Category Archives: Government & Public Affairs

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Raw Material and Commodity Purchasing – Key Concerns for Manufacturers

steel
On August 9, 2018, Original Equipment Suppliers Association (“OESA”) held its 2018 Automotive Commodities Event covering a variety of topics related to commodities purchasing, including strategies for price risk management, insights into future mixed material usage in the automotive industry, and legal strategies for navigating volatile commodity markets.  Highlights of the issues discussed during the … Continue reading this entry

Automotive Companies Impacted by Expanded Section 301 Tariffs Given Possibility of Product-Specific Exclusions

steel
Introduction The latest announcement of new Section 301 tariffs on imports from China contained an unwelcome surprise for the U.S. automotive sector.  In addition to the announcement of a potential Section 232 tariffs or other trade measures on imported automobiles and automotive parts (an investigation that is still ongoing), the Trump Administration now has announced … Continue reading this entry

Michigan Doubles Down on Mobility and Announces a new Eight Million Dollar Grant Program

mobility
Michigan, the cradle of the American automotive industry, has made no secret of its desire to remain an industry leader in mobility as the industry continues to evolve.  On May 30, 2018, Michigan announced a new $8 Million Michigan Mobility Challenge grant that would be available to fund new mobility projects across the state.  The … Continue reading this entry

Protecting IP, Finding Investors, Navigating Legislation Drive Discussion at Foley’s Emerging Automotive Technologies Program

emerging
Fully connected and self-driving cars are here. Improvements to alternative energy sources for vehicles continue to advance at a rapid pace. The automotive industry is potentially facing dramatic new legal and regulatory challenges. And the road ahead shows no signs of slowing down.… Continue reading this entry

New Product Safety Requirements and Recall Procedures Adopted in Mexico:  Time for Manufacturers to Update their Compliance Programs in Mexico

factory
The commercial and legal environment on product safety in vehicles, auto parts and other products has substantially changed in Mexico in 2018. Manufacturers carrying out business activities in Mexico should now be implementing increased efforts to comply with and properly react to new legislation, policies, recall procedures and safety standards that are now applicable in … Continue reading this entry

Future of the Automotive Sector in Europe, China and the United States

Guest Author: Ruth Knox, Managing Associate, Linklaters LLP Given the pace of change in the automotive industry and related technologies, combined with increasing regulatory scrutiny, what risks and challenges can the global automotive industry expect to deal with in 2018 and beyond across Europe, China, and the United States? On April 10, 2018, Foley & Lardner … Continue reading this entry

The Automotive Sector Faces Sharply Increased Duties, Pricing Uncertainty Following Announcement of Section 232 Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum

On March 1st, the automotive sector that consumes steel and aluminum was confronted with a potentially large tariff rate increase. The section 232 measures are intended to raise the prices of all steel products – whether imported or domestic – and thus will have an impact on any major purchaser of steel, which includes most … Continue reading this entry

Race to Connected, Self-Driving Cars Not Without Speed Bumps

self-driving cars
Those racing to fill the streets with driverless and shared vehicles are weighing their competitive pursuits and market moves against the new regulations and industry standards coming down the pike.… Continue reading this entry

STRONGER Patents Act of 2017 Disadvantages Domestic Manufacturers

Workforce
In late June, Senators Coons, Cotton, Durbin, and Hirono introduced the STRONGER Patents Act of 2017.  The Act includes provisions that seek to heavily change the inter partes review and post-grant review processes. However, Sec. 108, which focuses on patent infringement, is the portion that may have the largest effect on hurting domestic manufacturing companies relative to their foreign counterparts.… Continue reading this entry

Michigan Adopts New Incentive Tool for Economic Development

Michigan
A new tax incentive program targeting large job providers passed the Michigan legislature last week with bi-partisan support, and is expected to be signed soon by Governor Rick Snyder, who strongly supported the legislation.  The “Good Jobs for Michigan” program will bolster Michigan’s economic development toolkit, allowing it to better compete with other states for … Continue reading this entry

DOC Solicits Industry Feedback for Regulatory Reform Plan

factory
Spurring growth in domestic manufacturing through regulatory reform is a key objective of the Trump Administration.  The Department of Commerce is tasked with developing the Regulatory Reform Plan.  In order to achieve meaningful regulatory reform, the Department is reaching out to manufacturers for real-world information on regulatory burdens.  On March 7, 2017, the Department of Commerce … Continue reading this entry

