Submitted by mmetz@kcma.org on Tue, 06/22/2021 - 17:55
Industry News Update June 10, 2021

The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association is committed to bringing you the most up-to-date information in the industry. Here’s a look at what’s happening:

WOODWORKING INDUSTRY WRESTLES WITH MAJOR SUPPLY DISRUPTIONS

WoodLoad

Skyrocketing lumber prices have grabbed the media spotlight recently, but most of the attention has been focused on softwood lumber and homebuilding. In reality, the crisis is more widespread than just homebuilding and has reached deep into the woodworking industry across North America, affecting hardwoods, sheet goods, and other essentials amid wide disruptions across the industrial supply chain.

Woodworking Network talked to a number of industry experts to shed light on the bigger picture of:

  • The current supply chain disruption
  • Who and what products it affects
  • What the scope of the disruption is
  • What the causes are
  • Predictions on how long it could last

Read more.

 

AMAZON PUSHES BACK ON COUNTRY-OF-ORIGIN LABELING

COOL

mazon and other e-commerce giants are actively lobbying against legislation that would require country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for any product sold on the Internet. 

At issue is U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s (D-WI) COOL Online Act, which would mandate prominent country-of-origin labeling in all e-commerce product descriptions. The legislation will help consumers make more informed choices when shopping online—particularly if they’re aiming to buy American-made goods or avoid products made in China.

The COOL Online Act passed the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation last month with bipartisan support. However, an assortment of large online retailers represented by the National Retail Federation and Amazon is attempting to remove the legislation from moving forward as part of wider Senate legislation, the Endless Frontier Act. 

An estimated 75% of all new goods being sold on Amazon come from China. And changes in U.S. Customs policy (de minimis express entry) allow Chinese goods priced as high as $799 to enter the U.S. duty-free. Read more.

 

WHITE HOUSE RELEASES U.S. CRITICAL SUPPLY CHAIN REVIEW

White House

New orders include $17 billion in loans for U.S.-based battery-builders

On February 24, President Biden signed an executive order directing his advisors to survey U.S. supply chain vulnerabilities for 100 days. Now, the administration says, the results of that research—which covered semiconductor manufacturing, large capacity batteries, critical minerals and materials, and active pharmaceutical ingredients—are in, and the Executive Branch is planning its next steps.

The Department of Energy will take the lead when it comes to advanced battery technology supply chains by using $17 billion from the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program to finance loans to electric-vehicle battery manufacturers for expanding or establishing battery plants in the U.S. The Department will also host a Battery Roundtable later this month with representatives from different segments of the battery supply chain. Read more.

 

FORKLIFT SAFETY ISN'T JUST ABOUT "LOW & SLOW" ANYMORE

Forklift Safety

National Forklift Safety Day, June 8, (don't worry, I forgot to get a gift either), serves as an opportunity for forklift manufacturers and the industry to highlight forklift safety, operator training, and daily equipment checks.

According to industry forecasts, sales of powered industrial trucks in the U.S. and Canada are expected to top 265,000 units this year, which would surpass the industry’s 2018 record high by more than 16,000 units. 

That record growth will require new forklift operators that need to be trained. More than 4.5 million forklift operators are employed in 300 different industries in the U.S., according to a report from the Industrial Truck Association (ITA) and Oxford Economics

 

CHINA'S HUNGER FOR TIMBER STRIPS SURINAME'S FORESTS

Rain forest

More than half of the logging concessions in Suriname, South America, are owned by Chinese companies. A journalist in Suriname reports that more than half of the logging in the country is illegal, stating that "not so long ago these logs were giants from [the] rainforest, 100 years old, most of them now destined to China." Read more.

 

EMPLOYERS MUST BE MINDFUL OF PAY PRACTICES

DOL

Criminal Charges for Underpayment of Workers Becomes Increasingly Common

Companies’ pay practices are coming under increased scrutiny, with both civil and criminal consequences for “wage theft.” Recently, this has been particularly true for construction and contracting companies.

This issue was examined in the Business Crimes Bulletin—a must-read for all companies. Read more.