We hope that you are getting to enjoy some well-deserved summer rest and relaxation with your families. However, in between all of the barbeques, beach trips, and camping, you’ve no doubt noticed that there is still a lot going on in Washington and around the world that affects Main Street.
The U.S. Chamber has been hard at work highlighting a number of issues that have a direct impact on your members. Of particular interest is the U.S. Chamber Global Intellectual Property Center’s report on how counterfeiting harms all businesses, as well as our report with the International Franchise Association on the damaging impact of efforts to change the definition of joint-employer.
Furthermore, while it may only be July, Congress has only a few weeks left to get its work done this year. At the end of this week, the House and Senate will adjourn for the presidential nominating conventions and the annual August recess, and will only come back into session for just a few weeks in September before adjourning for the fall elections. Therefore, our window to build support to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership is small, but is still open. See below for what you and your members can do to help us get the TPP passed this year.
Finally, don’t forget to register for this year’s Regional Government Affairs Conference in Austin, TX on October 5th, 6th, and 7th. Registrations are already coming in fast, so don’t miss your opportunity to attend what promises to be a fantastic conference.
As always, thanks for what you do and please let us know how we can help you better serve your members.
Legislative Briefings During Recess
With members of Congress returning home for a multi-week recess, now is a great opportunity to be briefed on the issues that Congress will be addressing when they return to Washington in September.
Your US Chamber regional staff are available to provide issue briefings to you and your members to prepare you with the information you need for meetings with members of Congress or to prep for you advocacy efforts this Fall. Please call or email us to schedule a briefing for your chamber.
Despite anti-trade rhetoric emanating from the presidential campaigns, passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) continues to be a key priority for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The TPP will level the playing field for trade for American workers, farmers, and companies in the 11 other countries taking part. The TPP includes more than 18,000 tax cuts levied by foreign governments against American exports. It will eliminate all tariffs on U.S. exports of manufactured goods, open new markets for American agricultural exports, and enhance trade in services. The U.S. Chamber is working to help build support for congressional passage of the TPP. To learn more about the TPP, please visit our website.
What are regulations doing to your small business members?
As Chamber leaders, you know all too well the many changes your members face, and none more so that the onslaught of burdensome overregulation by the government these days.
In response, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has launched a new project to study the impact of regulations on small businesses in America. Chamber officials throughout the country are taking part in this project and providing valuable insight into how regulations and enforcement practices at all levels of government are impacting small business.
We encourage you to take a few minutes to participate in this survey as it will help provide a better picture of the federal, state and local regulatory environments faced by your members and others around the nation. Your answers will be kept confidential and not associated with your name or organization in public reports. The deadline to participate and offer your insight is July 22. Thank you!
Other updates from your regional team:
Last year, an NLRB ruling overturned its longstanding joint employer standard, used to determine when two separate employers share responsibility and liability for the same employee. Under the new standard, almost any economic or contractual relationship could trigger a finding of joint employer status. Our recent report, Main Street in Jeopardy, details how federal agencies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Wage and Hour Division at the U.S. Department of Labor have indicated their intentions to more broadly impose joint employer liability under their particular statutes. Read more here.
Measuring the Magnitude of Global Counterfeiting
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global intellectual Property Center (GIPC) has released a new report that provides a breakdown of the share of physical counterfeiting for 38 economies. “From fake medicines to bad brakes and lead-laden toys, counterfeit goods pose a real danger to consumers and a costly threat to the business community,” said Mark Elliot, executive vice president of GIPC. “Our report indicates that the value of goods seized is only a small percentage of the total $461 billion in global trade-related counterfeiting. This signals need for increased resources for more effective enforcement efforts. Read the full report, Measuring the Magnitude of Global Counterfeiting, here.
The USCC Foundation recently launched the Health Champions Network, an effort to engage business to take an active role in making their communities healthier and more competitive. Working in conjunction with local and state chambers, the Champions Network will provide businesses with resources to play an active role in improving community health.
To get involved in this effort, start by taking the pledge. You can also spread the word by using #HMBChamps and other communication resources that are available for you here, including web graphics, newsletter text, and more.