Adam Reiser: Trump administration struggles to enforce ‘Buy American’ EO 13788

Nearly eight months after President Donald J. Trump signed his executive order “Buy American and Hire American,” an expert on certifying whether goods are made in the United States shared with Big League Politics the challenges in certification and enforcing Trump’s intentions.

 

 

 

Adam Reiser, the CEO and founder of Certified, Inc., told Big League Politics he is seeing no action in the executive branch to move the president’s executive order forward.

A source familiar with how the White House drafted the executive order told Big League Politics: “There are zero teeth in it, you know? Let’s of fanfare, lots of publicity, back-slapping and hand-shaking with Trump–and now, it is getting resisted, like as if it meant nothing.”

According to the president’s directive, all agencies were supposed to have turned into both the Department of Commerce and the Office of Management and Budget how they plan to comply. These plans are to include, searchable databases of certified vendors, storage arrangements for the documents and simplifications of their internal procurement procedures.

Reiser said Trump’s executive order was the president’s attempt to bring federal procurement back in synch with the law.

The Buy American Act of 1933 was signed by President Herbert Hoover the day before he handed over the White House to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Act was championed by Rep. Joseph W. Byrne, (D.-Tenn.), then the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and later Speaker of the House.

Byrne’s idea was that given support by the Hearst newspapers and by Hoover’s Commissioner of Customs Francis F.A. Eble, who would go on to start the Buy American Club.

“The law says that the U.S. government has to show preferential treatment to U.S. manufacturers,” Reiser said. “It is so the government has to buy from its own.”

Reiser said that from the 1970s, the federal government has been providing waivers to the 1933 law. “In the 1980s and 1990s, it has picked up big-time.”

When the president signed Executive Order 13788, the White House was optimistic.

President Donald J. Trump holding his Executive Order 13788 at the April 18, 2017 Kenosha, Wis., signing ceremony. (White House photo)

A senior administration official speaking on background on Easter Monday, the day before the executive order was signed in the headquarters of the tool company Snap-On in Kenosha, Wisconsin, said the executive order would correct the abuse of the Buy American Act waiver process.

“Okay, so the culture immediately changes across the agencies.  We have a lax enforcement, lax monitoring, lax compliance,” the official said. Read more of this post

Auto Chiefs Concerned with NAFTA Stance

The auto industry has warned that significant changes to the so-called rules of origin could undercut the president’s America-first goals.

Top executives from Detroit automakers met Monday with Vice President Mike Pence and other administration officials and aired their concerns about changes the Trump administration is seeking to the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Trump has pushed for companies to construct more auto assembly plants in the U.S., while also pushing for major changes to NAFTA that the automakers oppose. U.S. negotiators have proposed significant changes to the so-called rules of origin for autos in a bid to ensure more U.S.-made parts are used in vehicles assembled in North America, a change that the auto industry has warned could undercut Trump’s America-first goals.

“We view the modernization of NAFTA as an important opportunity to update the 23-year-old agreement and set the stage for an expansion of U.S. auto exports,” Matt Blunt, a former Missouri governor who leads the American Automotive Policy Council, a trade association representing Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV said in a statement. “We also appreciate the opportunity to directly address the industry’s concerns with the administration’s rule of origin proposal.”

Blunt said there are other things the group would like to have added to NAFTA, including a provision to guard against currency manipulation by Mexico and Canada.

Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne, GM CEO Mary Barra and Joe Hinrichs,  Ford’s president of global operations, attended the White House meeting. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn were also scheduled to attend the meeting, Pence’s office said earlier on Monday.

By Ryan Beene Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-27/auto-chiefs-air-concerns-with-trump-nafta-stance-in-white-house

 

 

Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show 2018

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https://www.flibs.com/en/home.html
November 1-5, 2017
801 Seabreeze Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show 2017

The Ultimate Boat Show Experience!

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the “Yachting Capital of the World” will host the 58th Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show on Nov 1- Nov 5, 2017. Show exhibits range from yacht builders and designers to exotic cars and brokerage yachts. A wide variety of boats will be on display including runabouts, sportfishers, high-performance boats, center consoles, cabin cruisers, flats boats, skiffs, express cruisers, sailing yachts, motor yachts, bowriders, catamarans, ski boats, jet boats, trawlers, inflatables, canoes, and extraordinary superyachts. FLIBS is exactly where you want to be!

https://www.flibs.com/en/home.html

According to the OIA Industry 2017 report, the outdoor recreation industry contributes $887 billion in consumer spending annually, provides 7.6 million jobs, generates $65.3 billion in federal tax revenue and $59.2 billion in state and local tax revenue.

http://boatingindustry.com/top-stories/2017/05/31/outdoor-recreation-industries-impact-u-s-economy/

 

Largest Organic Milk Producer in the U.S. Isn’t Actually Organic at All

The country’s largest organic milk producer has allegedly been operating illegally, according to an exposé that appeared in the Washington Post Monday. Aurora Organic Dairy, which supplies store-brand organic milk to such retailers as Walmart, Costco, and Target, was accused in the exposé of failing to graze its cattle according to USDA organic standards.

