A Publication of the National Association of Manufacturers
Immigration Reform Efforts Continue. Under pressure from immigration rights groups to move forward on reform, Senate Democrats released a 26-page outline late last week. The Administration and Senate Democrats are now trying to use that document in an effort to recruit Republicans and achieve bipartisan support for the policies included in the outline. The goal, however, may have changed as President Obama has stated he would like to get started this year, but not necessarily complete reform this year. Details: Jeri G. Kubicki, (202) 637-3127.
EPA Issues Coal Ash Proposed Rulemaking. On May 4, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its long anticipated proposal to regulate coal combustion byproducts (CCBs), or so-called coal ash, under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The proposal includes two options: to regulate CCBs under stringent hazardous waste requirements pursuant to RCRA Subtitle C; and a less stringent alternative under solid waste rules pursuant to RCRA Subtitle D. EPA officials are not expressing a preferred option and characterize each proposal as coequal. Under both scenarios, the EPA states it will maintain exemptions for so-called beneficial use of CCBs. Manufacturers oppose regulation under hazardous waste requirements because of the increased likelihood of lawsuits, among other reasons. The proposal will be subject to a 90-day comment period following publication in the Federal Register. Details: Bryan Brendle, (202) 637-3176.
Senate Takes Up Financial Services Reform. Senate floor action began earlier this week on S. 3217, the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010. On the derivatives issue, Sens. Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Ranking Members of the Senate Banking and Agriculture Committees, respectively, introduced a substitute derivatives amendment May 5 that addresses many key concerns for NAM members. A floor vote on the amendment is expected next week. During the debate on financial reform, the NAM has urged policymakers to ensure that any derivatives reform effort includes a strong and clear exemption for business end-users, like manufacturers, that use customized over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives to manage risk. In addition, the NAM has called for clear exemptions from central clearing, bilateral margining and exchange-trading requirements for business end-users to avoid drawing large amounts of capital from business operations, including job creation. The NAM has serious concerns, however, that the current exemption language in S. 3217 is not strong or clear enough to safeguard manufacturers. Other provisions in S. 3217 could effectively eliminate the exemption for many companies and, in some cases, subject them to capital and margin requirements or higher costs. It is expected that the Senate will consider a number of issues of interest to manufacturers as the debate goes on, and the NAM will continue to monitor new developments. Details: Dorothy Coleman, (202) 637-3077.
NAM Urges House Support for Home Star Act. On May 5, the NAM sent a key vote letter to all House offices urging support for H.R. 5019, the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act. Nearly a quarter of the 2.2 million manufacturing jobs lost since December 2007 have been in industries closely connected to housing, such as furniture, wood and textile products and building materials, and the Home Star program would quickly create jobs in the manufacturing, distribution and sale of energy-efficient products. As the NAM stated in the letter, The Home Star program would spur much-needed consumer demand for energy-efficient products and building materials by providing significant and immediate rebates for home energy-efficiency retrofits. Cost-effective energy efficiency and conservation measures are important for reducing energy costs, stretching available energy supplies and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. American manufacturers are committed to producing more energy-efficient consumer products for residential use. Click here to read the NAMs key vote letter on H.R. 5019; click here to read NAM President John Englers and former Energy Secretary Spence Abrahams op-ed in The Hill. Details: Dorothy Coleman, (202) 637-3077.
Urge Congress To Restore the R&D Tax Credit. Both the House and the Senate have passed different versions of tax extenders bill H.R. 4213, and each includes a one-year extension of the R&D tax credit. Congress now is working toward the goal of completing final action on H.R. 4213 by Memorial Day. Please use the NAMs Contact Congress to send a pre-typed email which can be easily edited to include company-specific information about the impact of the R&D credit to your senators and representative. The more emails congressional offices receive, the stronger the message to Congress to act sooner rather than later to renew the credit at this critical time. For more information, click here. Details: Monica McGuire, (202) 637-3076.
Bonus Depreciation May Be Added to Senate Bill. A one-year extension of bonus depreciation for 2010 may be added to H.R. 4849, a small business tax bill, next week in the Senate. NAM-supported bonus depreciation will allow companies of all sizes to deduct in the first year of the recovery life half of the cost of machinery and equipment purchased and placed in service this year. The House passed H.R. 4849 earlier this year, but it did not include bonus depreciation. Details: Monica McGuire, (202) 637-3076.
