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July/August 2021

We are always looking for contributions to the bi-monthly IPANA newsletter. Members are encouraged to submit announcements regarding company news and professional achievements such as industry awards, as well as other news-oriented items for publication. Please email Matt Mlynarczyk your contributions and newsletter suggestions at mattm@industrialpackaging.org.

Upcoming Events

IPANA 2021 Annual Conference (co-located with RIPA) on October 19-21 at The Intercontinental Chicago Magnificent Mile Hotel

IPANA News

IPANA to Launch Members-Only Portal to Streamline Member Services

IPANA is close to launching a members-only portal that will more efficiently deliver services to members of IPANA and its affiliates. The portal will be the hub for communication and information access and storage within IPANA and each affiliate. Benefits that will become available to members include an event calendar; policy document management and storage; auto-notification to members of document changes and uploads; integration with Microsoft Outlook, Apple IOS, and Google calendars; ability for members to update their contact information, and many other useful features. Look for more information via email in late August on how to access the portal.

In-person 2021 IPANA Annual Conference Planned for October 19-21

After careful deliberation, the 2021 IPANA Annual Conference is currently planned to be held in-person this October in Chicago. It is hard to believe that the last in-person IPANA Annual Conference was held in October 2019. Meeting registration and hotel reservations are anticipated to open in mid-to-late August. For a tentative abbreviated schedule, please click here.

IPANA Works with the NAM to Keep Business Interest Rate Deductions

The National Association of Manufacturers is spearheading an effort to preserve the current standard for businesses’ interest expense deductions, which will expire at the end of 2021. The stricter standard that takes effect in 2022 will make it more expensive for capital-intensive companies to finance critical purchases and grow their businesses. Currently, interest deductions are limited to 30% of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization. Starting in 2022, the limit will be 30% of earnings before only interest and tax. This stricter EBIT standard will increase taxes on businesses and make financing equipment purchases more expensive. In collaboration with the NAM, IPANA cosigned a letter to Congress, along with other manufacturing trade associations to preserve the current standard. To view a copy of the letter, please click here.

Member News

Greif, Inc. Announces Chief Executive Officer and Board Transition Plan
Greif, Inc. announced on June 22 that Pete Watson will retire as President and Chief Executive Officer effective February 1, 2022, when Ole Rosgaard will succeed Watson in that role. Rosgaard will serve as Chief Operating Officer until that date. The company also announced that Michael Gasser, who has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors since 1994, will not stand for re-election to the Board at the Company’s 2022 annual meeting of stockholders. At that time, Mr. Watson will become Executive Chairman of the Board and Bruce Edwards will become the lead director.

Regulatory Updates

EPA Proposes Burdensome PFAS Reporting and Recordkeeping Rule
The Environmental Protection Agency on June 28 proposed a reporting and recordkeeping rule for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. The rule applies to manufacturers and importers of PFAS chemicals, including those who produce PFAS as a byproduct. It also subjects products containing PFAS to vigorous reporting requirements, including manufacturers or importers of PFAS to report information for each substance and mixture since 2011. Affected entities will have one year from the effective date of the final rule to submit their required disclosures to EPA. Comments are due by September 27, 2021. For a copy of the proposed rule, please click here.

Labor Department Announces Final Rule to Rescind 2020 “Joint Employer Rule”
The White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs completed its review of the Labor Department’s new rule rescinding the Trump administration’s attempt to clarify the definition of “employer” under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The new final rule, which was published in the Federal Register on July 30, is expected to inject significant confusion back into FLSA status determinations with the goal of limiting independent contractor arrangements. It becomes effective on September 28, 2021. For a copy of the new rule, please click here.

OSHA Issues COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard
On June 10, OSHA issued its much-anticipated COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard, which was welcome news for manufacturers, as it is applicable only to the healthcare industry. Manufacturing and general industry are not covered by the new standard, but OSHA simultaneously published significant updates to its principal workplace COVID-19 guidance: Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace. This was the first time this guidance has been updated since vaccines became widely available. OSHA announced that the updated guidance is intended to help employers protect non-vaccinated workers in industries not covered by the new ETS, with a special emphasis on industries noted for prolonged close contact among workers, such as manufacturing. For a copy of the updated workplace guidance, please click here.

Cal/OSHA Readopts Revised COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards
The Cal/OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board on June 17 readopted the revised COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards that account for recent guidance from the California Department of Public Health based on increases in the number of people vaccinated. Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order enabling the revisions to take effect without the normal 10-day review period by the Office of Administrative Law. The revised standards took effect immediately. For a full copy of the standards, please click here.

ACC Supports Law for 30% Recycled Content in All Plastic Packaging
As Congressional Democrats propose harsher plastics bills and taxes on virgin resin, the American Chemistry Council released a five-part plan encouraging Congress to set a new national standard for all plastic packaging to use at least 30% recycled content by 2030, among other recommendations. The new legislative initiative was announced on July 13. Currently, there is no legislation in Congress that mimics ACC’s ideas at this point. For a copy of the full legislative agenda, please click here.

