Foley Manufacturing Update

09 September 2022 Manufacturing Industry Advisor Blog
Author(s): Carrie Hoffman Roberta F. Howell Richard J. McKenna Eric L. Sophir

This news summary is provided by Foley’s Competitive Intelligence Team to inform business leaders of recent news and developments relevant to the Manufacturing Sector.  

Analysis by Julie Dautermann, Competitive Intelligence Analyst

Key developments

  • The most recent article in Foley & Lardner’s Supply Chain Disruption Series provides an overview of current issues affecting the production and supply of lithium-ion batteries . Click here to subscribe to the series.

  • Foley & Lardner LLP Partner Michael Walsh is quoted in the Los Angeles Times article, “Foreign businesses want out of China. But breaking up may be tougher than ever,” about both the growing desire and difficulties in shifting production out of China.

  • According to analysis in The Wall Street Journal, nearly three dozen cities in China were impacted by full or partial COVID-19 lockdowns last week, including the industrial city of Chengdu.
  • Foley & Lardner Partner John Lanza and Associate Arian Jabbary authored an article about the increased use of smart fabrics.

  • In a recent blog post, Foley & Lardner indicated the consumer product industry can expect more aggressive enforcement from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

  • The U.S. Department of Commerce revealed an implementation plan for the CHIPS for America program, which allocates approximately $50 billion to support domestic semiconductor manufacturing.

  • The Wall Street Journal reports U.S. food and beverage companies may be impacted by a nationwide shortage of carbon dioxide, as existing shortfalls are exacerbated by production disruptions and strong demand.

  • Bloomberg Law reports a proposed rule from the EPA intends to designate PFOA and PFOS chemicals as hazardous substances.   The designation could increase exposure to cleanup liability, as the two chemicals were used in a wide range of products for numerous decades. 

Smart Manufacturing

  • As part of the CIO 100 Awards for IT Innovation and Leadership, recognized 10 manufacturers’ IT projects in areas including predictive maintenance, customer experience and data-driven decision making.
  • Gartner analysis featured in Supply Chain Quarterly predicts smart robotics will experience increased adoption and expanding use cases over the next five years.

  • According to the Association for Supply Chain Management, predictions for the future of 3D printing include increased focus on partnerships, quality assurance and safeguarding data ownership.

Supply Chain

  • Analysis from Boston Consulting Group indicates artificial intelligence may not be achieving expected results in supply chain management, as companies have thus far not emphasized utilizing AI to “make recurring decisions by recognizing patterns in data that humans cannot see.”

  • In an effort to avert a potential strike which could exacerbate supply chain constraints, the National Mediation Board recently ordered representatives from railroads and labor unions to return to Washington D.C. to continue contract negotiations.   At the time of this newsletter publication, five of the 12 unions involved in national bargaining have announced tentative agreements with major freight railroads.

  • Contract negotiations between the union representing West Coast dockworkers and their employers remain ongoing at the time of this newsletter publication.  The negotiations began in May and the most recent labor agreement expired in July.

  • The Reshoring Initiative estimates companies could return nearly 350,000 jobs to the U.S. this year, up from 260,000 jobs in 2021. The projection includes reshoring and foreign direct investment job announcements.

International Trade and National Security

  • According to a copy of a letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon and referenced in The Wall Street Journal, over two dozen members of the U.S. House of Representatives presented a number of questions pertaining to how the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Office of Foreign Assets Control are enforcing the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. 

  • Nikkei Asia reports companies based in China are mitigating U.S. import tariffs by significantly increasing investment in Mexican production sites.

Sustainability and Product Stewardship

  • A notable climate reporting bill in the California state legislature failed to secure enough votes to advance.  California’s Climate Corporate Accountability Act would have required companies with at least $1 billion in annual revenue doing business in the state to disclose scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Gartner analysis in Supply Chain Management Review suggests blockchain technology may help improve company operations for carbon credit markets in areas including carbon credit validation and transactions.

  • Bloomberg Law analysis indicates food sector supply chains may experience particular challenges pertaining to ESG policies and disclosures.
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