A formal legal complaint was filed Tuesday against the dairy and its organic certifier, the Colorado Department of Agriculture, by organic watchdog group The Cornucopia Institute.

“The rigorous investigative work by Peter Whoriskey at The Washington Post clearly illustrates a pattern of long-term corruption by both Aurora Dairy and the USDA’s National Organic Program,” Mark Kastel, Cornucopia’s co-director, said in a press release. “Our organic regulators have turned a blind eye as giant industrial operations place ethical family-scale dairy farmers at a distinct competitive disadvantage.”

According to the Washington Post, the High Plains operation in Colorado, which is run by Aurora Organic Dairy, has been keeping almost all of its 15,000 cows in dirt- and manure-covered pens instead of in pasture, as organic regulations require. Reporters visited the farm several times across eight days last year, and each time they never found more than ten percent of the herd grazing. This was confirmed by a high-resolution satellite photo taken in mid-July by DigitalGlobe, the Post reports.

Walmart Issues Major Recall Over Frozen Pizza with Listeria: Marketside Brand

Walmart issued a major recall of frozen pizza after its brand announced a potential listeria contamination.

The company issued the recall for its frozen pizzas sold under the Marketside brand – to be exact, 21,220 pounds of the brand’s extra large Supreme pizza were recalled. The food safety inspection Service detailed the recall on its website.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 1821” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to retail distribution centers in California, Nevada, Utah and Washington.

 

The problem was discovered during routine sampling by the firm. There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.

Consumption of food contaminated with L. monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. Less commonly, persons outside these risk groups are affected.

 

Read more of this post

Grocers pledge to sell responsibly caught canned tuna

iStock tuna can

Americans really, really love canned tuna fish.

According to the National Fisheries Institute, Americans consumed more than 700 million pounds of canned tuna in 2015. That equates to 2.2 pounds per person annually.

The food remains among the top three seafood items Americans consume each year– and it’s held that ranking for more than 10 years.

But now retailers are saying that there’s something pretty fishy going on in the canned tuna industry and, as is the trend with many other foods, there’s been a renewed focus on how the fish is caught and processed– and where it comes from.

To that effect, on Whole Foods Market recently announced that by next January, all of the canned tuna sold in stores or used in its prepared foods departments will be sourced only from fishers that exclusively use pole-and-line, troll or hand line catch methods. These methods theoretically eliminate the issue of bycatch or the unintentional harvest of other fish, birds or mammals. With Whole Foods’ protocols in place, their fisherman will be catching tuna individually to prevent overfishing.

The chain’s new policy also mandates canned tuna products to originate from fisheries certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or be sourced from fisheries rated green (best choice) or yellow (good alternative) by the Monterey Bay Aquarium and The Safina Center.

Read more of this post

Sen. Roberts Tells Trump Administration to Forget About COOL

Sen. Roberts Tells Trump Administration to Forget About COOL
While the Trump administration prepares to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, is warning against any reconsideration of country-of-origin labeling (COOL).
COOL is reportedly among the administration’s “key elements of a model trade agreement” that it aims to address in renegotiating NAFTA and other trade deals. But in a committee hearing last week Roberts told Robert Lighthizer, Trump’s nominee for U.S. Trade Representative ambassador, to scrap that idea.

“We’ve been down this road before,” Roberts said. “We fixed the issue of COOL in 2015. We don’t need to go down that road again. We narrowly escaped about $4 billion … in retaliatory tariffs against the United States. I do not think we need a constantly changing list of key elements of a model trade agreement … what we need is a U.S. Trade Representative confirmed … and in place who will embark on a robust trade policy.”

Source:

http://www.northernag.net/AGNews/AgNewsStories/TabId/657/ArtMID/2927/ArticleID/7996/Sen-Roberts-Tells-Trump-Administration-to-Forget-About-COOL.aspx

$120M in counterfeit designer cosmetics seized in China

 Naturalnews.com

Woman putting on makeup

(Natural News) Chinese police have seized $120 million worth of counterfeit luxury cosmetics in an ongoing series of raids against a major crime ring.

