NAW Opposes Nomination of Julie Su as Secretary of Labor

March 14, 2023

President Biden must nominate an individual who will both be capable of managing the department and willing to consider how regulations will impact both employers and employees 

Washington, DC – The National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW), which is the voice of the 8.2 trillion-dollar wholesale distribution industry, and employs more than 6 million U.S. workers, issued the following statement in response to President Biden’s nomination of Julie Su to be Secretary of Labor:

“We believe that Ms. Su’s record both in her current role and as Secretary for the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency requires significant scrutiny,” said NAW CEO Eric Hoplin. “NAW strongly opposes the nomination of Ms. Su based on her prior experience as Secretary for the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency and her track record of supporting policies that are harmful to American businesses,” concluded Hoplin.   

“During her tenure in California, Ms. Su oversaw what some have called the most fraud-plagued unemployment program in the country which, according to her own admission, paid out at least $31 billion in fraudulent claims.” said NAW Chief Government Relations Officer Jade West. “Furthermore, Ms. Su was one of the architects of California’s Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), one of the most flawed business legislative initiatives in recent memory. The legislation has been so difficult to implement due to its flaws that the California state legislature and the Governor were forced to enact multiple new laws to exempt over 100 occupations and was so unpopular that 59% of California voters voted via a ballot measure to roll back other provisions in the law,” concluded West.  

In 2021, while Ms. Su still served the people of California, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University found that California had the highest regulatory burden in the nation and ranked first in the nation for highest occupational licensure burden. Even with high hourly wages and generous benefits, wholesaler-distributors are still struggling to fill many roles. A Department of Labor led by Ms. Su would likely increase unnecessary and burdensome regulations that could significantly raise employer costs.    

You can view our full letter to the Senate HELP Committee here.

NAW is one of America’s leading trade associations, representing the $8.2 trillion wholesale distribution industry. Founded in 1946, NAW is comprised of national, regional, and state employers of all sizes, industry trade associations, partners, and stakeholders spanning all sectors of distribution. Our industry employs more than 6 million workers throughout the United States and accounts for 1/3 of the U.S. GDP. There are 35,000 wholesale distribution companies that operate in nearly 150,000 places of business across North America, including all 50 states.    

NAW’s mission is to deliver world-class programs and services, designed to help the most dynamic companies in wholesale distribution succeed. Our programming is tailored for the CEOs, senior executives, and rising leaders at our member companies and associations. Members engage with NAW through our offerings in: Thought Leadership, Networking, Executive Education, Benchmarking/Research, Shared Resourcing, Partnerships, Government Relations, and Public Affairs.