You may have heard of the fourth Industrial Revolution, but what exactly is it? It's definitely a topic that has been talked about over the past few years but gained even more prominence after it became a focal point of conversation at the recent World Economic Forum. The first Industrial Revolution was characterized by steam and water. The second Industrial Revolution was the introduction of electricity to mass produce things. The third is characterized by the internet, communication technologies, and the digitalization of everything. The fourth Industrial Revolution is the concept of blurring the real world with the technological world.
The manufacturing sector has shown some growth over the past few years. Since 2011, the sector has created jobs every year, a 6-year expansion that exceeds the 5-year expansion experienced 1994-1998, according to a new report from consulting firm Headlight Data. The report showed that the industry has created nearly 500,000 new jobs in the last 6 years.
Bold tax reform is making its way through Congress thanks to the efforts of manufacturers like you making their voices heard.
Following last week’s 24-16 vote of approval from the House Ways & Means Committee, a House floor vote on tax reform is imminent this week. Last week, manufacturers let committee members know that tax reform was a priority, but now every member of the House needs to hear that same message reinforced.
The manufacturing data continue to trend in the right direction, with the stronger global economy and a weaker dollar helping to buoy demand and production in the sector. The U.S. dollar has fallen 8.6 percent year-to-date against major currencies,
Politico (7/26, Cook) reports that the “Big Six” tax reform group, consisting of Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, House Speaker Ryan, Senate Majority Leader McConnell, Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), is planning to unveil a “broad-brush” tax proposal on Friday “before the House leaves for its August recess, according to six sources close to the administration.” The Wall Street Journal (7/26, Rubin, Subscription Publication) reports that the tax proposal will contain broad principles – lower tax rates in a deficit-neutral tax code overhaul – instead of legislative text and will reflect areas of agreement among Republicans. Sources did not clarify how the proposal would address the House Republican plan for border-adjusting the corporate tax, an idea that has drawn criticism from retailers and some senators in recent months. Congress will draft the legislation based on the proposal after returning from recess, and members of the Big Six say they hope to pass the final tax reform law by the end of the year. The Hill (7/26, Jagoda) reports that the Big Six “have reached an agreement on six tax-reform principles and are briefing congressional staff about the plan.” Reuters (7/26, Gibson, Morgan) reports that Grover Norquist, the president of the anti-tax Americans for Tax Reform who has close ties to Republican leadership, said that the Big Six “was targeting the end of this month for producing a basic framework for a bill that would be introduced in September.”
House appropriators released a spending bill Tuesday that would cut the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) budget by $528 million next year, far less than the $2.6 billion cut President Trump requested.
The legislation would include language requiring the repeal of water jurisdiction regulations and include funding for buyouts at the agency. But it wouldn’t include the deep cuts Trump proposed in May, when administration officials said they wanted to end 50 department programs and eliminate 3,200 of the agency’s 15,000 jobs.
The spending bill also includes funding for the Interior Department, the Forest Service and related agencies. It’s a $31.4 billion bill, which is $824 million less than current levels and $4.3 billion higher than Trump’s budget.
Gov. Eric Greitens has signed a bill that forbids the State of Missouri from collecting sales tax on delivery fees. The law is a response to a 2015 Missouri Supreme Court ruling, Alberici Constructors Inc. v. Director of Revenue, that allowed the taxation of delivery fees charged to bring a crane to a construction worksite. This ruling opened the door to additional taxes on delivery fees.
Prior to the court ruling, Missouri allowed separately stated shipping/delivery fees to be exempt from the tax base. However, after the court ruling, the Missouri Department of Revenue sent out notification to corporate taxpayers that if delivery is intended to be part of the sale of a product, the charge would be subject to Missouri sales tax, even when separately stated.
The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry led the push to stop this tax grab, working with Sen. Will Kraus, a Republican from Lee’s Summit, to advance Senate Bill 16. The bill was passed by the legislature and signed into law by Gov. Greitens on July 5.
Missouri recently received high marks in a manufacturing study. For the tenth year in a row, Ball State University in Indiana has ranked each of the 50 states in a variety of categories involving manufacturing and logistics.