In an op-ed in the New York Times (2/4, Subscription Publication), Christina D. Romer, an economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and former chairwoman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, wrote, “President Obama, in his State of the Union address, singled out manufacturing for special tax breaks and support. Many go further, by urging trade restrictions or direct government investment in promising industries.” Romer wrote, “The economic rationales for a policy aimed specifically at shoring up manufacturing largely fall into three categories:” Market Failure, Jobs and Income Distribution. Romer goes on to discuss all three in detail and wrote that none “are completely convincing.” Romer wrote that she appreciates “what manufacturing has contributed to the” US, but, “so far, a persuasive case for a manufacturing policy remains to be made, while that for many other economic policies is well established.”

US Manufacturing Activity Grew In January

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (2/2, Barrett) reports, “Boosted by an increase in new orders, the production at US factories grew in January at the fastest pace in seven months.”

Bloomberg News (2/2) reports, “The Institute for Supply Management’s index climbed to 54.1, from 53.1 in December, the Tempe, Arizona-based group’s report showed” Wednesday. “The ISM’s new orders measure climbed to 57.6, the highest since April, from 54.8, and the gauge of export orders rose.” Bloomberg News notes, “Manufacturing accounts for about 12 percent of the economy and was at the forefront of the recovery that began in June 2009.”

The AP (2/2, Rugaber) reports, “Consumers are buying more cars and trucks, while businesses ordered more machinery and other equipment. That has driven manufacturing, which expanded for the 30th straight month.”

The Hill (2/1, Needham) “On The Money” blog reported, “Export orders also rose, a sign that US manufacturers haven’t yet been affected by Europe’s slowing economy. Meanwhile, a separate report from the Commerce Department showed that construction spending increased 1.5 percent in December, the fifth straight monthly gain. That pushed spending to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $816.4 billion, the highest level in 20 months.”

OSHA Targets Die Casters in Washington State

This week Washington State Dept of Labor & Industries launched an OSHA Primary Metal Inspection Program targeted at manufacturers. This piggy backs onto the program launched at the federal level by OSHA in May 2011 [OSHA Compliance Directive –]

Basically, this is a wall-to-wall inspection program designed for the metals industry (SIC Code 33). Steel mills, smelters, and foundries have been the main focus at the national level. The federal OSHA NEP for Primary Metal did NOT target die casters.

The targeted industries being used in Washington state does include the die casting industry. Here is the link to the state directive –

NADCA offers a safety training online class at OR If you would like a refresher webinar on Safety for your employees and need safety training certification for their files, please contact Daniel Twarog at NADCA – twarog@diecasting.orgto discuss.

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