NPES Looks to Advance Government Affairs Priorities in Congress, Trump Administration
RESTON, Va. — November 14, 2016 — NPES congratulates those candidates elected in the 2016 general election and looks to advance its Government Affairs priorities in the 115th Congress and Trump Administration. NPES is non-partisan and works in a bipartisan fashion to advance its members' interests and those of the larger printing and mailing industries. Click here for a summary of the results of this historic and unprecedented election (opens as s PDF).
In January 2017 President-elect Donald Trump will take office along with Republican majorities in both houses of the 115th Congress. Unified government can have advantages, but usually it isn't without intra-party disagreements, and will require the ability to forge compromises to achieve progress.
Although many details of Trump Administration policy are yet to be filled in, broad outlines suggest that there are both opportunities and challenges ahead for NPES Government Affairs priorities. For example, the general parameters of President-elect Trump's tax reform plans appear to comport with NPES's goal of making 100% first-year expensing of capital investment a permanent feature of the Tax Code, as well as its preference for reducing tax rates for both large corporations and small businesses, regardless of how they are organized under the tax law.
On the other hand, President-elect Trump's strong opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement (FTA), and his skepticism about trade in general is a major concern given NPES's longstanding support for free, fair international trade, and FTAs that greatly facilitate it. This is a political reality that will demand even more assertive pro-trade advocacy by NPES going forward.
In addition to NPES's full-time presence in Washington D.C., the Association plans to highlight its concerns to the new Congress and Trump Administration by organizing and hosting a Capitol Hill Fly-In next spring, which will bring top industry executives together in the Nation's Capital. Other printing and mailing industry organizations are invited and welcome to participate in the event. More details will be announced soon.
Lame Duck Priorities and Possibilities: NPES Focuses on Postal Reform and Approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in Closing Days of the 114th Congress
Enactment of postal reform legislation and approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement have been the focus of NPES Government Affairs for the Lame Duck session of the 114th Congress. Both are high priorities for Association member companies and their industry colleagues, and each face challenging obstacles.
Senate Bill 2015, Improving Postal Operations, Service and Transparency Act of 2015 (iPOST), was introduced in September 2015 by Senator Tom Carper (D - DE), but has not progressed in the Senate since then. The bill is largely a revised version of comprehensive reform legislation he authored in the 113th Congress, which gained committee approval but never reached the Senate floor. However, there was a major development in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year when H.R. 5714, Postal Service Reform Act of 2016, was unanimously approved by the Oversight and Government Reform (OGR) Committee in July. The bipartisan legislation is co-sponsored by OGR Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-3-UT), Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-7-MD), and their OGR Committee colleagues, Congressmen Mark Meadows (R-11-NC), Gerry Connolly (D-11-VA), and Steve Lynch (D-8-MA).
Summarized, H.R. 5714 strives to enhance and improve the Postal Service's revenue and efficiency, streamline its governance and, most notably from a financial standpoint, integrate postal retiree healthcare with Medicare, with the last provision essential to the success of the legislation's objectives. Recently, hundreds of associations and companies in the mailing industry, including NPES and some if its members, endorsed a letter sponsored by the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service urging House Speaker Paul Ryan, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and the entire U.S. House to enact H.R. 5714 in the Lame Duck session before the 114th Congress adjourns sine die. Although there is much work to be done to achieve this objective, there is precedent for success, considering that enactment of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) of 2006 was the final action of the 109th Congress ten years ago.
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
An important part of free, fair trade is the successful negotiation of free trade agreements, both unilateral and bi-lateral, by the United States with its global trading partners. There is ample evidence that such agreements provide huge economic benefits to the countries that participate in them. In the case of TPP these benefits include:
- Eliminating 18,000 tariffs, including those imposed on U.S. agriculture, industrial, medical and technology exports to TPP countries;
- Eliminating or reducing many non-tariff barriers across the spectrum of U.S. exports;
- Simplifying and streamlining customs rules to facilitate entry of goods;
- Reducing U.S. manufacturers' costs for raw materials obtained from TPP countries;
- Providing stronger protections for U.S. innovators' intellectual property rights; and
- Establishing new rules for e-commerce and competition with state-owned enterprises.
Because of these benefits, NPES has strongly supported TPP and actively participated in the multi-industry/association U.S. Coalition for TPP that is urging its approval in the Lame Duck session of the 114th Congress. However, TPP has regrettably faced strong populist opposition in Congress and harsh anti-trade rhetoric from both President-elect Donald Trump and Secretary Hillary Clinton. And Trump's election will likely end any possibility of the current Congress approving the trade pact before they and President Obama leave office. "This new political reality demands even more assertive pro-trade advocacy going forward," says NPES Government Affairs Director Mark Nuzzaco .
For more information, contact NPES Government Affairs Director Mark Nuzzaco at phone: (703) 264-7235 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.