Submitted by mmetz@kcma.org on Mon, 05/17/2021 - 15:37
Industry News Update May 13, 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:

MEMBERS OF CONGRESS SIGN LETTER OF SUPPORT TO KCMA MEMBERS

Congressional Seal

U.S. Representatives Abigail D. Spanberger  and Jackie Walorski and Senator M. Michael Rounds sent a letter of support to KCMA Members at the Spring Conference in Ponte Vedra, Florida.

The letter marked the one year anniversary of the antidumping (AD) and countervailing (CVD) duties on imports of kitchen cabinets from China:

"The domestic industry and its workers in communities across the country obtained relief from these unfair trade practices – and we are pleased to know that these orders have allowed the manufacturers to compete in the ever-challenging global marketplace. 
 
Manufacturing is the engine of our economy.  Your industry has demonstrated how small, medium and large companies committed to their customers and their craft can prosper." 
Read more.

CALIFORNIA BAN ON TRUCKING CONTRACTORS IS BACK

Trucker

Appeals court panel says interstate haulers are not exempt from AB 5 law.

Interstate truckers could soon come under California’s highly restrictive independent contractor law because of a recent federal appeals court decision.

The same law could be coming soon to where you work if Congress succeeds in passing the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act), a bill favored by labor unions and strongly supported by Democrat legislators that would outlaw right-to-work laws in states, authorize secondary boycotts, institute card check, and subject management to personal civil liability for labor law violations. Read more.

NEED HELP GETTING WORKERS? USE THIS TAX CREDIT TO PAY A HIRING BONUS.

Treasury

The economy is quickly recovering from the pandemic and many area small businesses are seeing an increase in demand. But, thanks to stimulus checks, higher unemployment compensation, and continuing health and safety fears, many employers are finding it difficult to entice workers back to their jobs.

Some larger employers — from restaurant chains to Wawa— have been offering hiring bonuses. But can small businesses still struggling afford the same? Thanks to a little-known federal tax program, the answer could be yes.

The program is called the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. It’s been around for years, but was extended in December’s stimulus bill through the end of 2025. The credit — which reduces the amount of federal taxes owed — can be a lucrative recruiting tool for small businesses that want to pay hiring bonuses. Read more.

COMMERCE SECRETARY PLEDGES TO MAKE LUMBER A PRIORITY

Comm Sec

NAHB’s efforts urging the Biden administration and Congress to address the growing problem of rising lumber and material prices along with supply shortages are showing results.

Responding to a request by Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) to make rising lumber prices and production issues a priority during a May 6 House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on President Biden’s 2022 budget request, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo responded, “I promise you I will.” Read more.

CYBERATTACK ON COLONIAL PIPELINE: IS THIS THE BEGINNING OF ATTACKS ON KEY INFRASTRUCTURE?

Pipeline

As the largest refined products pipeline system in the country, delivering an estimated 45% of all fuel consumed on the East Coast, the cyberattack forcing operators to shut down the Alpharetta, Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline has the potential to have extensive repercussions across the nation’s transportation network.

Such an attack also spotlights the importance of continually upgrading the nation’s core infrastructure. Unfortunately, the cyberattack against Colonial Pipeline is only a teaser of the future of cyberattacks, says Grant Geyer, chief product officer at industrial cybersecurity company Claroty. Read more.

U.S. SWITCHES GEARS, REMOVES VIETNAM FROM LIST OF CURRENCY MANIPULATORS

Dong

The U.S. Department of Treasury has removed Vietnam from its list of currency manipulators. This could indicate that the U.S. might not apply tariffs or other restrictions on the country's imports.

This also represents a departure from the government's previous stance. In October under the Trump Administration, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative initiated a Section 301 trade investigation onto Vietnam, believing the country might be importing illegally harvested or traded timber. The USTR also speculated the country was intentionally undervaluing its currency. 

Last month, a USTR investigation concluded that Vietnam was devaluing its currency and that U.S. commerce was being harmed as a result. The Treasury Department also had claimed the country was intentionally devaluing its currency.

But now, for the four quarters ending in 2020, the Treasury said it could not find evidence that Vietnam manipulated its exchange rate. Read more.