News and Analysis
President Joe Biden next week will travel to Pittsburgh to unveil a multitrillion-dollar infrastructure plan, according to reports. Politico.com wrote “it’s generally described as an infrastructure package, but that’s a bit of a misnomer” since the $3 trillion to $4 trillion plan would attempt to address “several strains of progressive thought” — from redistributive policies and racial equality, to climate change, to a “Made in America manufacturing renaissance as a way to counter China.”
As the federal debt nears $30 trillion, details “are not yet clear” on how the plan would be funded, but President Biden is expecting a range of tax options from Treasury officials to help pay for the plan. The National Association of Manufacturers supports a comprehensive infrastructure plan, but has warned that corporate tax increases would do great harm to America’s competitiveness. 3/24/2021
Concluding work on the first of four budget bills, the General Assembly approved House Bill 74, a two-year $8.3 billion transportation measure. HB 74 allocates monies from the federal government and state fuel tax for highway construction and maintenance. It also funds the state Department of Transportation, Highway Patrol, and Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The bill now goes to the governor’s desk for consideration ahead of the March 31 deadline. 3/25/2021
The Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA) works with representatives internationally to provide opportunities for businesses to increase export sales and create jobs through the International Market Support Program. Representatives will assist by providing detailed market research and matchmaking with potential customers. Click here for more information. 3/22/2021
At noon Tuesday, March 30, OMA Connections Partner CliftonLarsonAllen will host a free webinar featuring Carey Lohrenz — the Navy’s first female F-14 Tomcat fighter pilot and author of the bestselling book “Fearless Leadership.” The discussion will focus on creating high-performing teams, driving accountability, and building a financially healthy business. Register here. 3/25/2021
Shortages of semiconductors and petrochemical products continue to impact manufacturers across the U.S. The Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports that the recent mass blackouts in Texas “led to chemical plant shutdowns that are disrupting global supply chains, causing a shortage of the raw materials needed for everything from medical face shields to smartphones.” It could be months more before all plants are fully back online, meaning prices for resins, plastics and related products will likely remain elevated.
Meanwhile, nearly one in 10 semiconductors are being made outside the U.S., creating a clear long-term vulnerability. The U.S. share of global semiconductor fabrication is 12%, down from 37% in 1990, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association. (President Biden’s recent executive order addressing U.S. supply chains specifically mentions semiconductor manufacturing.) As a result of the ongoing semiconductor shortage, the global auto industry will produce up to 5 million fewer vehicles this year than originally planned, according to reports. 3/16/2021
U.S. manufacturing production fell 3.1% in February, the largest decline in 10 months, with supply chain disruptions and weather hampering output. Chad Moutray, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers, reports that durable and non-durable goods production declined 2.6% and 3.7%, respectively. 3/16/2021
Ohio manufacturers added 400 jobs in January, according to the latest unemployment report from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Year over year — from January 2020 to January 2021 — manufacturing has lost 37,000 jobs in durable goods (-34,000) and non-durable goods (-3,000). Ohio’s current unemployment rate is 5.3%, compared to 6.3% nationally. 3/15/2021
This week, the OMA teamed up with the Ohio Hospital Association to oppose House Bill 68 — a bill that would mandate prompt payment terms on private construction contracts. HB 68 would require owners of private construction projects (including manufacturers that are building, improving, or maintaining facilities in Ohio) to pay contractors within 30 days or face an 18% interest rate.
In their combined testimony, the OMA and OHA told the House Commerce and Labor Committee that their members negotiate and engage in countless contracts every year — and that HB 68 “rejects the concept of freedom of contract that has governed the majority of private transactions.” 3/18/2021
On April 5, OMA Connections Partner Roetzel will host a free webinar to examine Ohio’s path to recovery after the pandemic. The event will feature Lt. Governor Jon Husted, OMA President Ryan Augsburger, and the Ohio Chamber’s Vice President of Government Affairs Keith Lake. The panel will discuss efforts to enhance Ohio’s workforce and economic development, including the rebirth of small business and the future of state health orders affecting commercial activity. 3/17/2021
On April 7-8, The Ohio State University’s Center for Operational Excellence will host its eighth annual “Leading Through Excellence Summit” — to be held virtually this year. The event will include the Ohio Manufacturing Institute’s Ned Hill and Kathryn Kelley, who will host a breakout session titled: “The Slow-Roll(out) of the Connected Enterprise: Reality Check From the Land of Industry 4.0.” The session will focus on extensive research of digitally connected manufacturing enterprises and their strategies. Learn more or register. 3/16/2021