Three Facts Apologists for Foreign Mistreatment of U.S. Manufacturers Should at Least Acknowledge

There are lots of different views on trade and investment within Washington and across the country but opponents of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) continue to ignore and blatantly misstate objective and basic facts. This anti-ISDS campaign seeks to deny job creators in the United States with the basic enforcement tools needed to ensure fair treatment and a more level playing field overseas. (continue reading…)

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We Hate to Say “We Told You So…”

Last summer, the NAM released a study, conducted in partnership with NERA Economic Consulting, regarding the economic impacts of an ozone standard tightened to 60 parts per billion (ppb). We found that the rule, which at the time had not yet been proposed, would amount to the costliest rule in American history if advanced. (continue reading…)

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FCC Makes it Official: Internet Will be Regulated

Today FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and two other commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) received a standing ovation after voting in favor to apply 1930’s era regulations to the internet. It’s doubtful any manufacturers were in the audience. (continue reading…)

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Kansas City Fed: Manufacturing Activity Slowed to a Near Crawl in February

The Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank said that manufacturing activity slowed to a near crawl in February, mirroring the easing we have seen in other regions. The composite index of general business conditions dropped has declined from 8 in December to 3 in January to 1 in February. The silver lining, of course, is that activity in the sector continues to expand, albeit barely, as it has now for 14 straight months. Still, the weaker headline figure was pulled lower by contracting levels of new orders (down from -8 to -10), exports (down from -7 to -13) and employment (down from zero to -4). There were several reasons cited in the sample comments for the softness, including sluggish global growth, reduced crude oil prices and the West Coast ports slowdown. (continue reading…)

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Consumer Prices Fell Once Again on Lower Gasoline Costs

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that the consumer price index (CPI) fell 0.7 percent in January. This mirrored producer price index (PPI) data released the week before. More importantly, consumer prices have decreased 0.2 percent over the past 12 months, the first negative year-over-year pace since October 2009. Of course, this downward shift in inflation has been spurred by lower gasoline prices, which fell 18.7 percent in January alone. Indeed, the average price of regular gasoline declined from $3.639 a gallon during the week of June 23 to $1.982 a gallon the week of January 26, according to the Energy Information Administration. (It has begun to rise a bit since then, with an average of $2.256 per gallon this week.) (continue reading…)

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New Durable Goods Orders Rebounded in January on Strong Aircraft Orders

The Census Bureau said that new durable goods orders rose 2.8 percent in January, rebounding from the 3.7 percent decline observed in December. It was the strongest increase in durable goods orders in six months, with demand off in four of the past five months. As such, manufacturing activity since July 2014 has been less-than-desired, providing a bit of a contrast with better demand and sentiment data elsewhere. The sluggish global economic environment has likely played a role in this softness. On a year-over-year basis, durable goods orders have risen 5.4 percent, but this strength is somewhat misleading, as it builds off of the significant weather-related slowdowns seen 12 months ago. (continue reading…)

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McCarthy Comments Show EPA Disconnect on Ozone

When EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy took to the Hill today to defend the Agency’s clean air agenda amid budget season, lawmakers asked some pointed questions regarding the wisdom of the EPA’s plan to revise ground-level ozone standards while existing standards are still being implemented. (continue reading…)

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Long Term Reauthorization of Ex-Im Bank is Critical for Manufacturers

Today, manufacturers and small businesses from across the country were in our nation’s capital to fight for a critical component of our national economic policy: the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im). More than 650 individuals paid their own way to come to Washington, D.C. to educate and inform our leaders in Congress about the role the Ex-Im Bank plays in ensuring American manufacturers can compete overseas on a level playing field.

(continue reading…)

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Manufacturing Leader Underscores Importance of Upgraded Infrastructure and MAP- 21 Reauthorization

Today, Tom Riordan, National Association of Manufacturers Small and Medium Manufacturers (SMM) Group Chair and President and CEO of Neenah Enterprises, testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing entitled “The Importance of MAP -21 Reauthorization: Perspectives from Owners, Operators, and Users of the System.”

At the hearing, Riordan highlighted the importance of broad-based, job-creating investments in upgrades, expansions and modernization of our nation’s infrastructure systems. (continue reading…)

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Chinese Manufacturing Shifted to a Marginal Expansion in February

The HSBC Flash China Manufacturing PMI shifted to a marginal expansion in February, improving slightly after contracting for two straight months. The headline index increased from 49.7 in January to 50.1 in February. The underlying data were mixed. New orders (down from 50.8 to 50.4) and output (up from 50.1 to 50.8) grew slowly for the month, even as the pace of sales slipped a bit. At the same time, new export orders (down from 51.1 to 47.1) and employment (up from 49.1 to 49.3) declined on net. Export sales, in particularly, deteriorated to their lowest level since August 2013, which was disappointing. The index for hiring, which has contracted now for 24 consecutive months, increased to a 7-month high, with the pace of the decline decreasing. Final PMI data will be come out on Monday, March 2.    (continue reading…)

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