Supreme Court Complicates Design Patent Damage Calculation

The Supreme Court issued a rare unanimous decision, on December 6, 2016, on the issue of damages for design patent infringement that continues the Apple v. Samsung smartphone legal odyssey. It also marks only the second time in over 100 years that the court has issued a substantive decision in a design patent case. But … Continue reading this entry

NAFTA Under the New Trump Administration

The election of Mr. Trump as the President of the United States has created considerable uncertainty regarding the U.S. investment climate. Chief among these uncertainties is the status of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which President-Elect Trump repeatedly attacked for leading to the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs. President-Elect Trump has vowed to renegotiate the … Continue reading this entry

Forecasting the Trump Administration's First 100 Days

With the 2016 election in the rearview mirror, manufacturers must be mindful of the early initiatives you can expect from Congress and the new administration. With a return to one-party rule, the coming congressional term is likely to be among the most active in recent memory. President-elect Trump’s appointment of Republican National Committee Chairman Reince … Continue reading this entry

Enjoy Your Labor Day!

The Manufacturing Industry Advisor team wishes you a safe and happy holiday weekend. We’ll be back to our regular posting soon. Thanks for your continued support of our blog!  … Continue reading this entry

Drone Regulations: Federal vs. State

In early 2016 a group of well-meaning Wisconsin legislators introduced legislation designed to allow local municipalities to regulate the use of drones in their given communities and to create a penalty enhancer for crimes committed when using a drone. Our Wisconsin Public Affairs team was hired by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) to engage with … Continue reading this entry

Attention Taxpayers: New IRS Rules May Deem Debt to Be Stock

In April, the IRS proposed rules that would treat debt between related corporations as stock for U.S. tax purposes. These rules would apply to all corporations (including regular C corporations, S corporations, foreign corporations, and exempt organizations) related through 80% stock ownership, taking into account constructive ownership rules, except that members of a U.S. consolidated … Continue reading this entry

Potential Antitrust Implications of Most Favored Nation Clauses

In the manufacturing industry, parties have turned to most favored nation (MFN) clauses—or clauses having the same effect—as a means to assure the lowest possible input costs. MFN clauses offer pro-competitive, cost-saving benefits including efficiencies in negotiations; buyers need not haggle for the last nickel in cost reduction when an MFN clause guarantees the best … Continue reading this entry

Deadline Approaching for Prop 65 Compliance for Bisphenol A

Effective May 11, 2016, manufacturers that make products containing Bisphenol A (“BPA”) will be required to comply with California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, also known as “Prop 65.” More specifically, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of such products must ensure that by no later than May 11, 2016, consumers are provided … Continue reading this entry

U.S. Supreme Court Unexpectedly Stays Clean Power Plan

In a virtually unprecedented move, the Supreme Court yesterday issued an order staying the Clean Power Plan, the cornerstone of President Obama’s environmental agenda and the most significant step the country has ever taken to address climate change.… Continue reading this entry

Leaders Discuss Issues Facing Florida Manufacturers

As part of its ongoing 2016 State of Manufacturing Tour, the National Association of Manufacturers (“NAM”), including CEO Jay Timmons and others, stopped in Tampa, Florida on January 28 and 29, 2016. The visit included tours of local manufacturers’ facilities, such as Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sun Hydraulics. In addition to interfacing with local manufacturers, NAM … Continue reading this entry

China's “RoHS 2” Regulation: What Manufacturers Must Know

After years of deliberation and industry anticipation, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (“MIIT”) promulgated the “RoHS 2” regulation on January 21, 2016, with the formal (translated) title “Management Methods for the Restriction of the Use of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Products.” See our English reference translation of RoHS 2 here.… Continue reading this entry

Top Compliance Issues Facing Manufacturers in 2016

In the last several years, the U.S. has been aggressively enforcing laws governing exports and international conduct. This is amply illustrated by the continuing imposition of large penalties on multinational companies for violations of U.S. economic sanctions and export control laws. To stay ahead of the threats, manufacturers can better manage their risk and mitigate … Continue reading this entry

Happy Thanksgiving from the Manufacturing Industry Advisor Team

During this week of Thanksgiving, the Manufacturing Industry Advisor team wishes to thank all of you for reading, contributing to, and sharing our blog. Since this is a busy time of year for everyone, some of you might have missed a post or two over the last few weeks. For your convenience, linked below are some of our most recent and popular posts. … Continue reading this entry