Friday, November 7th, 2008

How Did U.S. Plastics Industry Fare in Elections?

This week the country witnessed a historic event with the election of Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) to the presidency. What’s in store for the U.S. plastics industry? Real Change was the common theme throughout this election cycle. The current economic slowdown coupled with the new administration is sure to result in renewed push for more regulation in the year ahead. A big question will be how President-elect Obama chooses to lead the country as he will be pushed by many in Congress to embrace a liberal, left agenda versus moving to the center. Attacks on the plastics industry are sure to escalate—and already have since election night–since NGOs are well poised and funded for this moment in history. Climate change and possible anti-supply energy legislation is very likely to take center stage while the swell to increase regulatory scrutiny of plastics manufacturing and the materials could become intense. Renewed effort to pass the union-sponsored card-check legislation (the Employee Free Choice Act) will begin immediately with the House expected to take up the legislation in late January, 2009. The incoming Obama administration could renew an Executive Order banning offshore oil and natural gas drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). President Bush removed that Executive Order this past July and Congress allowed the congressional ban to lapse as part of a deal in September to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the federal government running. Many congressional insiders have indicated that Speaker Pelosi allowed the congressional ban to expire in anticipation of an Obama presidency and the renewal of the Executive Order. SPI will be active on Capitol Hill to introduce the freshman in Congress and the White House on the importance of the country’s third largest manufacturing sector.

Interested in more political insights for the year ahead?
SPI will be sponsoring a webinar on November 19, 2008 at 11:00am to provide further analysis of the new Congress and what this means for the plastics industry. To register, contact Jerrod Conaway in the SPI Government Affairs Office at (202) 974-5211.

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