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Manufacturers call for $1.4T in assistance

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is asking the federal government to create a $1.4 trillion fund in loans to provide liquidity to manufacturers and small businesses struggling through the coronavirus pandemic.

The Manufacturing Resiliency Fund would protect the nearly 13 million men and women working in the manufacturing industry, according to NAM. 

“This is a crisis unlike anything we’ve seen, and it demands a response of historic proportion,” NAM CEO Jay Timmons said in a statement. 

NAM is also asking the government to designate manufacturing supply chains as “essential” to help mitigate interruptions in providing the health and safety supplies during the outbreak.

NAM released its updated and expanded “COVID-19 Policy Action Plan Recommendations,” building on recommendations first released on March 9. It suggested five key policy areas where legislative and administrative action would provide relief for the manufacturing industry and establish a foundation for future public health emergencies.

That includes recognizing manufacturers’ critical role in the coronavirus response by creating the $1.4 trillion fund. It also proposes protecting manufacturers from economic collapse by delaying federal tax payments for 90 days, among other measures, ensuring economic security for workers by allowing companies to pay a portion of wages to underemployed workers, reducing regulatory burdens by directing the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to provide reporting flexibility, and setting the stage for economic growth.

NAM is also calling for tax credit for employers who continue to pay workers who are quarantined or during periods when business is closed, enhance tax deductions for employers who add equipment like cleaning products, and protect employers under medical privacy laws, among other requests.

Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue offered guidance to President TrumpDonald John TrumpDe Blasio calls on Trump to deploy military to set up hospitals in New York Hillicon Valley: Facebook launches portal for coronavirus information | EU sees spike in Russian misinformation on outbreak | Senate Dem bill would encourage mail-in voting | Lawmakers question safety of Google virus website Trump signs coronavirus aid package with paid sick leave, free testing MORE on Wednesday by recommending the government designate “essential businesses and services” and “essential infrastructure” during the coronavirus outbreak.

Multiple other industries are seeking relief because of quarantines and closures due to the coronavirus.

The National Retail Federation asked for a direct, government-based loan program and the National Restaurant Association called for financial relief, loans and tax measures to help it combat the crisis. 

The airline industry this week, through Airlines for America, requested $50 billion in the form of grants, loans and tax relief to weather the coronavirus downturn. And the tourism industry, through the U.S. Travel Association and the American Hotel and Lodging Association, has called for $150 billion in overall relief.

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