Category

Trade

From Westminster Abbey to Your Shopfloor – An Explanation of “Brexit”

By | Shopfloor Policy, Trade | No Comments

Yesterday’s vote by 52 percent of the United Kingdom to exit from the European Union—the so-called British exit (Brexit)—has sent shockwaves across global financial markets and plunged manufacturers on both sides of the Atlantic into a long period of uncertainty. While there are no direct immediate consequences for the day-to-day operations of businesses in the United Kingdom, European Union or the United States, all businesses engaged in the transatlantic market need to start preparing for the changes that will in fact come. Read More

NAM, Business Community in Geneva Pushing for “No-Brainer” Environmental Goods Agreement

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As negotiators meet this week in Geneva for the 14th Round of Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) negotiations, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and business representatives from the Coalition for Green Trade are also in attendance urging all sides to make progress on the OECD Ministers’ commitment to conclude a strong  agreement that eliminates tariffs on a wide range of environmental goods and technologies by the September G-20 Summit in Hangzhou, China. Read More

Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Amendments to Promote Engagement with Cuba

By | Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy, Trade | No Comments

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved four amendments related to Cuba during today’s mark-up of the FY2017 Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations Act, including:

  • An amendment to lift the ban on private sector agriculture export financing and to end the “180 day rule” for vessels that stop at a Cuban port, offered by FSGG Subcommittee Chairman John Boozman (R-AR), Senator John Tester (D-MT) and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL): Approved by a vote of 22-8.
  • An amendment to lift the travel ban, offered by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Durbin: Approved by voice vote.
  • An amendment to allow U.S. companies to export consumer communications devices and telecommunications services to Cuba, offered by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM): Approved by voice vote.
  • An amendment to allow flights bound for Cuba to make technical stops at American airports, offered by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME): Approved by voice vote.

The NAM sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee this week in support of the amendments. Read More

Colombia Takes Another Step Away from Innovation and a Pro-Manufacturing Climate

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Yesterday, Colombia took another disturbing step that again calls into question its commitment to innovation, manufacturing and the type of investment climate that is vital to grow its economy. Despite its own price controls and existing robust competition in its market, Colombia indicated it would be issuing a Declaration of Public Interest (DPI) to lower again the price of Glivec, an innovative pharmaceutical product. There was no need for this action given that the product is already available at a significantly reduced price and there are already non-infringing generic versions available in the Colombian market. Read More

Timmons: May Jobs Numbers “Pathetic”

By | Economy, Shopfloor Economics, Shopfloor Main, Trade | No Comments

Timmons Statement on Jobs Numbers

National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons issued the following statement on the disappointing Bureau of Labor Statistics’ jobs report, which showed the slowest monthly jobs gain since September 2010:

“The latest jobs report is pathetic. It is a vivid example of why we need the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) now. The report is a wakeup call for anyone who thinks we are on solid economic ground. Policymakers in Washington can’t fix every problem, but they can certainly take action to give manufacturing—and the larger economy—a boost. The TPP will allow manufacturers to sell products we make here in the United States to millions of new customers overseas, and we will hire people to make those products. Congress and the Obama administration need to work together to get this deal done.

“Manufacturers, and almost all employers for that matter, are holding back on hiring because they lack confidence in the ability of Congress and the administration to put aside partisan differences to do what is in the best interest of America’s future. In May, we also saw too few Americans go back to work—and too many give up and leave the workforce altogether because they have given up on the American Dream.

“Pro-growth trade policy, coupled with comprehensive tax reform, regulatory reform and other items on manufacturers’ agenda will empower our country to compete and win in the global economy—creating jobs and providing inspiration for those who clearly need it.

“The presidential candidates and all candidates for the House and Senate need to explain exactly what they will do to enact these commonsense economic measures outlined in ‘Competing to Win.’ Getting this agenda accomplished is the only way to reverse the malaise we are experiencing in our country and put us on the road to success again.”

Read the original press release here.

NAM, TPP Coalition Issue State-by-State Calls for Action on TPP

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Manufacturers need their products sold to more markets, so we can grow more jobs in America. They need their inventions and innovations protected.  The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will protect and sell American-made goods—and that’s why manufacturers support swift approval of this critical trade agreement. To send that message to Congress, today the NAM and U.S. Coalition for TPP issued the following letters to congressional delegations from 10 states, urging support for TPP. Letters will be distributed to the remaining 40 state delegations in the coming months. Click on the state below to view the letter:

Learn more about the importance of TPP to manufacturers in the United States by clicking here.

ITC Report Barely Scratches the Surface of TPP’s Impact

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However you analyze yesterday’s report released by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), the fact remains: the global economy requires American leadership and know-how to make it easier to create jobs at home and open up markets abroad. Whether it’s electronics manufacturer Texas Instruments, with multiple facilities employing thousands all over the United States and selling its innovative technologies worldwide, or it’s Wisconsin-based Darley with 127 employees, selling fire trucks to more than 100 countries, including China, Australia, Peru, New Zealand, Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, Nigeria and Brazil, we need free trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) so that manufacturers of all sizes can continue to compete and win.

