Manufacturing Industry Advisor

If you are a U.S. manufacturer with operations in Mexico, please pay attention.  As we previously reported, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) has certain labor union requirements, a key one being that employees are guaranteed the basic rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining (with the nonstated objective of increasing wages in the country). The USMCA requires that existing collective labor contracts be free of “interference” from employers. Contrary to the way that unions have…
The Export Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) issued its 2020 annual report highlighting EXIM’s results and priority initiatives in its mission to support American jobs by facilitating the export of U.S. goods and services. EXIM, an independent federal governmental agency, is authorized by Congress until 2026 to maintain $135 billion of credit exposure. Through direct loans, guarantees, credit insurance, and supply chain financing support, EXIM finances U.S. exporters and suppliers that cannot arrange…
With 2019 seeing modest slowdowns in both M&A deal volumes and deal values compared to 2018, industry participants entered 2020 cautiously optimistic about the potential for automotive M&A deal growth. Although 2020 wasn’t predicted to be a breakout year for M&A deals, many saw autonomous and electrification technologies driving industry activity as consumers continued to warm to the thought of self-driving cars and the idea of replacing gas stations with charging stations. In the background,…
Like many industries, the pandemic has impacted the automotive industry, including electric and autonomous vehicle (E/AV) research and development.  E/AV companies have laid off workers, delayed testing, and postponed the launch of some vehicles.  Also during this time, there continued to be uncertainty around patenting AI technology, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office sought public feedback on the impact of new AI technologies on current intellectual property laws, and whether current patent laws should…
Ford Motor Company (“Ford”) issued new Production Purchasing Global Terms and Conditions (“Terms”) related to the purchase of goods, services and tech products, including tooling and service parts purchased on or after July 1, 2021. Ford’s existing contracts with Suppliers will not be amended to include the Terms unless the contract is renewed after July 1st. Importantly, for blanket purchase orders, the Terms will apply to all releases issued after July 1st. The Terms include…
Over the past few years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the primary regulator of motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment and their manufacturers, has been balancing its work of keeping pace with technology innovations against its work on compliance enforcement. As the Biden administration begins to take shape, the priorities of the U.S. Department of Transportation and NHTSA will shift to reflect the regulatory philosophy and priorities of the new administration. This change…
The antitrust outlook in the United States is marked by uncertainty.  This article identifies some issues to watch. Some Recent Surprises Historically, U.S. antitrust enforcement has been marked more by continuity than by abrupt change. During the past few decades, we saw an evolution away from blanket rules of per se legality or illegality under federal law (e.g., resale price maintenance and inflexible merger standards), a greater emphasis on economic analysis of likely competitive effects,…
Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic brought about a global market disruption across multiple industries, and manufacturers expect the pandemic to continue to affect the automotive industry through 2021. The pandemic has not slowed the technological innovations in the industry or the pace of increasing regulation affecting data privacy and security. In the midst of the pandemic, we saw significant changes to the privacy landscape, including a steady rise in California Consumer Privacy Act (the CCPA)…
American households are increasingly connected internally through the use of artificially intelligent appliances.1 But who regulates the safety of those dishwashers, microwaves, refrigerators, and vacuums powered by artificial intelligence (AI)? On March 2, 2021, at a virtual forum attended by stakeholders across the entire industry, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reminded us all that it has the last say on regulating AI and machine learning consumer product safety. Evolving Regulatory Landscape The CPSC is an…
For more than a year, the world has reacted to and adjusted for COVID-19. Now, with the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines, there is light at the end of the tunnel and individuals and companies can start moving forward and planning for a new normal. As companies in all industries have undoubtedly been affected, employers must remain cognizant of various issues as offices and facilities reopen and employees return to work. At this critical juncture, it…