December 7, 2023

Washington Wire: House Passes WIOA Reauthorization



House Passes WIOA Reauthorization
The House of Representatives has approved legislation to make updates to federal workforce development legislation. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2022 (WIOA) was passed by Representatives along mostly party lines by a vote of 220-196. The bill, which passed out of the Education and Labor Committee last month with Democratic support, would reauthorize key workforce development programs through the Department of Labor. 
The legislation fully funds WIOA programs by authorizing $74 billion over six years as well as establishes a permanent Department of Labor program to help individuals released from incarceration transition back to employment, codifies partnerships between employers and community colleges to provide jobs training, and encourages Career Technical Education (CTE) representation on local workforce development boards.
While the bill is unlikely to be brought up in the Senate this year, it could serve as a starting point for negotiations in the next Congress. One Voice believes workforce development and training is a non-partisan issue that requires a bipartisan response and continues to work with members of both parties on a comprehensive policy to address the needs to recruit, train, place, and upskill manufacturers.



Biden Administration Begins Review of China Tariffs
The Biden administration has begun a formal review process of the Section 301 tariffs on Chinese products. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has notified U.S. companies in the affected domestic industry of the upcoming termination of the tariffs, asking for requests to keep the tariffs in place. With a formal request for the continuation of the tariffs, a second phase of the review would take place including a comment process for any interested stakeholders 
Under Section 301, the tariffs automatically terminate after 4 years unless there is a request for them to continue and the administration goes through this full review process. The tariffs were applied in four waves with Lists 1 and 2 set to expire on July 6 and August 23, respectively. USTR is accepting requests for the continuation of the tariffs on List 1 through July 5 and requests for the continuation of the tariffs on List 2 from June 24 through August 22. As Lists 3 and 4a are considered modifications of the July and August 2018 Section 301 actions, requests can be submitted by July 5 or August 22.  
Tariffs will continue as USTR reviews the requests and comments. Should USTR initiate a second phase review, it would cover the tariffs on all four lists. The full review examines "the effectiveness in achieving the objectives" of the initial action and other actions that could be taken, as well as "the effects of such actions on the United States economy, including consumers."



ITC Launches Investigation of 232 and 301 Tariffs
The U.S. International Trade Commission has launched an investigation into the economic impact of the China Section 301 tariffs and the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum. Congressionally mandated as a part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, the legislation funding the government for fiscal year 2022 which was signed into law on March 15, 2022, the investigation will examine trade, production, and prices in the domestic industries impacted by the tariffs. 
During the investigation, the Commission is soliciting comments from stakeholders both through written submissions and a public hearing on July 21, 2022, which will then be included in a final report to Congress next year. 



EXIM Bank to Establish Small Business Council
The Export-Import Bank of the United States has announced the creation of a “Council on Small Business” to provide recommendations on how the bank can support small exporters. The Council will be a subcommittee of EXIM’s Advisory Committee. It will include representatives from small businesses, economic development organizations, and trade associations, as well as other stakeholders.
EXIM is increasing its emphasis on outreach to small businesses as well as women and minority-owned firms. Chair Reta Jo Lewis, who was confirmed by the Senate in February, has continuously stressed the importance of the bank working to help more American small business exporters find new markets and compete globally including in her testimony before the Senate Banking Committee earlier this year where she stated, “EXIM must also renew its emphasis on supporting small businesses to help our country's economy build back better.”
The application period for the Council on Small Business will open this summer. 



EPA Seeking Small Business Input on Additional GHG Reductions
The Environmental Protection Agency is reaching out to small businesses as it takes a first step in the development of light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas and other emissions standards for model year (MY) 2027 and beyond. The agency recently finalized standards for MY23-26 and is hoping to complete the next round of standards by July 2024. 
EPA is “inviting small businesses to participate as Small Entity Representatives (SERs) for a Small Business Advocacy Review Panel.” Small businesses that may be subject to the new standards, which would include small manufacturers of light- or medium-duty vehicles; independent commercial importers that adapt vehicles to EPA emissions standards; and small entities that convert already-certified vehicles to operate partially or fully on alternative fuels, are invited to submit a self-nomination by May 31, 2022.  Additional information and instructions on how to submit a self-nomination go to: