information, visit https://www.nam.org/.