ISSA Advocacy Weekly Recap—August 2, 2019

August 2, 2019

Welcome to the ISSA Advocacy Weekly Recap! This is ISSA’s regular roundup of the latest public policy-related issues impacting the cleaning industry.

California Needs Your Feedback on 1,4-Dioxane Regulations

ISSA is asking  members to provide information to California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) on how 1,4-Dioxane regulations could affect them. You can share your input by attending the August 21 public meeting in Sacramento (register here), submitting comments to the DTSC by August 30, and/or sharing your thoughts with ISSA by contacting ISSA Director of Government Affairs John Nothdurft. Sharing your experiences, thoughts, and concerns about regulating 1,4-Dioxane with DTSC will be very impactful when final 1,4-Dioxane regulations are being decided.

Worker Pay and Benefits Growing at Slower Pace

Worker pay and benefits are growing more slowly than expected. According to MarketWatch, the employment cost index rose 0.6% in the second quarter, although economists had forecast it to grow by 0.7%. Furthermore, “the increase in compensation gains over the past year slipped to 2.7% from 2.8%.” This suggests that “companies have found ways to restrain labor costs — the use of more automation is often cited.”

U.S.-China Trade Talks End with No Deal in Sight

The July 31 meeting in Shanghai, China marked “the first formal resumption of talks after negotiations fell apart almost three months ago.” According to The New York Times, expectations for the meeting were low due to the clash between the two sides. In fact,“[They] went into the talks this week still lacking even a draft agreement that they could both work from.” Some are critical of the talks, such as president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, who tweeted that the “trade talks are failing American workers.” Others are more optimistic, such as Economist Intelligence Unit global forecasting director Agathe Demaris, who described the talks as being “successful” at “rebuilding trust between the two sides.” ISSA will continue to track this issue on behalf of its members.

Federal Reserve Cuts Interest Rates Following Slow Growth

“Weaker global growth and trade uncertainty are chilling business investment,” according to the Wall Street Journal. A 2nd Quarter GDP report revealed that growth dropped a full percentage point below the previous quarter to 2.1%. This certainly factored into the Federal Reserve Bank’s decision to, for the first time since 2008, reduce interest rates by one-quarter percentage point. Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank thinks of it as “essentially a mid-cycle adjustment,” a way to “brace against ‘downside risks’ to support the economy and boost inflation.”

U.S. Manufacturers Pledge to Train 1.2 Million Workers Amid Skilled Labor Shortage

According to Fox Business, the National Association of Manufacturers Opens a New Window.  (NAM) is committed to helping train nearly 1.2 million workers to help address the growing demand to fill open manufacturing positions over the next decade. “We are thrilled to have NAM make this huge investment into our future and current manufacturers,” said White House advisor Ivanka Trump. “By creating pathways for all Americans, regardless of age or background, to acquire the skills needed to secure and retain high-paying jobs, we can maintain our strong competitive edge and ensure inclusive growth and opportunity in our booming economy.”

Other Links of Interest: