March 30, 2020

Learn How You Can Shape Essential Businesses Orders In U.S. And Canada

As MSCI has reported in Connecting the Dots and on its homepage, governments in the various Canadian provinces and U.S. states currently have the final say regarding what businesses constitute essential operations in the face of COVID-19-related shutdown orders. MSCI has written a letter to federal officials in the United States and a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, however, to ask that guidance from the top level of government in each country deem metals service centers and metals producers as essential.

As of Sunday, March 29, the Canadian government had not yet issued any sort of nationwide guidance. In lieu of that, the National Association of Manufacturers has provided guidance for various Canadian provinces. Click here to access it. It is important that members of the industrial metals supply chain in Canada contact their provincial officials to explain why their operations should be deemed essential.

On Saturday, March 28, the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) updated its guidance on essential workers. As noted above, this statement is guidance, not law, and only is meant to help state and local officials determine how to protect their communities while also ensuring the security and resiliency of critical infrastructure. CISA’s March 28 guidance is here.

CISA has said it will continue to update its advice to further clarify the job categories it deems essential. MSCI members can help strengthen this guidance by emailing CISA.CAT@cisa.dhs.gov with detailed examples of why your business and supply chain are critical, life-sustaining infrastructure. Please do so if you believe your company should be deemed essential and has had difficulty delivering goods into areas that are currently locked down or otherwise have restricted access. It also is imperative that metals service centers engage with their local and state officials.

Thomas has a list of U.S. state shutdown orders here, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has a list here, and NAM has a list here. NAM also has provided a list of instructions offering advice for how to communicate with state and local officials about this issue. If companies use the templates and instructions provided here, they should alter them to reflect their individual operations.

MSCI also encourages members to check out materials from the National Association of Wholesalers, which has provided a template letter to provide to drivers and employees so that they can get to work and conduct work as employees of the critical infrastructure. Critical truck drivers and workers should have a hard copy of this document with them at all times when working. Please be aware that this letter is self-certifying and not an official federal document so companies should review any document that you provide to your employees with your own counsel. Click here to see the letter.