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17 November 20233 minute read

Industrials Regulatory News and Trends - November 17, 2023

Welcome to Industrials Regulatory News and Trends. In this regular bulletin, DLA Piper lawyers provide concise updates on key developments in the industrials sector to help you navigate the ever-changing business, legal and regulatory landscape.

US is investing more than $653 million to fund ports and help supply chains. The Biden Administration announced November 3 that it is investing more than $653 million to fund port projects with the goals of improving US supply chain reliability and improving the economic and logistical climate for manufacturing. The projects, funded through the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration, will focus on 41 ports nationwide, among them the ports in Long Beach, California; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Newark, New Jersey. The funding comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which includes nearly $17 billion overall in funding for ports and waterways. “By funding port infrastructure development, the Biden-Harris Administration is ensuring that goods move reliably and in greater quantities, strengthening supply chain resiliency across all modes of transportation, and addressing the negative impacts of port operations on public health and the environment that have harmed communities living near ports,” stated Maritime Administrator Ann Phillips.

Pay raises for US nonunion auto workers. On November 13, automaker Hyundai announced it will raise its US factory workers’ wages by 25 percent over the next four years. In the wake of the resolution of the United Auto Workers strike against Ford, Stellantis, and General Motors, significant wage increases for US workers were also announced by Toyota (more than 9 percent) and Honda (more than 11 percent) beginning in 2024. On November 16, GM union workers ratified their agreement; Ford and Stellantis workers are still in process of voting. Meanwhile, the UAW says it will next turn its focus on nonunion plants. UAW President Shaun Fain has called the pay raise at Toyota the “UAW bump.” UAW, he said, stands for “You Are Welcome.”

New specialty plastics factory. On Tuesday, November 14, manufacturer Georg Fischer Central Plastics broke ground for a new plant being built on principles of sustainability in Shawnee, Oklahoma. The company, now based in Switzerland, originated in Shawnee in 1959 as Central Plastics and was acquired by Swiss-based GF Corp in 2008. Today it is the largest single-source manufacturer of metal and polyethylene pipe joining products for the gas and municipal water utility industries. The company intends to seek LEED Silver certification from the US Green Building Council for the plant and anticipates that it will create around 300 new jobs. Its other factory is also in Shawnee.

NAM criticizes SEC’s proposed rule on climate disclosures. On November 3, the National Association of Manufacturers issued a position paper criticizing the Securities and Exchange Commission’s current proposed rule that would require public companies to make disclosures on climate risks. The manufacturers’ group said that the rule, which was published last year, would impose “an unworkable framework that imposes uniform mandates that do not align with manufacturers’ efforts to respond to climate change -- but do impose an enormous burden on manufacturers across the country.” In the position paper, NAM Vice President Charles Crain said, “Manufacturers are leaders in responding to climate change and in informing investors about this critical work, but the SEC’s climate rule is simply unworkable. Given the complex nature of manufacturing supply chains, the rule’s costly mandates will have a disproportionate impact on our industry -- and particularly on small manufacturers. The SEC must rescind, or at a minimum significantly revise, its overreaching and impractical proposal.”