This news summary is provided by Foley's Competitive Intelligence Team to inform business leaders of recent news and developments relevant to the Manufacturing Sector.

Analysis by Julie Dautermann, Competitive Intelligence Analyst

Key Developments

  • The most recent article in Foley & Lardner's Supply Chain Disruption Series provides background on a number of key terms and conditions for buyers and sellers in the supply chain to consider in commercial forms. Click here to subscribe to the article series.

  • Bloomberg Law reported on some of the challenges facing the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the effort to finalize a proposed rule requiring publicly-traded companies to disclose climate-related risks.

  • Over three hundred business and industry organizations are urging the Biden Administration to work with railroad unions and management to prevent a potential strike and ensure all parties ratify a tentative agreement.

  • The National Association of Manufacturers is calling on Congress to repeal a recent tax code change which requires U.S. businesses to spread deductions for R&D expenses over a period of years. NAM indicated a previous policy allowed businesses to deduct these expenses in the year the expenses occurred.

  • Cybersecurity is the top spending priority for CIOs in 2023, and 66% of respondents to an annual Gartner survey of CIOs intend to increase investment in cybersecurity, according to data excerpted in The Wall Street Journal.

  • An analysis of labor rates in 12 nations from The Reshoring Institute indicates China has higher factory labor costs when compared to production workers in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Mexico and India. The report also notes lower labor rates may be negated if a location does not have adequate productivity rates.

  • China's share of global exports has declined since 2016, and nations including Vietnam, Malaysia and Bangladesh have increased their share of global exports for a number of consumer goods, according to data from MDS Transmodal excerpted in CNBC.

  • The public comment period will close on November 7, 2022, for a proposed rule from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency which could designate PFOA and PFOS chemicals as hazardous substances.

  • Total U.S. construction starts fell 19% in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.02 trillion, according to a report from Dodge Data & Analytics. Total construction starts for the first nine months of this year were 16% higher than the same period last year.

Smart Manufacturing

  • Data from the International Federation of Robotics indicates a half-million industrial robots were installed globally last year, representing an increase of 31% year-on-year. This surpasses previous levels of installation, and the IFR estimates the pace of annual robot installation has more than doubled within six years.

  • The U.S. Department of Commerce released a National Strategy for Advanced Manufacturing, which includes objectives to increase the nation's advanced manufacturing workforce, accelerate innovation in areas such as microelectronics and semiconductors, and strengthen supply chains.

Supply Chain

  • Commitments to improve supply-chain sustainability are likely to intensify, according to a new report from the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals and the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics.

  • Certain sections of the Mississippi River are experiencing the lowest water levels in several decades, leading to potential delays for commercial traffic due to closures or shipping limitations.

International Trade and National Security

  • The Biden Administration is reported to be considering restrictions on imports of Russian aluminum in response to recent military escalations in Ukraine. According to a report in Bloomberg, Russia represents an estimated 10% of aluminum imports into the U.S.

  • The U.S. Trade Representative is seeking public input in areas related to the effectiveness and economic impact of Section 301 tariffs on Chinse imports. Comments will be accepted November 15 through January 17, 2023.

  • Recently announced restrictions on U.S. exports to China for certain types of semiconductors and semiconductor manufacturing equipment could reduce chipmakers' 2023 sales by as much as $7 billion, according to estimates from Bank of America excerpted in Bloomberg.

Sustainability and Product Stewardship

  • Bloomberg Law reports the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expected to start releasing rules at the end of this year which could increase oversight for instances of new uses of 150 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

  • As part of ongoing discussions pertaining to its draft climate reporting standards, the International Sustainability Standards Board voted in favor last month of requiring companies to report on the three levels of greenhouse gas emissions. The ISSB released drafts of the proposed requirements pertaining Scope 1 and Scope 2, as well as Scope 3 GHG emissions. The ISSB hopes to issue final standards in 2023.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.