John Engler, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), issued the following statement in response to President-elect Obama’s announcement of Congresswoman Hilda Solis as Labor Secretary-designate:

“As Secretary of Labor, Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA) will bear great responsibility helping the Obama administration strengthen our competitiveness. We look forward to providing detailed analysis of the impact of labor legislation and proposals on American business’ ability to create and retain jobs We appreciate her work for the America COMPETES Act of 2007, and we will work with her to improve educational and training opportunities for the next generation workforce.”

As to be expected, the tone of NAM’s reaction to the nomination of Solis, who has a 97 percent approval rating by the AFL-CIO on her voting record in Congress, is markedly reserved compared to the effusive praise coming from union and safety and health advocacy groups. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the other heavyweight business association in Washington, issued press releases on almost all of President-elect Obama’s nominations, but said not a word on the Solis announcement.

It appears the battle lines over OSHA, regulatory issues, and the “impact of labor legislation and proposals” are already being drawn.