More on the 109th

By December 12, 2006General

In all the stuff flying around the blogosphere and the news these days, we just wanted to do a short re-cap of the highlights of the close of the 109th Congress early Saturday morning. Among the items of importance to manufacturers that passed — some of which we’ve already covered here — were these:

  • Energy supply bill S. 3711
  • A seamless extension and strengthening of the R&D tax credit through 2007
  • Language encouraging the use of Health Savings Accounts
  • The Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB)
  • Renewal of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)
  • Renewal of Andean trade preferences
  • Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Vietnam
  • Here’s a link with a short explanation of each and — better still — a link to see how your Member of Congress voted on each. We’ve written much on the energy and R&D tax credit votes, but the trade votes were just as crucial in that they will open markets to US-manufactured goods, and that’s great for manufacturers large and small, who are always on the lookout for new customers.

    Here’s a link to a pretty full statement from US Trade Representative Susan Schwab on the passage of the trade bills. For example, as a result of the Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA), U.S. goods exports to ATPA countries in 2005 were $9.9 billion, up 17 percent from 2004. This is all good news for US manufacturers. We’re glad it was renewed.

    All in all, a pretty good close to the 109th.