Foley Manufacturing Update

18 August 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 sixth installment of Foley & Lardner’s Supply Chain Disruption Series addresses some of the factors to consider pertaining to intellectual property licensing in supply agreements. Click here to subscribe to the series.

  • The National Association of Manufacturers remains “staunchly opposed” to the Inflation Reduction Act due to provisions including new tax increases which are expected to negatively affect manufacturers.  The climate, tax and healthcare package was signed into law by President Biden this week.

  • Producer prices for final demand goods and services increased 9.8% and consumer prices increased 8.5% on an unadjusted basis for the 12 months ended in July 2022, according to data released last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Between June and July, the Producer Price Index fell by 0.5%, while the Consumer Price Index was unchanged, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

  • Analysis from Bain & Company provides a number of actions for consumer products companies to consider in order to help support revenue growth in an inflationary environment.

  • Commercial and multifamily U.S. construction starts increased 18% in the first half of 2022 and reached a value of $139.5 billion compared to the same period one year ago, according to Dodge Data & Analytics.  The analysis notes high inflation and economic uncertainty may impact the sector’s outlook into 2023.

  • Risk analysts quoted in The Wall Street Journal indicate food shortages, as well as high prices for grain and fertilizer, may lead to instability for Western companies with overseas operations.

  • POLITICO provided a summary of some of the key differences in environmental reporting requirements currently under negotiation within the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) and the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB).   According to the article, the work underway by EFRAG may require companies to report on their environmental footprint and the potential financial impact of climate change, while the ISSB has a narrower focus to provide a “global baseline” which can be built on by each jurisdiction.

  • President Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act into law last week, providing $52 billion to support domestic semiconductor manufacturing as part of a broader package to enhance the nation’s competitive position. 

Smart Manufacturing

  • A new survey addressing cybersecurity strategy from the Manufacturing Leadership Council found 46% of respondents experienced a cyberattack and 47% indicated attacks have increased in the last year.   In addition, nearly 62% of respondents adopted a formal cybersecurity plan and 83% identified cybersecurity as a business issue of high importance, reflecting notable increases since the 2018 survey.

  • CB Insights announced its Advanced Manufacturing 50 list of top privately held companies in categories including analytics & artificial intelligence and applications for the industrial internet of things (IIoT).

  • A survey pertaining to IoT manufacturing trends conducted by Microsoft, Intel and IoT Analytics found 72% of respondents are implementing their smart factory strategy, with operational improvement is the most important goal.   Among the manufacturers already selling connected IoT products, investment is expected to increase from 47% by 2025, from 33% today.  The survey of 500 decision makers in discrete, hybrid or process manufacturing also found the majority of respondents are challenged with skills gaps, particularly in data science, AI and cybersecurity.

Supply Chain

  • A new rule from the Financial Accounting Standards Board will require U.S. companies to disclose the terms and size of their supply-chain financing programs, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

  • Supply Chain Dive reports major consumer products companies and small and mid-sized candy companies are experiencing supply chain challenges including ingredient shortages of wheat, milk chocolate and cooking oils.   

  • S&P Global provided an overview of Mexico’s advantages and disadvantages pertaining to the nation’s potential for a nearshoring location for critical minerals

International Trade and National Security

  • In a recent letter to officials in the Biden administration, the National Association of Manufacturers expressed concerns over the potential ramifications to manufacturing competitiveness resulting from a World Trade Organization decision to lift certain intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines.

  • Law360 reports the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative provided updated explanations to support section 301 tariffs imposed on approximately $300 billion of Chinese goods during the Trump administration.  The update follows an order from the U.S. Court of International Trade to provide more detail concerning the expansion of the tariffs.

Sustainability and Product Stewardship

  • An article in Harvard Business Review posits ESG reporting should coincide with measuring return on investment and key performance indicators pertaining to ESG-related initiatives.

  • A bill in the California state legislature would require companies with at least $1 billion in annual revenue doing business in the state to disclose scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions beginning in 2025.

  • The Wall Street Journal reports the Federal Trade Commission may revise its Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims.   The “Green Guides” were last revised in 2012.

  • McKinsey & Company provided an overview of how forward-looking companies pursue a systematic approach to ESG
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