Manufacturers need their products sold to more markets, so we can grow more jobs in America. They need their inventions and innovations protected. The TPP will protect and sell American-made goods—and that’s why manufacturers support swift approval of this critical trade agreement. Read More

#TruthOnTheTrail: Trade Realities That Campaigns Need to Consider

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trade-truth-05

Trade continues to be a key topic in the campaigns of both major parties. Unfortunately, the most oft-repeated claims are flat-out wrong and portend a dangerous path of retreat from the strong trade approach that has long been a powerful positive force for American workers, consumers and families. With World Trade Week officially under way, let’s look again at how trade drives the U.S. economy, raises standards of living for American families and grows manufacturing in the United States by dispelling some of the top trade myths.

  1. Free Trade Agreements. If candidates want to take aim at free trade agreements (FTAs), why not go after the hundreds of trade agreements being negotiated without the United States that exclude and disadvantage manufacturers in the United States? U.S. exporters face higher tariffs and barriers than most of the world’s exporters in other countries (ranking 130 out of 132) because the United States has too few, not too many, trade agreements. FTAs are huge market boosters for manufacturing in the United States because they promote fair trade by leveling the playing field. That’s why moving forward on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is so important to manufacturers in the United States.
  1. NAFTA. The criticism of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is an enduring but deeply flawed myth. The United States implemented NAFTA in 1994 and then experienced four years of economic growth and the creation of more than 800,000 manufacturing jobs. The recession in the late 1990s had a negative effect on the U.S. economy and jobs, but if anything, NAFTA helped the United States endure that downturn more successfully and has been critical to sustaining and growing the U.S. manufacturing sector, which then faced even stronger challenges from Asian emerging economies.
  1. China. It is easy for candidates to go after China as a major villain in the trade stories they like to tell. China is not easy, but it is not a one-sided picture. Yes, China has grown its manufacturing industry heavily over the past 20 years and is now the largest foreign supplier of manufactured goods to the United States. To reach this level, China engaged in a number of unfair trade practices, government subsidization and discriminatory policies. No debate there. At the same time, China also became the third-largest market for U.S.-manufactured goods, from the seventh-largest purchaser in 2002, the year after China joined the World Trade Organization, with U.S. exports growing more than 350 percent to $89 billion. There’s a long way to go in creating a fairer and more reciprocal U.S.China commercial relationship, but it’s a lot more complicated than the campaign promise of putting on new border taxes on Chinese imports, which we all know would be contrary to U.S. international commitments and would likely result in even stronger retaliation against U.S. exports to China. And just a reminder, the TPP does NOT include China.
  1. Trade Deficits. When we buy more imports than sell exports, that’s considered a trade deficit, which is used by candidates as a negative report card on U.S. trade. However, our economy is much more complicated than simple subtraction. Oftentimes, when the U.S. trade deficit is rising, the U.S. unemployment rate is declining and U.S. manufacturing production is growing. Also, the critics conveniently ignore when we do have a surplus, such as the fact that our country sells more manufactured goods overall to our FTA partners than we purchase from them. U.S. manufacturing output and exports have quadrupled over the past quarter century. Trade, boosted by trade agreements, is helping to fuel our economy.

Trade and manufacturing go hand in hand. The United States manufactures more today than we have in our entire history. Trade and trade agreements have opened the door to new global opportunities for manufacturers big and small throughout America, helping to sustain and grow jobs for millions of Americans. Let’s continue to make sure manufacturers and America can continue to grow.

India’s IP Policy Shows Missed Opportunity with Backsliding on Patents, Trade Secrets

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India missed a clear opportunity to signal that it is serious about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promises for the country to become an “innovation hub” last week with the release of its long-awaited National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy. Far from being the breakthrough document that India’s government has claimed, the final policy framework shows little improvement to critical language and new, troubling provisions in key areas, such as patents and trade secrets. Read More

Senate Finance Committee Examines U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency

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Last week, the Senate Finance Committee held an oversight hearing on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that featured testimony from CBP Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske. In his testimony, Kerlikowske highlighted the agency’s “Trade Transformation” initiative to create efficiency at the border and leverage publicprivate partnership programs. For example, the CBP continues to deploy the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), which will ultimately serve as the central portal where importers and exporters will electronically transmit the data required by the U.S. government to release cargo. Kerlikowske confirmed that the CBP is on track to deliver all core trade processing capabilities in ACE by December 31, 2016. He also highlighted the agency’s enforcement operations, citing enforcement of intellectual property rights and antidumping/countervailing duties as two of the CBP’s priority trade issues. Read More