President Trump’s State of the Union address earlier this week provided an interesting glimpse into his priorities for 2018 and beyond. For the first time in more than 20 years, a sitting president highlighted the importance of infrastructure development as one of the top priorities for his administration this year. Given the economic environment as well as the regulatory climate, what other good things can we expect from this president? His speech on Tuesday gives us an idea.
The 6th cycle of Responsible Distribution is well underway with the first year of its three-year cycle. We kicked off the cycle in 2017 with the launch of a new online dashboard tool, a renewed sense of continuous improvement, and dedication to improved resources.
The beginning of a new year brings time for reflection on goals accomplished in the last twelve months and challenges ahead that we need to tackle. As we enter President Trump’ s second year in office, not to mention a midterm election year, we need to be laser-focused on the key policy issues most impacting chemical distributors.
Closing out 2017, we find ourselves on the precipice of witnessing Congress pass the biggest tax overhaul since 1986. The last tax reform was three decades ago, and Congress has struggled on thorny tax debates ever since. We can all agree (Democrats, Republicans, or others) that the overly complicated and burdensome U.S. tax code is due for a major update.
Today, November 8, is National STEM Day, and now more than ever we must recognize the need to foster our youth to pursue careers in the sciences. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) job opportunities in the U.S. are growing. As we look to the future of our economy and our workforce, STEM education – and specifically chemistry – is a critical part of driving innovation to improve and advance our everyday lives.
Over the last few years, some members of Congress have emphasized the need for reforming our nation’s health care system. While many efforts were aimed at dismantling Obamacare, doing so has not proven easy. Republicans, particularly in the Senate, were unable to find a consensus on a path for reform. In response, President Trump took matters into his own hands through an executive order directing federal agencies to find ways to increase competition and lower costs through association health plans.
In celebration of this year’s National Chemistry Week, NACD joined with the American Chemical Society and the American Chemistry Council to hold the first-ever Chemistry Expo on Capitol Hill, bringing members of our industry together with members of the Congressional Chemistry Caucus to highlight innovations in the industry and STEM education.
Earlier this week, I was invited by the White House along with 100 other leading trade association executives to attend an event highlighting the efforts made by the Trump administration to reduce the regulatory burdens businesses continue to face. This “Cut the Red Tape Summit,” which featured most of President Trump’s Cabinet and senior staff, was led by Vice President Mike Pence and highlighted efforts by the administration to halt the extraordinary growth of the Code of Federal Regulations from the 1960s to today.
The recent improvised bomb explosion on an underground London train has rekindled concerns about the security of the international chemical supply chain. Reports indicate terrorists utilized volatile precursor chemicals to make triacetone triperoxide (TATP) for the bomb they planted in a plastic bucket inside a carrier bag. Questions from the media and others in Europe are now centering on the regulatory framework governing the sale and use of TATP and other chemicals and how to ensure the integrity of the chemical supply chain remains as secure as possible.
As I write this nearly 8-months into President Trump’s term, I continue to scratch my head wondering why so little progress has been made between his administration and leaders of both political parties on Capitol Hill. In talking with NACD members, most are equally frustrated with the lack of progress. Many support a number of the President’s top initiatives but wince at how his social media discourse has denigrated the legislative process when addressing these issues. While the president has done a commendable job of reducing the bureaucracy, especially at EPA under Administrator Pruitt, little has been accomplished the first three quarters this year legislatively. And that is not good at all.