The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation on May 2 intending to bar the U.S. from withdrawing from the Paris Agreement and requiring the administration to develop a plan for achieving the country’s greenhouse gas reduction pledge.
A key deadline in securing congressional approval of the U.S. – Mexico – Canada Agreement (USMCA) was met in late April when the U.S. International Trade Commission issued its required assessment of the likely impact of the USMCA on the U.S. economy. The report indicates that the impact of the agreement on the U.S. economy is “likely to be moderate,” with a U.S. real GDP impact of 0.35 percent, an employment impact of 0.12 percent and an average increase of 0.27 percent in wages of U.S. workers. The USMCA also is expected to increase U.S. trade with Canada and Mexico by approximately 5 percent.
On May 17, President Trump announced that tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada and Mexico will be removed within two days. In response, Canada and Mexico agreed to remove the retaliatory tariffs they had imposed on U.S. imports.
In early May, NAFEM submitted comments largely supporting the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) proposed Process Rule that would streamline and modernize how the agency sets energy-efficiency standards and test procedures for commercial equipment covered by ASHRAE Standard 90.1. (For more information on ASHRAE, see the Partner Profile below.)
Colorado House Bill 19-1231 has passed the state’s House and Senate and awaits Governor Polis’ signature. If signed by the Governor, the bill will require that all commercial dishwashers, fryers, hot food-holding cabinets and steam cookers, along with a variety of other devises used in the state, must meet or exceed ENERGY STAR® and WaterSense requirements after Jan. 1, 2021.
On May 13, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) released List 4 of approximately $300 billion in Chinese imports on which it proposes to impose tariffs of up to 25 percent. To request exclusions from this list, your input is urgently needed. It is expected that tariffs on these items will become effective soon after the comment period.
NAFEM is proud to offer members the tools and resources to continue developing their businesses from every angle. The state-of-the-art NAFEM Learning Center is just one more way we’re helping our members do this.