NAM Task Force Mobilizing for Leadership on International IPR Issues. The NAMs new Task Force on International Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), chaired by ITW Vice President Mark Croll, had an initial meeting at NAM headquarters April 29. A number of member companies and associations attended or called in and contributed ideas on how the NAM can best take a leadership role in attacking international product counterfeiting and piracy as well as other IPR challenges. The guest speaker, new White House Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) Victoria Espinel, strongly endorsed the NAMs leadership on these important issues. More member participation and input is needed, especially from small and medium-sized manufacturers, to fight the sales-killing, jobs-killing scourge of IPR crimes and policy challenges around the world. Details: Shaun Donnelly, (202) 637-3142.
NAM Concerned with Conflict Minerals Trade Act. New legislation is moving through Congress that could affect global supply chains and create new customs burdens. H.R. 4128, the Conflict Minerals Trade Act, was introduced to stop the trade in conflict minerals that is sustaining the war in the Congo. The NAM, while recognizing the important goal of the legislation, has significant concerns with mechanisms in the bill that aim to end the trade of conflict minerals into the United States. The legislation would require a transaction-by-transaction import declaration at entry certifying that a companys imports do not contain conflict minerals. The bill defines conflict minerals as columbite-tantalite (coltan/tantalum), gold, cassiterite (tin), wolframite (tungsten), or their derivatives. These minerals are used in a wide variety of products including the production of consumer electronic devices, aerospace parts and components, steel, capital goods, machinery, defense articles, cutting tools, medical equipment and many other items. The NAM is actively working with Congress to make changes to the legislation and has convened the Customs and Border Coalition to create a unified industry approach to finding a solution. We encourage NAM members to examine their products to determine if their products, parts, or components contain the minerals listed above. Details: Catherine Robinson, (202) 637-3403.
The CPSIAs Impact on Small and Medium Manufacturers. The misguided Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) has had a devastating impact on small and medium-sized manufacturers throughout the United States. Because of the onerous regulations, many small businesses are now stuck with inventory they can no longer sell, while many others have been forced to shut down.
The NAM is working to draw attention to this issue. NAM President John Engler has noted that the law is causing massive disruptions to industries across the board, particularly small and medium-sized companies. Family businesses and small batch manufacturers in many cases childrens toy or clothing producers have essentially been outlawed because they cannot afford the mandatory testing and labeling requirements, not because their products are unsafe.
In addition to imposing high costs on small businesses to comply with the law, it has also proven disruptive for companies as they try to figure out how the constantly-changing rules apply to them. Quite simply, most small and medium-sized manufacturers lack the money and manpower to bear the significant new costs imposed.
Congress recently held a hearing on the Consumer Product Safety Enhancement Act (CPSEA), which is designed to address the flaws of the CPSIA. NAM Vice President of Infrastructure, Legal and Regulatory Policy Rosario Palmieri testified on behalf of manufacturers. His written testimony can be found here, and more details of the full hearing are available here.
Small and medium manufacturers should tell their representatives the impact the law has had on their ability to grow, compete and maintain jobs and remind them that any legislative fixes must take the needs of small businesses into consideration.
Click here to watch a video about the CPSIA. For more information on taking action, contact NAM Vice President of Infrastructure, Legal and Regulatory Policy Rosario Palmieri at email@example.com or (202) 637-3177.
Car Rental Discounts for NAM Members Through Avis and Budget. The NAM is pleased to announce a new partnership with Avis and Budget to help NAM member companies significantly reduce car rental costs. NAM member companies and staff will receive discounts of up to 25 percent through Avis and up to 20 percent through Budget. These discounts can be used by employees for both corporate travel and their own personal travel needs. To book travel with Avis, call (1-800) 331-1212 or visit www.avis.com/nam and use discount code: (AWD) #B486800. To book travel with Budget, call (1-800) 527-0700 or visit www.budget.com/nam and use discount (BCD) #R211600. Details/Non-Booking Inquiries: Wendy McIntyre, (202) 637-3197.
Questions or comments? Please contact Clare James Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
President: John Engler
Managing Editor: Clare James Johnson
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