August Recess is a month-long official break in the congressional calendar that occurs every year. This recess offers an excellent opportunity for promo industry professionals to meet with elected officials in their districts and discuss issues that are important to the promotional products industry.
This annual break in the congressional calendar also gives industry members the opportunity to establish and maintain relationships with legislators and their staffers, and it allows L.E.A.D. attendees the chance to refresh the connections they created during personal or virtual visits to Capitol Hill.
Industry members meetings and connections with lawmakers are especially important this year because of the numerous large issues Congress is trying to address before year’s end.
The conference committee proceedings on the America Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing, Pre-Eminence in Technology, and Economic Strength (COMPETES) Act have effectively stalled.
- Bipartisan policies relevant to this industry that have been supported by PPAI are at risk of being negotiated out of the final legislation. These policies include requiring the United States Trade Representative to establish a comprehensive and transparent Section 301 exclusion process and reauthorizing the Generalized System of Preferences and Miscellaneous Tariff Bills, among others.
The precarity of the America COMPETES Act also resurrects a troublesome legislative proposal that PPAI has opposed, specifically the Country Of Origin Labeling (COOL) Online Act.
- The COOL Online Act, which passed the Senate as an amendment to the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), requires companies to include country of origin labels for products sold on the internet and certify the accuracy of the information provided by product vendors.
- These requirements are problematic for companies in this industry and others due to practices such as dual sourcing and diversifying supply chains, among other concerns. The specific threat relates to information PPAI has acquired which indicates a movement for the House of Representatives to vote on the Senate-passed USICA bill which includes the COOL Online provisions.
Also, Senate leadership is negotiating a new budget reconciliation bill that involves potential tax increases for businesses as funding mechanisms to subsidize the various policy proposals. This is a pared-down version of the same reconciliation bill that was deliberated over by Congress last summer.
PPAI Makes It Easy To Act:
Considering the possibility of tax increases, the COOL Online requirements and no tariff relief, it is important for Congress to hear from promo industry members this summer. These meetings can take place in a variety of ways, including in-person or virtual encounters, PPAI members’ attendance at various town halls, legislators visiting regional events, and inviting legislators on tours of industry facilities.
For information about identifying members of Congress and contacting them for a meeting, PPAI's August Recess Advocacy page offers all the tools necessary to plan and execute meetings or worksite tours. PPAI staff is also here to help. Association members can reach PPAI’s public affairs manager, Maurice Norris at firstname.lastname@example.org, with questions about Tips For A Successful Facility Tour, help identifying and contacting legislators, or any other available resources.