Coronavirus Government Response Update—New Legislative Webinar

May 13, 2020 Coronavirus Government Response Update—New Legislative Webinar

Welcome to the “Coronavirus Government Response Update.” This information is intended to keep ISSA members up to date on fast-moving government affairs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other public policy issues important to the cleaning industry. Today’s update touches on ISSA’s May 26 webinar, “Legislative Update: COVID-19 and the Cleaning Industry;” Democrats unveiling a US$3 trillion relief package; China announcing a new raft of U.S. imports eligible for tariff waivers; and more.

ISSA Webinar – Legislative Update: COVID-19 and the Cleaning Industry
Never before has the cleaning industry been as impacted by government as now. Accordingly, you don’t want to miss ISSA’s next free advocacy webinar on May 26 where you’ll learn more about liability protections, the latest federal stimulus package, and other fast-moving government affairs that may impact your business. 

Democrats Unveil $3 Trillion Relief Package and Plan to Vote This Week
House Democrats announced a sweeping new stimulus bill with a price tag expected to be more than US$3 trillion—an amount that would stand as the largest relief package in history. The legislation, which provides funding for state and local governments, coronavirus testing, and a new round of direct payments to Americans, sets up an immediate clash with the Senate, where Republican leaders have said another round of emergency funding is not yet needed. Of note for the cleaning industry, the Democratic House bill incorporates:

  • Hazard pay for essential workers, including janitorial and custodial staff
  • Additional cleaning and disinfecting of postal facilities
  • Funds for state block grants for childcare to be used for the cleaning and disinfection of those facilities
  • A Homeland Security directive to put in place a preparedness plan, which includes cleaning and disinfecting of airports and planes
  • Funds for cleaning and sanitization of Tribal owned and operated facilities
  • Prohibiting price gouging related to cleaning supplies.

Unemployment From the Coronavirus Varies Dramatically Between States
Nearly a third of the workforce in Kentucky, Georgia, and Hawaii filed for unemployment as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to an analysis by credit rating agency Fitch Ratings. But even as the coronavirus has caused an unfathomable number of people to lose their jobs, at least temporarily, the crisis isn’t hitting all states equally. On the other end of the spectrum, South Dakota (8.1%), Utah (9.1%), and Nebraska (10.5%) have the lowest percentages of workers filing for unemployment insurance for the first time from the week ending March 14 through the week ending May 2.

China Announces New Raft of U.S. Imports Eligible for Trade War Tariff Waivers
China has published a second batch of products to be exempt from U.S. trade war tariffs, effective from next week for one year. There are 79 products in total on the list published by the Ministry of Finance, including medical disinfectants as well as a range of chemicals and products. Importers in China must apply to the General Administration of Customs within six months of the announcement to be considered for waivers, which are effective from May 19.

Other links of interest