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Author: Craig Updyke

Just Ten Days

Just Ten Days

When Congress returns from its August break, there will be only 10 days for legislative business before the general election season heats up and lawmakers leave the Capitol again until mid-November. Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) has warned his chamber that weekend sessions may be necessary, but in the House a prime priority for electroindustry companies is not even on the September schedule. As this is being written, the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) has only 35 days before its charter Read more […]

Let’s Get Real

Let’s Get Real

Why is Congress finding it difficult to pass legislation that helps U.S. business export to developing countries, supports U.S. jobs, and sends money to the U.S. Treasury? The subject is the U.S. Export-Import Bank, which for eight decades has helped U.S. exporters “get paid” but which may be in its last days due to a persistent echo-chamber of falsehoods and misunderstandings. Urge your Senators and Representative to support “Ex-Im” reauthorization. Opponents of the Bank, including leading Read more […]

Might Seem Crazy…

Might Seem Crazy…

World Trade Week (May 19-24) should be a time to sit at the kitchen table and contemplate the importance of international trade for your company, your industry and you. It should also be a time to educate others about what you find out. For example, Where does that key component for your product come from (and what happens if it doesn’t come)? How many of your colleagues’ jobs are dependent on making sales outside the U.S.? If your potential customer…

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Voices on Trade

Voices on Trade

President Obama's point man on trade, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman (@MikeFroman), met recently with the NEMA Board of Governors. Why? I venture a guess that it's because they care about trade and access to international markets. If I'm right, it turns out they are in good company.    Recent polling commissioned by the Business Roundtable (BRT) found that 82 percent of Americans support U.S. trade negotiations to open foreign markets and ensure Read more […]

Competitiveness is the Best "Protection" for Jobs

Competitiveness is the Best "Protection" for Jobs

U.S. electroindustry companies sell billions of dollars of equipment outside the U.S. each year. These companies employ many thousands of workers here in the U.S., workers whose employment depends on the ability of their company “teams” to innovate, make sales, and satisfy their customers. With most of the world’s people (95 percent) and supporting infrastructure outside the U.S., it makes sense that companies want to gain access to more markets, be competitive, and make more sales Read more […]

Navigating To Compete

Navigating To Compete

This morning at a House of Representatives committee hearing, a major U.S. manufacturer and exporter testifed that the country's transportation and port infrastructure is inadequate to meet its needs to get its products to overseas customers. What solution is the company using to stay competitive in the global marketplace? Ship their products from Canadian ports. How is this possible (on many levels)? Let's take a quick look at this situation, since it points to a Read more […]

President Signs Helium Act into Law

President Signs Helium Act into Law

Last evening (Oct. 2), President Obama signed into law the Helium Stewardship Act, which will keep the Federal Helium Reserve operating and selling crude helium to private industry beyond Oct. 7. As reported in this blog and in NEMA and MITA releases, the House and Senate passed the bill unanimously last week. Now commodity and supply managers for many companies in the medical imaging, lighting, welding, and semiconductor industries can breathe a bit easier and get a few more minutes…

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Keeping the Ball in the Air

Keeping the Ball in the Air

Last evening (Sept. 25) the House passed 397-0 an amended version of legislation to keep the Federal Helium Reserve (FHR) operating beyond Oct. 7 and to reform the way in which the Department of the Interior sells crude helium stored in the Reserve to the private sector. The House took a bill that passed the Senate last week by a 97-2 vote, moved some of the numbers around to bring it into compliance with the House-passed FY2014 Budget Resolution, and…

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Moving Forward on Minerals

Moving Forward on Minerals

Yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives passed, for the second year in a row, a bill to streamline federal laws to facilitate projects to extract critical minerals from the Earth's crust. What makes these minerals critical, you ask? Many minerals, including but not limited to so-called "rare earth elements", are critical inputs for NEMA member companies. For many of these inputs, U.S. manufacturers are dependent on uncertain sources outside the U.S. The National Strategic Read more […]

Action Needed Now on Helium

Action Needed Now on Helium

As it debates a NEMA-backed energy bill, the Senate is also poised to vote as early as today on NEMA-supported compromise legislation to extend the life of the Federal Helium Reserve in Texas and provide greater certainty of supply to companies whose businesses rely on access to the noble gas. As NEMA and a broad coalition of stakeholders explained in a letter to Capitol Hill leaders earlier this week, time is running out for Congress to avoid exacerbating the already serious…

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