Sixth Circuit Provides Short-Term Clarity on WOTUS Rule


The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit today issued a nationwide stay on the so-called “Clean Water Rule,” under which the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) revised the federal definition of “waters of the United States.” The rule, which is often referred to as the “waters of the United States,” or “WOTUS” rule, had previously been stayed in only thirteen states, pursuant to a North Dakota federal district court’s August and September rulings (available here and here). While additional background regarding the Clean Water Rule is available here and here, in general the rule would expand the application of various regulations under multiple federal environmental laws, resulting in significant impacts to the manufacturing industry and numerous other sectors, including agriculture, development, oil and gas recovery, and utilities. Continue reading this entry

Pacific Rim Countries Reach Historic Agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, But Will Congress Approve It?


Trade ministers from 12 Pacific Rim countries announced, on October 5, 2015, that they had reached an agreement in principle on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP would arguably be the largest free trade agreement in history when considering the member economies, covering approximately 40% of the global economy. The deal, reached in Atlanta, GA, is a victory for President Obama, who has championed the agreement as a vehicle for opening new markets to American products and establishing higher labor and environmental standards, while building an economic bloc in the Asia-Pacific region to compete with China. (See the White House Fact Sheet here.) Once the last of the details are fully ironed out, the agreement must then be individually approved by each of the 12 countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. Continue reading this entry

New Opportunities for Women-Owned Small Businesses

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The Small Business Administration (“SBA”) issued a finale rule, on September 14, 2015, implementing Section 825 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 to allow the federal government to issue sole source awards to Women-Owned Small Businesses (“WOSBs”) and Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Businesses (“EDWOSBs”). WOSBs and EDWOSBs in manufacturing should take advantage of these new contracting opportunities reserved for these types of businesses, which will take effect on October 14, 2015. Continue reading this entry

Key Takeaways From the Associated Industries of Florida Water Forum


Last week I was honored to serve as lead moderator at the 2015 Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) Water Forum held in Orlando, Florida. As moderator, I led dynamic conversations on a wide range of water-related issues, including water supply, water quality, and implementation of Florida’s Amendment 1. The Forum featured Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Adam Putnam as the keynote speaker. Panelists included key legislators on water issues, as well as leaders from the state’s manufacturing, utilities, water management, and engineering communities. Several hundred of Florida’s government, civic and business leaders convened at the Forum to discuss this critical Florida policy issue. Continue reading this entry

Looking Back and Looking Forward on Manufacturing Day

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Happy Manufacturing Day! On the first Friday of October, we celebrate advances in modern manufacturing while inspiring future generations of manufacturers. Click here to find an MFG event near you. Continue reading this entry