Last updateFri, 29 Apr 2016 5pm


House Passes Bill To Lower Import Tariffs On Manufacturers

This week, the House voted 415-2 for the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016. The bipartisan, bicameral bill reforms the way Congress considers legislation for suspending tariffs on products not made in the U.S., what some are calling, “manufacturing tax breaks.” The legislation is expected to pass the Senate, though there’s no timeline.

The prospective law “would let companies ask the International Trade Commission to reduce or suspend tariffs on chemicals or other items that generally aren’t available in the U.S. It would replace an earlier system of tax relief that expired at the end of 2012,” Bloomberg reports

Texas Manufacturing Index Shrinks More Than Forecast

Texas factory activity increased for a second month in a row in April, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, rose from 3.3 to 5.8, suggesting a slight pickup in output growth.

Perceptions of broader business conditions remained pessimistic. The general business activity index held steady at -13.9, its 16th straight negative reading. The company outlook index posted a negative reading for the fifth consecutive month but rose from -11.0 to -5.9, showing signs of additional stabilization in April. 

3D Printing Now Mainstream in U.S. Manufacturing

Has 3D printing finally come of age? According to a new survey from PwC, two-thirds of U.S. manufacturers now use 3D printing in some way--mainly in prototyping. It’s become clear, says PwC, that the technology, also known as additive manufacturing, is crossing from a period of hype and experimentation into one of rapid maturation.

3D-printed parts and products are quickly making their way into end products—from a printed car to athletic shoes to a printed NASA rocket engine. Industrial 3D printers are now, on some of America’s factory floors, being rolled out on production lines. Manufacturers of all stripes are building 3DP programs and are likely to continue to expand those programs as advancements in 3D printers, software and printing materials (or “inks”) make adoption easier and more cost-effective. 

U.S. Manufacturing Set to Take No. 1 Spot from China by 2020

Contrary to what you are hearing on the campaign trail, the United States is poised to become the most competitive manufacturing nation by 2020 according to the 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index report from Deloitte and the Council on Competitiveness.

The rankings reveal a shift among the world’s traditional manufacturing powerhouses, with the U.S. leapfrogging China to reach the top spot. The prediction is based on an in-depth analysis of survey responses from more than 500 chief executive officers and senior leaders at manufacturing companies around the world. 

After the Boom: Texas Economy Downshifts

While the oil price collapse has downshifted Texas’ economic growth, the state is in a much better position to weather the storm than it was during the 1980s recession and banking crisis, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ 2015 Annual Report essay.

One factor in Texas’ favor during the most recent bust is that the state’s economy is more diverse now than it was in the 1980s. A steady influx of people and firms into Texas has also helped offset the adverse effects of the decline in energy prices and support job growth. 



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