Will the New “Buy American” Order Help Boost the Glass Industry?

President Biden has signed a “Buy American” executive order intended to bolster American manufacturing. The White House says the order will ensure that when the federal government spends taxpayer dollars, they will be spent on goods made in America by American workers and with American-made components.

Contracting alone accounts for approximately $600 billion in federal spending. While federal law requires government agencies to give preferences to American firms, these preferences have not always been implemented consistently or effectively, according to the Administration. It adds that some of the requirements guiding how the government preferences domestic goods and services have not been updated substantially since 1954.

Janice Yglesias, executive director for the Fenestration & Glazing Industry Alliance (FGIA), says the order could be of benefit. “FGIA members in the U.S. could benefit from the government’s increased investments in manufacturing through Buy American that gives preference to American companies and seeks to implement the eligibility assessment of American-made products consistently and effectively,” she says. “The effects of COVID-19 have impacted all aspects of the fenestration and glazing industry from delayed and stalled supply chains to lost production days for American manufacturing workers. Helping to boost the U.S. manufacturing segment benefits the entire American economy.”

“FGIA is encouraged by the latest efforts to continue to drive the U.S. federal government’s preferences for American-made products and to support American manufacturing jobs. Encouraging federal purchases of American-made products can help manufacturers provide valuable jobs for workers in the U.S. to further stimulate the economy and to remain competitive in a global marketplace,” adds Kathy Krafka Harkema, FGIA U.S. codes and regulatory affairs manager.

NSG Moves to Dismiss Third-Party Complaint in Tornado Dispute

Nippon Sheet Glass, parent company of Pilkington North America, has moved to dismiss a third-party complaint brought forth against it by Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance (MSI), which has been in an ongoing lawsuit with Pilkington over an insurance payout following tornado damage at Pilkington’s Ottawa, Ill., plant in February 2017.

MSI is alleging that NSG made negligent misrepresentations. In its motion, NSG claims that MSI has sued NSG as a discovery maneuver.

“More specifically, MSI-US is apparently concerned that as a non-party, NSG-Japan could take advantage of the discovery protections contemplated by the Federal Rules and so—as a means of circumventing these protections—has brought suit directly against NSG-Japan in the hope that this foreign entity would then be forced to comply with party discovery, including the provision of ‘relevant documents and witnesses available in discovery and at trial.’ In support of this tactic, MSI-US has cobbled together two claims against NSG-Japan that are both legally deficient and essentially already before this Court, but in different form,” reads the motion for dismissal.

Judge Dismisses Sealant Suit Over Omitted Factual Allegations

A U.S. District Court Judge in Minnesota has granted DAP Product’s motion to dismiss in a putative class action brought by plaintiff Brandon Ehlis. Ehlis had alleged unfair or deceptive trade practices, breach of warranty and fraud. Ehlis claimed that sealant from a tube of DAP 3.0 Crystal Clear Kitchen, Bathroom, and Plumbing Sealant, which can be used for shower doors, turned yellow despite DAP representing that the sealant was “crystal clear.” Ehlis’ complaint was dismissed without prejudice.

Schiltz explained in his order that Ehlis’ complaint is “woefully devoid of factual allegations” and omits facts such as where he purchased the sealant; when he purchased it; where he was misled by DAP; where he used the sealant; or when the sealant yellowed.

“To be clear, the Court is not holding that all of this information must be alleged in order for Ehlis to plead a single plausible claim. The Court is holding that, because none of this information was alleged, Ehlis has not pleaded a single plausible claim. The allegations of the complaint leave the Court without a basis even to identify which state’s law applies to Ehlis’s claims, much less to determine whether any of those claims are plausible under the applicable state law,” reads the order.

Ehlis did not file an amended complaint by the February 1 deadline. As a result, the court dismissed his complaint without prejudice.

Ruling: Steel Installers Can’t Organize Without Shop Employees

A bargaining unit consisting solely of all full-time and regular part-time journeyman field iron workers and apprentices is unable to unionize separately from shop workers at American Steel Construction in Livonia, Mich. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which heard arguments about the collective bargaining issue, ruled that the two groups have too much in common to exclude certain employees.

The board stated in its decision that “the evidence is insufficient to establish that the employer’s employees who work on jobsites in the field as installers share a community of interest sufficiently distinct from excluded employees.”

This is because employees at the company generally begin working in the shop before advancing to the field and, according to the decision, shop employees may spend up to 30% of their time in the field and vice versa. The board says it’s found that units consisting of both shop and field workers are appropriate where the employer both fabricates and installs structural steel. Due to these findings, the petition, which was filed under section 9(c) of the National Labor Relations Act, has been dismissed.

Court Upholds Steel Tariffs

The U.S. Court of International Trade has upheld the tariffs on steel imports, imposed in March 2018 under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. Universal Steel Products and its co-plaintiffs filed a four-count amended complaint in December 2019 alleging that the proclamations relating to the steel tariffs violated various procedural requirements of Section 232.

The judges concluded that Proclamation 9705 and its subsequent modifications do not violate the statute, affirming the government’s ability to impose tariffs due to national security. The Court granted the government’s motion for judgment on the pleadings and denied the plaintiffs’ cross-motion for partial summary judgment.

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