Category: R&D

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. Continue reading “Adam Reiser: Trump administration struggles to enforce ‘Buy American’ EO 13788”

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.

Continue reading “Made in USA: Growing Panes for a High-Tech Window Company”

The Ups and Downs of Made in the USA

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| IndustryWeek

Joao Silva works with Baxter the cobot on Tinkertoys at the Rodon plant in Pennsyvania. K’Nex
 For many companies, the 2008-09 recession was a time to scale back. But for Michael Araten, CEO and president of the toy company K’Nex Industries, it was a time to rethink and regroup.

K’Nex, which makes Tinkertoys and Lincoln Logs as well as its eponymous brightly colored building sets, followed the trend of offshoring in the late 1990s, and by the early 2000s had outsourced most of its toymaking to China.

But by the time Araten arrived at the company in 2005, the long lead time required to ship toys to the United States—coupled with high demand only three months out of the year—was becoming a strain on the business. Catering to the changing tastes of 8-year-olds is a dicey proposition, and product decisions made in January could be yesterday’s news nine months later when the ship pulled into port.

With machines idling at K’Nex’s sister company, Rodon, a plastics manufacturer in Pennsylvania, Araten saw an opening to bring the toy production back home. “We were looking to keep our people employed,” he said.

Continue reading “The Ups and Downs of Made in the USA”

Trump tells manufacturers he will cut regulations, taxes, but must reshore

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Reuters

An iPhone made in the US? Apple is considering it….

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Apple has reportedly asked key iPhone manufacturer,partners, namely Foxconn and Pegatron, to investigate ways to bring the iPhone assembly supply chain into the United States. Today, all iPhones (and almost all Apple products) are manufactured and assembled in China.

Is Apple looking into manufacturing the iPhone in the US?

On Thursday, the Japan-based business publication cited an anonymous source in reporting that Apple had asked the two Asia-based firms that assemble the device to examine the possibility of moving production to the States.

That request, to Foxconn Technology Group and Pegatron, came in June, the news outlet said.

Apple didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment on the report.

 Moving production to the States would address campaign rhetoric from now President-elect Donald Trump, who said in a speech in January that a Trump administration would “get Apple to build their damn computers and things in this country instead of in other countries.”

 

In a memo to employees last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook addressed strong reactions to Trump’s win and said, “We only do great work and improve the world by moving forward.”

Made in USA Certified Seal

 

Counterfeit on Amazon

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Amazon.com (AMZN) is finally taking counterfeiters to court.

The e-commerce giant for the first time has filed lawsuits against counterfeit sellers, after a number of businesses on Amazon voiced concern that knockoffs were killing their sales and endangering consumers.

On Monday, Amazon filed suit against a group of sellers for infringing on athletic training equipment developed by TRX. In a second case, Amazon sued sellers who are offering fake versions of a patented moving product called Forearm Forklift.

Last month, CNBC.com featured Forearm Forklift , a Southern California company that has been crushed in recent years from counterfeiting on Amazon. Mark Lopreiato, the founder of the company, which makes straps for lifting and moving heavy equipment, said he submitted more than 100 cease-and-desist letters to sellers and takedown notices to Amazon, yet fakes have continued to proliferate. Continue reading “Counterfeit on Amazon”

Look Out China, US Manufacturing is Headed for No. 1

Look Out China, US Manufacturing is Headed for No. 1

Advanced manufacturing technologies are helping to push the United States back toward being the most competitive manufacturing nation in the world, according to a new survey of global CEOs and other senior executives. Continue reading “Look Out China, US Manufacturing is Headed for No. 1”

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