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Legislature Wraps Up for the Year; Sets 2020 Schedules

December 20, 2019

The Ohio General Assembly has concluded its 2019 session, as the Ohio Senate this week officially adjourned until the new year. The House recently unveiled its session schedule for all of 2020, while the Senate published its session dates for the first half of the year. See this calendar published by Hannah News Service.

Because 2020 is an election year, activity will be front-loaded through June. The General Assembly will break for campaigns through most of the fall, then come back for a fast-paced lame duck session following the November election. 12/19/2019

USMCA One Step Closer to Final Approval

December 20, 2019

On Thursday, the U.S. House easily approved the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on a 385-41 vote. This is good news for Ohio, which exports roughly $28 billion worth of goods to Canada and Mexico. Moreover, approximately 103,000 Ohio manufacturing jobs rely on exports to Canada and Mexico.

The trade pact now goes to the Senate, which is expected to ratify it early next year. National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons called on the Senate to act swiftly to approve the trade deal, saying: “Manufacturers have waited long enough, and passage of the USMCA will help restore trade certainty and empower our industry.” 12/19/2019

Ex-Im Bank Reauthorized for Seven Years

December 20, 2019

Congress has reauthorized the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) for seven years as part of a must-pass government funding bill. Often called the “lender of last resort” for U.S. businesses competing for overseas contracts, Ex-Im has been used by more than 200 Ohio manufacturers since 2014, producing a total export value of $2 billion.

Addressing a key business concern, the bipartisan reauthorization plan established a temporary board for times when there are an insufficient number of Senate-confirmed members. In a press release, Ex-Im President and Chairman Kimberly A. Reed praised both President Donald Trump and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee. 12/19/19

Tips to Avoid Payment Fraud and Protect Company Assets

December 20, 2019

A recent survey found that 75% of companies were targets of payment fraud — and 74% of those organizations were exposed to business email compromise. OMA Connections Partner Huntington has compiled a short list of common-sense actions to help protect your business. 12/19/2019

Study Confirms What We Suspected: Ohio Loves Beer

December 20, 2019

Ohio is not just a place where America’s beer is made; it’s also a great place to consume the product. According to personal finance website SmartAsset, Cincinnati is America’s best city for beer drinkers. Cleveland isn’t far behind at No. 10. Other Ohio cities on the top 50 list are Columbus (No. 28), Akron (No. 36), and Dayton (No. 42).

The study considered five factors: number of breweries; breweries per 100,000 residents; average number of beers per brewery; bars per 100,000 residents; and average price for a pint of domestic beer. 12/17/2019

Still Time to Participate in Ohio’s Manufacturing Survey

December 20, 2019

The Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Ohio MEP) is extending the participation deadline for its annual survey to Jan. 8, 2020. The OMA encourages all Ohio manufacturers to take part. Responses are confidential.

A few insights from the survey so far:

  • 2019 has been a strong year for Ohio manufacturers who have responded, with 57% reporting revenue growth and only 18% experiencing a revenue decline.
  • Just 11% of respondents see an economic contraction coming in 2020, while 35% expect economic expansion and 52% expect a flat economy.
  • Looking to 2020, 71% of respondents expect to grow their workforce, but 57% say the shortage of skilled workers is hampering their growth.

The more responses, the more accurate the survey’s read of Ohio’s manufacturing economy. Take the survey. 12/19/2019

OMA-PAC Endorses Supreme Court Justices French, Kennedy

December 13, 2019

The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association Political Action Committee (OMA-PAC) announced this week that it has endorsed Justices Judith French and Sharon Kennedy in their 2020 re-election bids for the Supreme Court of Ohio.

“The court can have a tremendous impact on the business climate in Ohio,” said OMA-PAC Chairman Billy Vickers, president and CEO of the Dublin, Ohio-based manufacturing firm Modular Assembly Innovations – Great Lakes Assemblies (MAI-GLA). “Justices French and Kennedy are the right choices for Ohio’s manufacturers.” 12/12/2019

Revised USMCA Gets Nod from U.S. House Leadership

December 13, 2019

Finally some good news from Washington, D.C. as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week announced Democratic leaders’ support for a tweaked version of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA). Here is the reaction from the National Association of Manufacturers.

It’s still unclear when the USMCA will be voted on by both chambers. House Democrats are pressing for a vote next week, while the Senate is likely to vote next year, according to press reports.

As OMA President Eric Burkland recently wrote in a joint editorial with Ohio Farm Bureau Executive Vice President Adam Sharp, Ohio’s manufactured exports to Canada and Mexico could face more than $3 billion in extra taxes if tariff-free trade is not extended. 12/11/2019

Short-Term Economic Forecasts Show Ohio in Positive Territory

December 13, 2019

According the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Ohio’s forecasted annualized employment growth rate is 1.01%, based on the most recent data. The following Metropolitan Statistical Areas are predicted to grow: Akron at 0.56%; Canton-Massillon at 0.72%; Dayton at 0.91%; Cleveland-Elyria at 1.09%; Toledo at 1.26%; Cincinnati at 1.87%; and Columbus at 2.17%. Youngstown-Warren-Boardman had an annual growth rate projected at -0.54%.

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and its leading index for Ohio shows the Buckeye State just slightly above neutral, with modest growth expected over the next six months. 12/9/2019

What’s in Store for Manufacturers in 2020?

December 13, 2019

Trade tensions, supply chain volatility, slowing job growth, and a tight labor market are expected to remain challenges for manufacturers in 2020. That’s according to OMA Connections Partner RSM in its latest “Industry Outlook.” Read more. 12/9/2019