The fake merchandise, consisting of 1,200 boxes falsely branded with the labels Chanel, Christian Dior, Estée Lauder, and L’Oréal SA’s Lancôme, was seized in a series of seven separate raids. Fifteen people were arrested, and 13 of them have been charged with crimes.

The ongoing operation began last year, when reports surfaced that an online store was selling cosmetics falsely labeled with the Amway brand name. Chinese police investigated and eventually raided the online store’s warehouse, confiscating 100 boxes of counterfeit Amway cosmetics worth $30,000. That raid led to information that allowed police to identify the seven other operations that were recently raided.

A major industry

According to police, the counterfeit cosmetics ring was distributing fake products nationwide. The fake products were sold for a 900 percent profit. The counterfeiters had a policy of quickly responding to any complaints with a full refund, in the hopes of avoiding calls to the police.

One man has allegedly confessed to running the manufacturing end of the ring. He says that he bought the ingredients online, then purchased the packaging from Guangdong province to the south. The bar codes on the boxes were copied from authentic products. Read more of this post

7 Types of Sargento Cheese Recalled for Listeria

Eating the bacteria can be potentially fatal.

 

Hold the nachos. Sargento just recalled seven of its cheeses for a potential listeria contamination. An outbreak at one of its suppliers affected shredded and sliced varieties, including colby, jack and taco cheese.

Both the Ultra Thin Sliced Longhorn Colby and Chef Blends Shredded Nacho & Taco Cheese are possibly contaminated. Eating food with listeria can cause a serious infection, with symptoms like fever, muscle aches and gastrointestinal problems. According to the CDC, about 260 people die of listeriosis every year. Pregnant women, newborns and the elderly are especially vulnerable. So far, no known illnesses are associated with this recall.

The supplier, Deustch Kase Haus in Middlebury, Indiana, makes cheese for other stores as well. Meijer is recalling its Meijer Brand Colby Cheese and Colby Jack Cheese, which was sold at deli counters between November 10 and February 9. Shoppers are encouraged throw it away or return it for a full refund.

Cheese from Sara Lee and Amish Classics as well as salads from Taylor Farms have also been affected, so double-check your lunch before chowing down.

Made in USA: Growing Panes for a High-Tech Window Company

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| IndustryWeek

sageglass-recruiting-millennials

SageGlass was bought by a French company but its manufacturing remains in the United States. Operations director David Pender talks about the pros and cons of this arrangement.

SageGlass invented dynamic glass—“tint on demand” windows that use special coatings and low voltages of electricity to filter out varying degrees of light. The small company started in 1989 in New York, but eventually moved to Faribault, Minnesota, 50 miles south of Minneapolis, because the area was developing a reputation for its innovation in window manufacturing.

Then in 2012, French building materials manufacturer Saint-Gobain acquired SageGlass. Although the unmet demand for dynamic glass was mainly in Europe, Saint-Gobain chose to keep production in Minnesota, build a new plant there, and convert the old plant to a research and development facility. The new facility can coat panes of glass that are more than twice the size of the old ones.

David Pender, director of operations at SageGlass (who previously spent 11 years in Germany working for Saint Gobain), talked about the challenges and advantages of keeping SageGlass’s manufacturing and R&D in the United States:

Challenge: Europe has the most growth potential, but our manufacturing facility is in the U.S.

Western Europe is a little further along than the U.S. in building codes. What’s considered extremely exotic here … is considered almost normal in Europe. Getting the supply chain right to be able to produce everything from what’s acceptable in the U.S. to what’s expected in Europe poses a certain amount of challenge. We’ve got to be sourcing some things from Europe, to make the products here and then shift them back to Europe. That doesn’t make too much sense at the moment, but we are trying to grow this market worldwide. Europe is growing very, very quickly because the Saint-Gobain name in Europe is a big plus.

Advantage: The highest demand for the product is still in the U.S.

Overall, we’re on a three to four times year-over-year expansion. So this year we’ll produce three to four times what we did in 2016. Which is a phenomenal growth rate, and that’s set to continue as we grow in the Europe, in the U.S. and the Middle East. We just got our first really big job in China. In the future, this facility will get to capacity and just produce in North America, and there will probably be another facility doing something similar in Europe—and who knows how that will do going forward.

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