eiXtra: published by NEMA (Image) Hot Topics
On the Hill/Around the Nation
International News
Monday, August 6, 2012
feature story
Fearing an Impasse in Congress, Industry Cuts Spending

“The fiscal cliff is the primary driver of uncertainty,” said Timothy Powers, the chief of Hubbell Inc., a maker of electrical products.

“The fiscal cliff is the primary driver of uncertainty,” said Timothy Powers, the chief of Hubbell Inc., a maker of electrical products.

A rising number of manufacturers are canceling new investments and putting off new hires because they fear paralysis in Washington will force hundreds of billions in tax increases and budget cuts in January, undermining economic growth in the coming months.

Executives at companies making everything from electrical components and power systems to automotive parts say the fiscal stalemate is prompting them to pull back now, rather than wait for a possible resolution to the deadlock on Capitol Hill.

Democrats and Republicans are far apart on how to extend the Bush-era tax breaks beyond January—the same month automatic spending reductions are set to take effect—unless there is a deal to trim the deficit. The combination of tax increases and spending cuts is creating an economic threat called “the fiscal cliff” by Ben S. Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Until recently, the loudest warnings about the economy have come from policy makers and economists, along with military industry executives who rely heavily on the Pentagon’s largess and who would be hurt by the government reductions.

But more diversified companies like Hubbell Inc. in Shelton, Conn., have begun to hunker down as well.

[ Continued ]

Source: The New York Times

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Hot Topics

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On the Hill/Around the Nation

Senate Committee Approves TSCA Reform on Party-Line Vote
Expressing frustration over the slow progress made in bipartisan negotiations over the best way to modernize the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA) and acknowledging the limited opportunities for action this year, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on July 25 approved the Safe Chemicals Act by a party-line vote of 10-8. The bill, which expands the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate and restrict the use of chemicals, is a modified version of similar legislation (S 847) originally introduced by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) in 2011. Committee passage sets the stage for further discussions and negotiations, most of which will occur in the 113th Congress. It is unlikely the bill will receive a vote in the full Senate this year, and to date, no House companion legislation has been offered. NEMA supports a U.S. chemical regulatory and management system that is based on credible, scientific information, is risk-based, provides reasonable timeframes for compliance, and federally preempts state regulations/laws that are more stringent than TSCA or in conflict with its provisions.
—National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA)

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International News

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—U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA)

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Market Comments by Tom Robinson
Tom Robinson, Ph.D., President Oppenheimer Asset Management, shares his take on the economy in a weekly column Market Comments, which is republished here each Monday. His column provides a quick summary of key economic data releases from the previous week as well as insight about likely developments in financial markets. read more...

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