All good things must come to an end. So it is in life, and so it is in business. Eventually all business relationships, including manufacturing relationships, will come to an end. Some relationships end with nary more than a whimper, as both parties are content to move on and deploy their resources elsewhere. More often, the end of a business relationship is an acrimonious affair in which one (or both parties) feels it has been wronged or treated unfairly.
On March 23rd, automotive companies that rely on imported steel and aluminum were confronted with new special tariffs of 25 percent on all imports of steel and tariffs of ten percent on all imports of aluminum, with temporary exclusions for Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, the member countries of the European Union, and South Korea. Even automotive companies that solely or largely source from domestic steel companies have discovered that steel prices were sharply rising to reflect the new curbs on imports.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 contains some of the most significant changes in tax laws in more than a generation. While the full implications of the Tax Act are still coming into focus, the magnitude of these changes should cause us to reevaluate past decisions in light of changed circumstances. Current tax and market trends suggest that corporations that have in the past decided against divesting of assets or business lines should reevaluate such decisions, and may cause corporations to take a fresh look at new acquisition activity as well. Three factors stand out that justify reevaluation in light of the Tax Act.
When determining how to sell a product in the marketplace, there are a number of supply chain options from which to choose, each with its own set of legal implications. However, the primary consideration in determining how to sell a product should be what makes the most sense from a business perspective (for example, if the product requires technical assistance, a large inventory or warranty and other repair work, having these responsibilities outsourced to a distributor may be the most practical solution).
U.S. EPA released a major new interpretation of “project emission accounting” under New Source Review. Reversing the Obama EPA position, U.S. EPA will now allow facilities in determining whether a “project” will trigger New Source Review to account for both projected increases and decreases at the same time. Key to this approach is determining what emission units are included in the project, and developing and tracking the projection.