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Volume XII, Number 272

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Foley Manufacturing Update: September 22, 2022

This news summary is provided by Foley’s Competitive Intelligence Team to inform business leaders of recent news and developments relevant to the Manufacturing Sector.  

Analysis by Julie Dautermann, Competitive Intelligence Analyst

Key Developments

  • The most recent article in Foley & Lardner’s Supply Chain Disruption Series provides an overview of three key defenses to contractual performance pertaining to force majeure, commercial impracticability and frustration of purpose.   Click here to subscribe to the series.

  • The National Association of Manufacturers released its Competing to Win policy roadmap addressing a number of the “laws and regulations needed to strengthen the manufacturing industry in the months and years ahead.” 

  • Sustainability, maintaining resilient supply networks and pursuing opportunities related to smart factories are among the most urgent and important issues facing manufacturing companies in the year ahead, according to the Manufacturing Leadership Council’s new 2022/2023 Critical Issues Agenda.

  • Producer prices for final demand goods and services increased 8.7% and consumer prices increased 8.3% on an unadjusted basis for the 12 months ended in August 2022, according to data released last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Between July and August, the Producer Price Index fell by 0.1%, and the Consumer Price Index was up by 0.1%, on a seasonally adjusted basis. 

  • Bain & Company’s 2022 Technology Report includes analysis on sustainable packaging in consumer goods, the outlook for the chip shortage, circular supply chains for hardware products and expanding implementation capabilities related to the Industrial Internet of Things.

  • The National Association of Manufacturers’ Q3 2022 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey revealed 40.4% of respondents felt inflationary pressures were worse today than six months ago, and 63.3% of manufacturing leaders believe the U.S. economy will enter a recession in 2022 or 2023. In addition, 75.6% of respondents were somewhat or very positive about their company outlook, down from 82.6% in June and reflecting the lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2020. 

  • report from DHL and the NYU Stern School of Business predicts global trade will grow “slightly faster” in 2022 and 2023 than it did over the previous decade.  Vietnam, India and the Philippines are identified as particular areas of trade growth through 2026 as companies look to diversify production and sourcing.

  • The Wall Street Journal reports Western supply chains could become less integrated with China due to laws and proposals in the U.S. and Europe which address products made using forced labor, as well as commitments to increase domestic production.   The article also predicts the rapid globalization experienced in the last few decades may “take a pause,” but a full supply chain decoupling from China remains unlikely. 

  • Railroads and labor unions reached tentative contract agreements last weekaverting a potential strike which could have exacerbated supply chain constraints.  According to an update from Law360, a number of the unions still need to vote to ratify the agreements.

Smart Manufacturing

  • Shipments of industrial robots to China increased 45% in 2021, representing just under half of installations worldwide last year, according to data from the International Federation of Robotics excerpted in The Wall Street Journal.  The IFR will release full-year 2021 industrial and service robot sales figures next month.

Supply Chain

  • Supply Chain Dive reports a number of major steelmakers are reducing production in response to falling demand, lower average selling prices and elevated raw material costs.

  • A recent survey of procurement decision-makers across a range of industries found 68% of respondents view suppliers as a source of differentiation, 66% collaborate with suppliers to increase supply resilience, and 51% plan to collaborate with more suppliers.  In addition, 75% of respondents include their suppliers in medium-term planning and 73% jointly define and monitor improvement plans with suppliers.  The study was conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of spend management software provider Ivalua.

  • Fashion and luxury supply chains should adapt to sourcing risks associated with geopolitical and climate uncertainties with actions including simplifying product portfolios, modernizing production systems and diversifying suppliers, according to analysis from Boston Consulting Group.

International Trade and National Security

  • President Biden announced an executive order which provides “formal Presidential direction” regarding potential national security risks the Committee on Foreign Investments should consider when reviewing transactions.  

  • The U.S. Department of Commerce may publish new regulations affecting exports to China for certain types of semiconductors and semiconductor manufacturing equipment, according to unnamed sources in Reuters.

  • In support of efforts to strengthen domestic capabilities and reduce reliance on other nations, President Biden announced an executive order to help advance U.S. biotechnology and biomanufacturing innovation and production.  

Sustainability and Product Stewardship

  • The Biden administration announced the Federal Buy Clean Initiative will prioritize the purchase of construction materials such as steel, concrete, asphalt and glass containing lower levels of emissions associated with their “manufacturing, transportation, installation, maintenance and disposal.”

© 2022 Foley & Lardner LLPNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 265
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About this Author

Carrie Hoffmann, Foley Lardner Law Firm, Dallas, Labor and Employment, Litigation Law Attorney
Partner

Carrie Hoffman represents and counsels major employers nationwide in all areas of labor and employment law across a wide range of industries, including retail. Carrie is highly regarded for her experience with wage and hour issues, as well as employment discrimination and retaliation claims. She regularly reviews and drafts employment agreements – such as covenants not to compete – and advises clients on a wide variety of labor and employment issues, such as:

  • Workplace safety

  • Workplace harassment...

214-999-4262
Roberta F. Howell, Foley Lardner, Antitrust Lawyer, Supply Chain Attorney
Partner

Roberta F. Howell is a partner and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. Ms. Howell’s practice focuses on distribution-related matters, including litigation and counseling in connection with dealership terminations, antitrust and pricing matters, trade secret misappropriation and non-competition contracts, and automobile dealer/manufacturer relationships. She is co-chair of the Distribution & Franchise Practice. She is also a member of the Antitrust Practice and the Automotive Industry Team as well as the Trade Secret/Noncompete Specialty Practice.

608-258-4273
Richard McKenna, Foley Lardner, Patent Lawyer
Partner

Richard J. McKenna is an intellectual property lawyer with over 25 years of experience assisting clients in a broad range of intellectual property matters. Mr. McKenna has extensive experience counseling clients in the selection, adoption, use and enforcement of trademarks. His experience is focused on trademark selection and registration, enforcement, advertising review, and protection of trade dress and licensing of these assets. Mr. McKenna has also represented several clients in domain name disputes. 

414-297-5723
Eric L. Sophir Patent Attorney Foley and Lardner Washington DC
Partner

Eric Sophir is a partner with Foley & Lardner LLP. He is a member of the firm’s Electronics Practice. Eric counsels clients on protecting innovations, gaining market share, the risks and value associated with acquiring, licensing or otherwise commercializing a patent portfolio; resolving patent disputes and monetizing patents. His practice includes patent preparation and prosecution; infringement and validity analysis in patent litigation; licensing and selling; due diligence; clearance and landscape analysis; and post-grant proceedings. He also provides advice on...

202-295-4149
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