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News in North American Manufacturing

U.S. Commerce Department Has Received More Than 800 Requests To Exclude Products From Steel, Aluminum Tariffs

U.S. Commerce Department Has Received More Than 800 Requests To Exclude Products From Steel, Aluminum Tariffs

Monday, April 16, 2018 - The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing last Thursday on the effects the Trump administration’s new tariffs will have on U.S. jobs and the economy. Lawmakers and hearing witnesses discussed several issues, including the effects the tariffs will have on downstream companies, competition with Canada, and consumer price increases. An archived webcast of the hearing is available here. As Capitol Hill debates the effects of all of the Trump administration’s tariffs, the U.S. Commerce Department continues to take requests for product exemptions from its Section 232 aluminum and steel penalties. According to Politico, the department already has received more than 800 requests for...

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In Effort To Reach Quick NAFTA Conclusion, U.S. Eases Auto Content Requirements

In Effort To Reach Quick NAFTA Conclusion, U.S. Eases Auto Content Requirements

Monday, April 16, 2018 - Last week, Connecting the Dots reported the U.S. government wanted to have a deal to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) finished by the Summit of the Americas, which started last Thursday in Lima, Peru. While that deadline obviously was not met, on Friday the Trump administration “significantly softened” its “demands to increase regional automotive content under a reworked NAFTA trade pact in an effort to move more quickly towards a deal in the next few weeks …” As Reuters explained, the administration originally wanted to increase the percentage of content required to come from NAFTA countries from the 62.5 percent requirement in place now to...

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U.S. Trade Representative Reviewing Three Countries’ Eligibility For GSP Program

U.S. Trade Representative Reviewing Three Countries’ Eligibility For GSP Program

Monday, April 16, 2018 - As Reuters reported last Thursday, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) currently is reviewing India, Indonesia, and Kazakhstan’s ability to participate in the Generalized Systems of Preferences (GSP) program. In a statement the USTR explained that it has undertaken the review because of concerns over India and Indonesia’s compliance with the GSP market access criterion and Kazakhstan’s compliance with the GSP worker rights criterion. Click here to read USTR’s full statement. Congress just passed a bill last month to reauthorize GSPretroactively.A public hearing and comment period for the USTR’s new GSP reviews will be announced in an...

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U.S. Senate Confirms Two Important Labor Nominees

U.S. Senate Confirms Two Important Labor Nominees

Monday, April 16, 2018 - Last week, the U.S. Senate confirmed nominees to two key labor policy positions: John Ring to fill the final open seat on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and Patrick Pizzella to be the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor. Ring, who was confirmed on a 50-48 vote, will now serve as chairman of the NLRB. His arrival gives Republicans a three-person majority on the five-member board and will give the NLRB wider latitude to roll back recent decisions that had favored labor unions. At the top of the NLRB’s list will be reversing the joint employer standard, a ruling that determines who is responsible for labor violations committed by franchisees and contractors. Labor Deputy...

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Scotiabank: Without Pipelines “Canadian Production Will Outstrip Pipeline Takeaway Indefinitely”

Scotiabank: Without Pipelines “Canadian Production Will Outstrip Pipeline Takeaway Indefinitely”

Monday, April 16, 2018 - The United States and Canada face the same issues when it comes to bringing new oil and gas pipelines online. In the past, Connecting the Dots has outlined barriers to construction in the United States. Now, with the recent Kinder Morgan announcement that it would suspend all non-essential work on the Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline because of British Columbia’s environmental objections, it is clear the same barriers exist in Canada. What will be the practical effect of these barriers? As the website The Fuse makes clear, Canada faces long-term vulnerability if new pipelines are not allowed to come online. Scotiabank said if Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion, or its Keystone...

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