Maine and Oregon Adopt EPR Laws for Recycling of Plastic Packaging
The Maine and Oregon legislatures have passed the first comprehensive laws in the U.S. requiring companies to directly pay for the recycling of plastics, paper, and other packaging, although industry groups oppose the measures. These extended producer responsibility laws would be phased-in over several years. The Maine legislature passed its version July 2 as packaging industry trade groups implored Gov. Janet Mills to veto it, calling the legislation a “blank check” for governments. Oregon legislators in late June passed their own version citing it will provide incentives for packaging producers and users to make products easier to recycle. The bill was sent to Gov. Kate Brown for her signature.

Democrat Senators Introduce Carbon Border Tax Plan on Iron and Steel
Senate Democrats on July 19 proposed to raise as much as $16 billion annually by imposing a tax on imports – including iron and steel – from China and other countries lacking “ambitious climate laws.” The tax would be levied regardless of whether Congress passed new laws to reduce emissions created by the U.S. It would be designed to be approximately equivalent to the costs faced by American companies under state and federal environmental regulations. The plan comes a week after the European Union proposed its own carbon border tax on imports from countries with lax pollution controls. The proposal from Democrats is expected to be attached to a $3.5 trillion budget resolution.

Manufacturing News

Manufacturing Worker Retention Study Cites Why Employees Remain
The Manufacturing Institute’s Center for Manufacturing Research and the American Psychological Association recently published a Manufacturing Engagement and Retention Study focused on how manufacturing leaders keep great employees on staff. According to the study, the main reasons that employees remain at a company are enjoyment of the work (83%) and stability/job security (79%). Other contributors include family friendliness of the employer and the way the job fits into their lifestyles outside of work. For a copy of the full study, please click here.

IHS Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI: July Manufacturing Expanded
Manufacturing activity in the U.S. expanded at another record pace in July, with the preliminary headline index rising from 62.1 in June to 63.1. The data were buoyed by stronger growth in new orders, output, exports, and employment in July. Respondents remained very upbeat in their outlook for future production, despite lingering supply chain challenges. However, raw material costs and output prices soared again to all-time high rates. For a copy of the full report, please click here.

Manufacturing ISM Report On Business: July Manufacturing Inched Down
The Institute for Supply Management’s index for manufacturing activity in the U.S. decreased to 59.5 in July from 60.6 in June. Although last month’s reading was the 14th straight month of growth, supply chain headaches contributed to a slower expansion in production and new orders. For a copy of the full report, please click here.

Empire State Manufacturing Survey: July Activity Continued Record Pace 
Manufacturing activity in New York continued at a record pace, according to the Empire State Manufacturing Survey, with the composite index jumping from 17.4 in June to 43.0 in July. New orders and shipments surged, with employment also accelerating. Input costs pulled back for the second straight month from May’s record growth rates, but 78.8% of respondents continued to suggest that raw material prices were higher for the month. With supply chain challenges lingering, delivery times once again narrowed to the slowest on record. Manufacturers in the region remained very upbeat about growth over the next six months. For a copy of the full survey, please click here.

Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Survey: July Activity Continued Uptick
Manufacturing activity continued to expand strongly in July despite slowing slightly in some measures. The composite index declined from 30.7 in June to 21.9 in July, with new orders, shipments, employment and the average employee workweek decelerating. Overall, the data speak to the severity of supply chain disruptions, with delivery times also elevated despite pulling back from a record pace for the second consecutive month. Manufacturers in the district remain very positive in their outlook. For a copy of the full survey, please click here.

Richmond Fed: July Manufacturing Activity Surged Again
The Richmond Federal Reserve District regional manufacturing index remained firm in July, rising by one point from a strong reading of 26 to 27. Shipments and employment showed stronger growth than the June survey, while orders grew at a slower rate, according to survey respondents. Inventories of raw materials and finished goods both hit record lows in this survey. Responses showed that manufacturers are struggling to find needed workers with the appropriate skills. For a copy of the full survey, please click here.

Texas Fed Manufacturing Outlook Survey: July Activity Remained Robust 
According to a survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, manufacturing activity held up at strong levels in July, despite ongoing supply constraints. The production index from the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey was up to 31.0 points in July from 29.4 points in June. This result was above the year-to-date average of 26.1 points and surpassed historical averages by wide margins. For a copy of the full survey, please click here.

Kansas City Fed: Manufacturing Activity Further Increased in July
Manufacturing activity continued to expand rapidly in July, with the composite index of general business conditions rising to 30 from 27 in June – a three-month high. New orders, production, shipments, and employment each strengthened in June, with exports rising at the fastest pace in 13 years. However, supply chain and logistics constraints continued to be a challenge, and the backlog of orders soared to a new record. For a copy of the full survey, please click here.

MSCI Metals Activity Report: Steel Shipments Continued to Rise in June
According to the MSCI Metals Activity Report, the dramatic increase in steel and aluminum shipments continued for the fourth straight month in the United States and Canada. U.S. service center steel shipments in June 2021 rose 24.6% from June 2020. Shipments of aluminum products increased 30.8% from the same month in 2020. Canadian service center steel shipments rose 13.8% year-over-year while shipments of aluminum products increased 30.4%. For a copy of the full report, please click here.