ASA Insights
March 17, 2011

Register Today: ASA Legislative Fly-In May 3-4
American Supply Association
Do you have an interest in telling your elected leaders how the debate over tax issues, the new health care regulations or the new DOE attack on multi-shower head units will affect your business? Are you interested in making sure you get to keep your LIFO Reserve? If you answered "Yes" to these questions, then you should register today for the ASA's 2011 Legislative Fly-In, to be held May 3-4 in Washington, D.C. It's your chance to speak personally with the decision-makers who are handling legislation on these issues. Please click here now to access registration materials. See you in Washington!More

Supplier Partner Update
American Supply Association
ASA is pleased to announce that Oatey, Hercules, Cherne and Dearborn Brass have joined as Silver Level participants in the ASA Supplier Partnership program! ASA is proud to present a sponsorship program designed to better recognize the year-round support that sponsorships provide to the association. Each opportunity provides ASA with income that funds a specific event, as well as many other areas that are crucial to successful programming throughout the year. Click here or contact Ruth Mitchell at 312-464-0090, ext. 210, or at ruth@asa.net to see what membership in the ASA Supplier Partnership program can do for your company.


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Reminder: Nominations Being Accepted for Fred V. Keenan Lifetime Achievement Award
American Supply Association
This is a reminder that nominations currently are being accepted for the prestigious Fred V. Keenan Lifetime Achievement Award. The award honors an individual's contributions to, and achievements in, the PHCP/PVF industry. The award is named for its first recipient, Fred V. Keenan of Keenan Supply, a division of Hajoca Corp. Wholesalers, manufacturers, independent manufacturer representatives, association executives or other individuals involved in the industry are eligible to receive the award. Other previous recipients include Karl Neupert, Ed Felten, John McDonald, John Martin and Frank Finkel.More

Cargo Insurance Mandate to End March 21
DC Velocity
Barring last-minute congressional intervention, starting March 21 virtually all of the nation's truckers will no longer be required to carry cargo liability insurance. A final rule from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will make it no longer mandatory for motor carriers to carry even the minimum amount of coverage to insure the cargo they transport. The minimums are set at $5,000 per claim, up to a $10,000 aggregate limit for losses occurring at any one time or place. The rule, published last June, goes into effect March 21. Carriers have been required to carry government-mandated cargo liability coverage since 1935.More

US Economy: Manufacturing Expands by Most Since 2004
Bloomberg
Manufacturing in the U.S. grew in February at the fastest pace in almost seven years, driven by gains in orders, employment and exports that signal factories will continue to propel the expansion. The Institute for Supply Management's factory index increased to 61.4, exceeding the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News and the highest level since May 2004, the Tempe, Ariz.-based group said. Readings greater than 50 signal growth. Compared with similar measures released in Europe and Asia, the data put the U.S. at the forefront of the global manufacturing rebound.More

McKinsey Report Amplifies Importance of Government Advocacy
American Supply Association
A recent report released by consulting firm McKinsey & Company confirms what millions of employers, including more than 80 percent of ASA members, believe: that engaging with our federal government is necessary in order to succeed in today's economy. As the report concludes, the government rests just behind customers on its list of factors that has the greatest effect on a business' bottom line. When President Barack Obama includes a repeal of LIFO as an effort to capture more tax revenue, we vigorously will defend this widely accepted accounting tool that many ASA members rely on. When legislation benefiting the environment and water conservation gains traction, we will join with others in promoting the positive attributes of WaterSense.More

House Passes Stopgap Funding Measure, But Defections Begin to Emerge
American Supply Association/The Washington Times
Once again, the House of Representatives stepped in to pass a temporary spending measure to keep the government operating for three more weeks. The Continuing Resolution passed the House on March 15 by a vote of 271-158, with 54 Republicans joining 104 Democrats in voting against the measure, which now goes to the Senate for passage before the end of the week when the current CR expires. The stopgap funding bill passed Tuesday would cut $6 billion from current discretionary spending levels and keep the government operating through April 8. The House action comes as pressure increases on House Republicans, Senate Democrats and the White House to find a compromise on spending for the rest of the fiscal year.More

Arizona Manufacturing Jobs Still a Path to Middle Class
The Arizona Republic
For decades, making things was a fail-safe path to the middle-class life in Arizona. The wages were good. The factory jobs were steady. But over the past decade, the state has lost almost one-quarter of those jobs. An increasingly global economy, better technology and a devastating recession all played a role in the seismic shift. Arizonans still can find opportunities in the manufacturing industry, and the higher-skilled jobs of today often come with higher pay. Even entry-level posts can pay $15 per hour or more, enough money for many families to cover basic needs and have a little extra left over — one definition of a middle-class life.More

America Hiring Blue Collar Workers Again
CNNMoney
Construction and manufacturing workers got some slightly better news from the government's recent jobs report. Those industries each added 33,000 jobs in February. It was the biggest one-month gain for construction workers in nearly four years. And in manufacturing, February's increase rounded off the strongest three-month winning streak in 16 years. But that doesn't mean either industry is out of the woods just yet. Part of February's gains could mark a temporary rebound from extreme winter weather in December and January, said Kenneth D. Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America. However, he still forecasts further growth in construction jobs this year, albeit at a slower pace than some other sectors of the economy.More