Posts tagged with "National Association of Manufacturers"

Judge blocks large parts of Trump’s temporary work visa ban

October 5, 2020

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White of the Northern District of California temporarily lifted a visa ban on a large number of work permits on Thursday, October 1—undercutting a measure that the Trump Administration had promised would protect American jobs in a pandemic-decimated economy, The Boston Globe reports.

The jurist said his ruling applied to members of organizations that sued the Administration—the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; National Association of Manufacturers; National Retail Federation; TechNet, a technology industry group; and Intrax, which sponsors cultural exchanges.

Paul Hughes, an attorney for the associations, said the U.S. Chamber of Commerce alone has “more than 300,000 members of all shapes and sizes across the United States,” according to the Globe.

White, ruling in Oakland, California, said his order didn’t extend beyond those groups but noted that they comprise “hundreds of thousands of American businesses of all sizes from a cross-section of economic sectors,” including Microsoft  and Amazon.

The injunction, which lifts the ban while the case is being litigated, is at least a temporary setback for the Administration’s efforts to limit legal immigration during the coronavirus outbreak.

White, an appointee of President George W. Bush, said President Donald Trump likely acted outside bounds of his authority.

The judge wrote “there must be some measure of constraint on Presidential authority in the domestic sphere in order not to render the executive an entirely monarchical power in the immigration context, an area within clear legislative prerogative.”

The ban, which took effect in June and is scheduled to last until the end of this year, applies to:

  • H-1B visas, which are widely used by major American and Indian technology companies;
  • H-2B visas for nonagricultural seasonal workers;
  • J visas for cultural exchanges; and
  • L visas for managers and other key employees of multinational corporations.

It was the second time in three days that White had blocked a significant change on immigration. On Tuesday, he halted major fee increases for citizenship and other benefits three days before they were to take effect.

The Homeland Security and Justice departments did not immediately respond to requests for comments Thursday night, the Globe said..

The National Association of Manufacturers said the ruling will help with “crucial, hard-to-fill jobs to support economic recovery, growth and innovation when we most need it.”

“Today’s decision is a temporary win for manufacturers committed to building that innovation in the United States,” said Linda Kelly, the group’s senior vice president and general counsel. “A long-term win for manufacturers requires policymakers to support meaningful reforms to our immigration laws that recognize the critical link between smart immigration policy and America’s competitive advantage.”

Research contact: @BostonGlobe

As China continues to ‘go low’ on shipping rates, Trump moves the bar higher

October 22, 2018

President Donald Trump is threatening to intensify the trade war between the United States and China by ordering the U.S. Postal Service to withdraw from a treaty that has set shipping rates among 192 member nations for 144 years.

The Universal Postal Union—established in 1874 and adopted as a body of the United Nations in 1948—has enabled developing countries to pay lower rates when shipping packages internationally; often putting some of the cost of delivering packages on the postal services of wealthier countries.

Indeed, according to an October 17 report by Politico, the policy initially was intended to spur economic growth in poorer countries by connecting them with global markets.

But now that some of those countries—including China—have become exporting giants, the Trump administration hopes to use its withdrawal as leverage to negotiate more favorable terms for historically wealthy countries, like the United States.

Reaction has been mixed. A senior administration official told Politico that  the administration would prefer to stay within the union and that a full withdrawal takes a year to implement. Therefore, he said, he hopes that America can negotiate more favorable terms within that time frame.

“You could have something shipped from Indiana to New York and it would be more expensive than having it shipped from China because of price distortion introduced through the [old] rates,” Professor Rick Geddes, a postal service expert and Director of the Cornell Program in Infrastructure Policy at Cornell University, told NBC News for an October 19 story.

Companies such as Amazon and FedEx have long taken issue with the treaty, the network said—both citing what they believe are unfairly discounted shipping rates for foreign shippers.

However, on the plus side, American manufacturers, believe that withdrawing from the agreement would level what they see as an unfair playing field.

Indeed, Jayme Smaldone, CEO of the New Jersey–based company, Mighty Mug, wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal last February, noting that his firm paid $6.30 to ship by regular mail; but a Chinese company that sold a knock-off version could ship it to the same location from 8,000 miles away for just $1.40.

Jay Timmons, CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, told

NBC News that the administration was making a positive move. “Manufacturers and manufacturing workers in the United States will greatly benefit from a modernized and far more fair arrangement with China,” he said.

American consumers had for years benefited from lower e-commerce prices on sites like Amazon and eBay when buying lower-priced Chinese goods. Without the discount, those sellers could evaporate and U.S. online shoppers would have to pay higher prices.

“Chinese sellers on eBay and other platforms may disappear, or at the very least they will not find it so easy to sell to Americans anymore,” Gary Huang, chairman of the Supply Chain Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghaitold Bloomberg.

He added, “American consumers will have less access to that really cheap stuff.”.

Research contact: @matthewchoi2018