2013 – Challenges Abound For Hudson Valley Manufactures

In 2012 “uncertainty” was the word that best described manufacturers’ thoughts on the economy.  Throughout the year we it seemed we were always waiting for one thing or another; the election results, action on tax and spending cuts, for a solution to the Euro crisis or for action by the Federal Reserve of the European Central Bank.

The calendar is about to turn to 2013 and what has changed?  Well, obviously very little, but here are a few things we can expect in 2013:

More Regulation – The EPA, Department of Labor, NLRB, and Health and Human Services all took a bit of a regulatory holiday at the end of 2012 slowing the amount of red-tape being issued prior to Election Day.  With the re-election of President Obama we can expect that holiday to end.  Indeed the implementation of the Affordable Care Act alone will require the promulgation of hundreds of new rules by HHS.  EPA is expected to continue its march against coal and the NLRB has already begun to tilt the playing field in favor of labor.

Debt and Deficit – We will clearly be dealing with debt, deficit spending and tax issues in the year ahead. Even if Congress and the Administration do agree on a solution, the final plan will likely do little to ease our burgeoning deficit. Once again, Washington will fail to give manufacturers—and business in general—the certainty we need.

Taxes – Will go up.

Trade – Perhaps one bright spot will be a greater emphasis on free trade agreements.  Russia, Pacific Rim, and even the EU are seen as places where progress might be made to make markets more accessible to American manufactured goods.  Exports have been a bright spot for our members these past few years and trade agreements could make them even brighter.

Labor – The NLRB will continue to be the focal point of controversial decisions.  With the President’s recess appointment tipping the balance of the Board in 2011 and a lawsuit challenging the legality of the appointment due to be decided this year we can expect lots of activism form the Board in the coming months.  The successes of Ohio and Wisconsin may also encourage other states to take up right to work legislation. And the looming longshoreman strike will certainly impact any manufacturer who imports parts or materials, or exports their products.

The Council of Industry will continue its efforts to influence public policy so as to promote the growth of small and medium sized manufacturers.  We will work with our National and Statewide partners to communicate with our elected officials and federal regulators how pending legislation and regulations might impact our members and constantly remind them of the vital role manufacturing plays in our economy. Of course once any legislation or rule is implemented, we will assist you in complying.

Manufacturing is Vital. The Council of Industry is vital to Hudson Valley manufacturers.