Wait for the "Green" Light Before Making Environmentally Friendly Claims

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Consumers increasingly pay a premium for environmentally friendly products. As a result, companies are expanding their green marketing claims regarding products and packaging. Those companies may find themselves under scrutiny from the regulatory body overseeing environmental claims related to products, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”). The FTC has become more aggressive in enforcing its green regulations. To avoid becoming the target of an FTC enforcement action, manufacturers should look to the “Green Guides,” which provide guidelines for environmental marketing claims. Continue reading this entry

Localized Barriers to Trade: What They Are and How They Harm Our Economy

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Localized Barriers to Trade (LBTs) are an increasingly common phenomenon across the globe. Such barriers hurt job creation, impede growth, and limit economic opportunities. What does this mean for manufacturers in the United States? Already faced with traditional trade and investment restrictions such as tariffs, manufacturers now must face additional challenges from forced localization, intellectual property theft, and export bans. Continue reading this entry

Six Tips for Protecting Manufacturers' Most Valuable Assets – Trade Secrets

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Long gone are the days when spies needed physical access to information to steal, copy, or photograph it; modern technology now enables instantaneous global access and transmission. Protecting trade secrets ranks high on manufacturers’ priority lists, yet understanding “how” to protect these most valuable assets may be challenging.

A vast majority of states have adopted the Uniform Trade Secret Act (UTSA). The UTSA supplies the most commonly utilized standard for determining whether information qualifies as a trade secret. Though minor differences exist in the UTSA’s application from state to state, generally speaking, the following characteristics are required for information to qualify as a trade secret: Continue reading this entry

EPA Advocacy Can Add Value to a Manufacturer’s Bottom Line

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Whether you’re manufacturing widgets or rubber bands, paper products or cheese, one thing most manufacturers have in common is being subject to various regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Manufacturers often experience regulation as an imposition of new, stringent requirements that drive up operational costs. However, there are opportunities to engage in the regulatory process that allow manufacturers to participate in the development of the rules they must follow. In his book, “Effective EPA Advocacy,” Richard Stoll, elected this year as a Fellow in the American College of Environmental Lawyers, breaks down the processes by which EPA develops its rules and policies. He also outlines how companies can become involved in shaping the regulations and policies that affect their operations and their bottom lines. Continue reading this entry

Trans Pacific Partnership Negotiations Struggling

Public-Private Manufacturing Innovation Institutes Announced

As election season kicks into high gear, one thing is clear: there will not be any movement on manufacturing legislative policies on Capitol Hill until the “lame duck” session in December, if then. On the campaign trail, manufacturing issues, which are usually framed as economic growth or jobs issues, have to compete for attention with a host of other topics, including new military engagements in Iraq and Syria and the Ebola crisis in Africa.

Regardless of which party wins the Senate majority this November, there will be at least one piece of the President’s agenda that will continue to move forward away from Capitol Hill: continued negotiations of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Although it is not yet clear whether the current 113th Congress or the new 114th Congress will be in session when TPP negotiations reach their peak, one thing is known – if done poorly, this trade deal could have unfortunate consequences on American manufacturing. Continue reading this entry