Patience with NAM is wearing wafer thin

Nov 03, 2006 | 08:09 AM | Rory Carroll

Has the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the nation's largest industrial trade association, lost its way?

Smaller associations have long quietly criticized NAM for being long on bluster but short on action. They've said NAM is stretched too thin, trying to appeal to a broad membership of large multinationals and small manufacturers, groups that are often on opposite sides of the ideological fence.

Still, rare is the official who will go on record denouncing the powerful NAM. Until now.

In a recent letter to John Engler, NAM president, a group of Michigan legislators called the group "irrelevant," earning themselves a testy response. Meanwhile, the Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA), a longtime member, accused NAM of putting the interests of a few multinational companies ahead of smaller domestic manufacturers, including U.S. steel companies.

The firestorm of NAM-bashing was set off by manufacturing's hottest issue China's pegged currency.....

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