March 20, 2019

Washington Wire: Tell Congress to Support Critical Workforce Development Policies

03/07/2019

Take Action: Tell Congress to Support Critical Workforce Development Policies  

 
We need your help to ensure that Washington supports critical job training and technical education policies and promote careers in manufacturing. The House of Representatives and the Senate are working on a rewrite of the Higher Education Act (HEA). The reauthorization of HEA provides Congress with an opportunity to support vital Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs to address the needs of the manufacturing industry and help close the skills gap.
 
Job recruitment, training, and placement, as well as advanced technical education, are critical to the future of manufacturing in America. We need Washington to pass a law supporting industry recognized credentials, expanding grants to include short term skills training, and educating parents and students about college debt and manufacturing career opportunities.
 
We need you to contact your Representatives and Senators today and ask them to pass a Higher Education Act that expands government support beyond only two and four year degrees, recognizes industry credentials, and allows the use of grants for short term training and individuals seeking manufacturing careers. Please click here to send a letter today promoting careers in manufacturing.

 

 

 
USTR Postpones Section 301 Tariff Increase; U.S. and China Nearing Deal on Trade
 
On March 1, 2019, the deadline for the U.S. and China to reach an agreement prior to tariffs increasing, at the direction of the President, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) issued a notice postponing the increase from 10% to 25% scheduled for March 2. In 2018, the President imposed 10% tariffs on 5,745 products under List 3, in addition to the 25% tariffs on over 1,000 imported Chinese items already in effect. USTR did not set a new date for an increase, stating that the tariffs will remain at 10 percent “until further notice.”
 
Many hope this announcement is the latest indicator that the United States and China are close to reaching a trade deal, though many believe difficult discussions remain particularly around enforcement and the U.S. right to reinstitute tariffs if they believe China is violating certain terms. President Trump and Chinese President Xi may meet towards the end of March if the two sides are close to an agreement.
 
Sources indicate the deal will require the U.S. to remove tariffs on at least $200 billion of the $250 billion of Chinese goods. In exchange, China will increase purchases of U.S. energy and agricultural goods. Furthermore, China will pledge to better protect intellectual property rights and make it easier for U.S. companies to operate in China. For over a decade, One Voice has lobbied lawmakers and three administrations for stronger enforcement of Chinese violations, from currency manipulation to intellectual property theft and illegal subsidies for Chinese manufacturers.

 

 

 
New York Governor Proposes Prop 65-type Consumer Right to Know Act
 
As part of his Executive Budget, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed legislation to develop regulations establishing on-package labeling requirements for designated products indicating the presence of potentially hazardous chemicals, including carcinogens. Announced as the Consumer Right to Know Act, the proposal would authorize the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, along with its Department of Health and Department of State, to create a list of more than 1,000 substances and chemicals that would trigger the labeling requirement to consumers if found in a given product. If enacted, this regulation would affect any business within the supply chain of a product sold to a New York consumer. This proposal is similar to California’s Proposition 65, requiring manufacturers to include warning labels on products that California consumers could have the ability to purchase. Under California’s law, even businesses who do not directly ship a product with lead, nickel or other listed chemicals directly into the state must provide a warning transferring their liability up the supply chain to ultimately allow the consumer in California to make an informed decision prior to purchasing the item. Many are concerned that if New York follows a similar course, manufactures in every state must begin to consider whether they want their products sold in New York or California, which combined represent 60 million Americans, or twenty percent of the population.

 

 

 
EEOC will Start Collecting EEO-1 Data on March 18 with Deadline Extended to May 31
 
As a result of the government shutdown, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced it has extended the deadline for collecting Calendar Year 2018 EEO-1 data from the end of March to May 31. The EEO-1 is an annual survey requiring all private employers with 100 or more employees and federal government contractors or first-tier subcontractors with 50 or more employees and a federal contract, sub-contract or purchase order amounting to $50,000 or more to file the EEO-1 report. The survey requires company employment data to be categorized by race/ethnicity, gender, and job category. The EEOC will start collecting 2018 EEO-1 surveys on March 18. Since the imposition of the expanded reporting rules under the previous administration, employers saw a surge of EEOC equal pay investigations based on reporting data. Click here to access the EEO-1 Survey collection portal.