Manufacturers criticize 'runaway regulations'

National Association of Manufacturers President Jay Timmons on Friday suggested the administration is playing defense against businesses.

In a speech to the City Club of Cleveland, Timmons, an Ohio native, dipped into his bag of sports clichés to criticize what businesses see as heavy-handed regulations from federal agencies.


“Making things in the United States means complying with so many regulations that it feels like we’re Michigan running backs trying to break through the Ohio State defense,” Timmons joked.

Timmons is embarking on a State of Manufacturing tour this month that will take him across eight states and 10 cities as he talks about the effect of regulations on business.

During his stop in Cleveland on Friday, Timmons said “runaway regulations” from the Obama administration are like "speed bumps slowing us down."

Small manufacturers pay nearly $35,000 per employee in regulatory compliance costs each year, Timmons said. “Every dollar that goes to compliance is one that doesn’t go into a worker’s paycheck — and comes out of a consumer’s pocket.” 

The National Association of Manufacturers has been overly critical of the Environmental Protection Agency for an air pollution rule that it predicts will be the most expensive regulation in history.

The EPA’s ozone rule would reduce air pollution in communities around the country, but it could also shut down manufacturing plants and slow local economies, critics say.

The association estimates it will cost $270 billion each year for businesses to comply with the ozone rule.

Manufacturers will also take a hit from the EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations for new and existing power plants, Timmons said. 

He called for a “sane regulatory environment."