Capital Briefing: October 23, 2015

Capital Briefing

#Manufacturing Tweet of the Week

Details: Martha Sprague, (202) 637-3083.

This Week in Washington

NAM Analysis Underscores Impact of Ex-Im Bank Lapse on Manufacturers.
The NAM released a new analysis assessing the impact of the U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank’s lapse on manufacturers—and the consequences are dire for their competitiveness.

“This white paper shows the tangible impacts manufacturers are facing every day due to the Ex-Im Bank’s lapse,” NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons said upon the release of the white paper. “Our country’s export numbers continue to lag behind our foreign competitors. Meanwhile, dozens of foreign export credit agencies continue to close deals worth billions of dollars.”

The expiration of the Ex-Im Bank’s charter on June 30 has left several thousand manufacturers, many of them small and medium-sized exporters, without adequate access to capital and the financing they need to compete with foreign manufacturers. Orbital ATK lost a satellite deal because it could not offer Ex-Im financing to its customer overseas, for example, and International Green Structures has a deal in a holding pattern until the Ex-Im Bank’s charter is renewed.

There are 83 official export credit agencies across the globe, many of which continue to close on deals worth tens of billions of dollars, according to the white paper. The Ex-Im Bank’s lapse has created a credit and liquidity crunch for small and medium-sized businesses. The NAM white paper estimates that more than 500 U.S. exporters will lose their credit insurance policies between September 1 and December 1 this year, meaning that they will be unable to insure their foreign receivables and acquire financing for new exporters. In addition, users of Ex-Im’s multi-buyer credit insurance cannot add new foreign customers to their policies, thereby reducing their opportunities to expand in overseas markets.

Next week, the House of Representatives will likely vote on a long-term reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank. The NAM sent a Key Vote letter yesterday urging support for the reauthorization. Congressional supporters of Ex-Im's reauthorization recently circulated a discharge petition and gathered the required 218 signatures to give this critical legislation a vote on the House floor. Urge members of Congress to vote in favor of Ex-Im Bank reauthorization next week by taking action through the NAM’s advocacy portal.

For more information about the importance of the Ex-Im Bank to U.S. manufacturing growth and jobs, visit the NAM’s Ex-Im webpage.

Details: Linda Dempsey, (202) 637-3144 and Lauren Airey Wilk, (202) 637-3141.

Hot Topic

Voters, Employers Oppose Tax on Health Benefits.
The NAM, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Business Roundtable released a poll this week in which 76 percent of voters expressed concern about the employee benefits tax, or “Cadillac tax,” going into effect. The poll showed relatively few voters are aware of the tax, but after learning more, most believe it should be repealed, and a plurality believe an offset is not necessary were the tax to be repealed. The poll also revealed that many believe health care has become less affordable under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

More information, including a summary of the poll results, is available on the NAM’s employee benefits tax webpage. The NAM also sent an action alert encouraging our members to contact and engage with lawmakers on repealing the tax, which will affect an estimated 82 percent of manufacturing businesses by 2023.

Infrastructure, Legal and Regulatory Policy

House Introduces Bill on Positive Train Control.
All railroads, freight and commuter, are mandated by federal statute to install new technology and equipment known as Positive Train Control (PTC) by December 31, 2015. But to give the industry more time to comply, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee introduced the Positive Train Control Enforcement and Implementation Act of 2015 (H.R. 3651).

The legislation would extend the PTC deadline to the end of 2018. It would also provide limited authority to the secretary of transportation to further extend the deadline beyond 2018 if railroads cannot meet the mandate despite serious efforts to install PTC.

As the deadline approaches, impacts for rail shippers are expected to be felt far in advance of December 31, and an extension of the deadline will be too late if left until the end of the year.

Manufacturers have called on the Obama Administration and Congress to extend the deadline as soon as possible and appreciate this quick action on the part of Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and other committee leaders. H.R. 3651 is expected to reach the House floor next week.

Details: Robyn Boerstling, (202) 637-3178.

Tax, Technology and Domestic Economic Policy

NAM Hosts Hill Briefing on Importance of IP and Trade Secrets.
The NAM partnered with BSA | The Software Alliance and the Congressional Caucus on Intellectual Property Promotion and Piracy Prevention for a Capitol Hill briefing highlighting the importance of trade secrets to American competitiveness. Representatives from some of the world’s most innovative companies participated in a roundtable discussion with members of Congress on this key intellectual property protection tool and pending legislative initiatives that will enhance the competitive position of all industries. The NAM continues to urge all congressional offices to support the Defend Trade Secrets Act, a bipartisan bill that will increase our ability to go after perpetrators of trade secret theft by updating current law.

Details: Brian Raymond, (202) 637-3072.

Manufacturing in Action

Eagle Manufacturing Company President and CEO Joe Eddy takes the stage at the board meeting to accept the 2015 Sandy Trowbridge Award for Excellence in Community Service. Each year, this award recognizes an NAM member company with 1,000 or fewer employees that has shown exemplary leadership in serving its community or state, and is an example of the giving spirit of our nation’s manufacturers and businesses. The award, a cash donation to the charity of the winner’s choosing, honors former NAM President Sandy Trowbridge for his contributions to American manufacturing and his distinguished career in public service.

Photo by David Bohrer/National Association of Manufacturers

Get Involved

Hosting a Manufacturing Day Event Is Great, but Registering It Is Even Better!
More than 2,000 events are registered on the Manufacturing Day website, but the actual number of events being held across the country is much higher!

If your facility is hosting an event, please register it on the official Manufacturing Day website, It is important that all events are included so that we can truly highlight all the wonderful things manufacturing provides to local communities and the U.S. economy.

If your organization is hosting multiple events, be sure to register each location as its own event. There is a public/private option when registering if you are hosting a private or invitation-only event, so be sure to include yours if you have not yet done so.

Visit the events page to check whether your organization has signed up for Manufacturing Day. If you don’t see your facility, please register here.

Details: Christopher Glen, (202) 637-3121

Download the NAM Advocacy App.
Contact Congress while on the go! The NAM developed the MFGWorks mobile app for smartphones and tablets to give employees, families and friends the power to take action in support of manufacturing—wherever they are.

Download the MFGWorks app for Apple or Android devices and share it with your colleagues, family and friends. We are all part of a growing manufacturing economy, and we need your help to maintain positive momentum on Capitol Hill.

Details: Leann Paradise, (202) 637-3049.

The Week Ahead

Senate Hearings:
TUESDAY — The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee holds a hearing on the National Labor Relations Board’s joint-employer decision. The Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing on the modernization of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and related energy security issues.

Details: Rick Limardo, (202) 637-3198.

House Hearings:
WEDNESDAY – The Committee on Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Workforce Protections holds a hearing on the enforcement update from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Details: Laura Ringdahl Siegrist, (202) 637-3038.

Economic Reports:
After a busy economic calendar this week, there are just a handful of reports being released next week. Manufacturers will closely watch the August trade data, which will come out on Tuesday, for signs of relief internationally.

Exports of manufactured goods have declined by more than 4 percent so far year-to-date, with significant headwinds for global demand coming from a strong dollar and weaknesses abroad.

On Thursday, the Federal Reserve will release the minutes of its September 16–17 Federal Open Market Committee meeting. This write-up might provide additional insights into its decision to postpone raising short-term interest rates at that meeting, with rates likely headed higher instead at either its October or December meeting. Other releases of note include the latest data on consumer credit and wholesale trade.

Details: Chad Moutray, (202) 637-3148.

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