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Daily Briefing – 114

Post: Jul. 23, 2020

Cuomo: Infection Rate Increasing Among Young Adults

The COVID-19 infection rate is low among nearly all age groups, but is increasing in the 21 to 30-year-old demographic. The Governor said young people are risking their lives and the lives of the people around them if they do not adhere to social distancing and mask rules. New York is launching an advertising campaign to educate young people on the virus.

The Governor also announced creation of a multi-agency task force to crack down on social distancing violations at restaurants and bars across the state. New York State Police and State Liquor Authority Chairman Vincent Bradley will lead the effort, which will employ real time data to enhance enforcement efforts by rapidly deploying investigators to respond to dangerous social distancing violations as they happen. The Task Force will include investigators from the Department of Health, Department of Financial Services, Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Taxation and Finance, the New York State Insurance Fund and the Department of Agriculture and Markets.

The commercial can be viewed here.

Read the press release

Unemployment Claims Hold at Historically High Levels

Filings for weekly unemployment benefits rose for the first time in nearly four months as some states rolled back reopenings because of the coronavirus pandemic, a sign the jobs recovery could be faltering.

Initial unemployment claims rose by a seasonally adjusted 109,000 to 1.4 million for the week ended July 18, the Labor Department said Thursday, halting what had been a steady descent from a peak of 6.9 million in late March, when the pandemic and business closures shut down parts of the U.S. economy.

The increase followed a period where claims had settled around 1.3 million a week, well above the pre-pandemic record of 695,000 in 1982.

Read more at the WSJ

Senate GOP, White House Reach Tentative $1 Trillion Stimulus Pact

The legislation remains fluid, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has indicated that he wants to keep the price tag at $1 trillion. Republicans aren’t all on the same page, as some have denounced the cost amid a soaring national debt. But the latest talks show some signs of breaking an intra-party logjam that has kept negotiations at a dead stop for weeks.

The new proposal will serve as a starting point for negotiations with Democrats, who have passed a $3.4 trillion bill in the House and have been pressuring the GOP to move quickly on new aid as COVID-19 cases and deaths rise in the United States.

Read more at CNBC

Manufacturers Push for Tax Law Change

Congressional Republicans are taking up a key issue for manufacturers: freeing up the use of general business tax credits. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced a bill yesterday that would make the change.

General business tax credits include more than two dozen provisions, such as the R&D tax credit, work opportunity tax credit and renewable energy tax credits. Current law can prevent companies from fully using these credits in the short term—but by temporarily making these credits refundable on an elective basis, Congress can provide struggling companies with immediate access to a source of liquidity. Amid the economic fallout of the pandemic, many businesses are, of course, strapped for cash. Accelerating the use of these credits would provide important relief during this crisis and offer tools to help with reopening and rehiring.

The NAM says: “This bill would provide a much-needed and readily-available liquidity tool that would help support operation and payrolls,” said NAM Senior Director of Tax Policy David Eiselsberg. “As manufacturers across the country work to enable an economic recovery, this bill would give them the support they need to keep America moving forward.”

The Council of Industry is one of more than 100 business groups that sent this letter to Congress

Check out the Council of Industry alliantgroup Tax Credit Webinar August 6th

US Commercial Services Webinar: Aerospace and Defense – Understand FMS and DCS Sales

U.S. DOD Contractors have an opportunity to grow their business through sales to America’s allies and Defense Partners. U.S. defense contractors closed foreign arms deals worth $55.4 billion in fiscal 2019, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA). Here Tier 3 and 4 suppliers can learn from expert consultants, Fairchild Fisk Giroux, how to benefit from the Foreign Military Sales and Direct Commercial Sales programs.

Date/Time: Tuesday, July 28, 2pm Eastern Time
Duration: 75 minutes
Cost: Free, but registration is required.

Register here

South Korean Economy Falls Into Recession

The South Korean economy fell into a recession in the second quarter, with GDP falling by 2.9% year-on-year, worse than expected as covid-19 battered Asia’s fourth-largest economy. Exports—accounting for nearly 40% of the country’s economy—fell by their worst level quarter-on-quarter since 1963. Still, South Korea’s finance minister said he hoped for a China-style rebound.

Read more at Yahoo Finance

U.S. Sets Global Benchmark for COVID-19 Vaccine Price at Around the Cost of a Flu Shot

The U.S. government has set a benchmark for COVID-19 vaccine pricing in a $2 billion deal announced on Wednesday with Pfizer Inc and German biotech BioNTech SE that will likely pressure other manufacturers to set similar prices, industry analysts told Reuters.  The deal, which is contingent on an approvable product, secures enough vaccine to inoculate 50 million Americans for about $40 a person, or about the cost of annual flu shots, and is the first to provide a direct window into likely pricing of successful COVID-19 vaccines.

“The average price for a flu vaccine is around $40,” said Peter Pitts, president and co-founder of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest. “It looks good with that comparison. It’s well within the ballpark of reasonableness.”

Read more at Reuters