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Survey Says Texas Manufacturing Outlook is Bleak

Texas manufacturers are painting a bleak picture of current and future factory activity in the nation's No. 2 state for production.

A Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas survey released Monday said Texas businesses are reporting sharp drops in most indicators of current activity. And nearly two-thirds of the 101 firms responding to the November Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey said their evaluation of general business activity had worsened.

Source: Associated Press

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Unions Sure Organizing Bill Will Pass

The government-affairs director of the AFL-CIO said he is certain that organized labor's top priority -- a law that would make it much easier for unions to organize businesses both large and small -- will pass Congress and be signed by President Barack Obama.

"I have no doubt it will pass and will be signed," William Samuel told reporters and editors of The Washington Times. He was referring to the Employee Free Choice Act, which would give workers the right to join a union as soon as a majority of them signed cards requesting union representation.

Source: Washington Times

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New Manufacturing Cost Study Shows Corporate Tax Burden Has Widened Steadily Since 2003

An update of the widely-cited manufacturing “cost study” released by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), The Manufacturing Institute and the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI shows that U.S. manufacturing is making progress in reducing its cost disadvantage against nine major foreign competitors but that high corporate tax rates now account for more than half of the burden.

The new 2008 cost study, “The Tide Is Turning: An Update on Structural Cost Pressures Facing U.S. Manufacturers,” is available at: www.nam.org/coststudy.

Source: NAM

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Introducing the International Society of Automation

“We are no longer just instruments and systems. Yes, these are an important part of any automation scheme and to the operation of plants, but we are more.” That’s how ISA President, and long-time supporter of the proposed ISA name change, Kim Miller Dunn, summarized the new meaning of ISA—International Society of Automation. With overwhelming support, the long-discussed name change for ISA was recently approved at ISA EXPO in Houston earlier this month.

Source: ISA

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China's Entry into WTO is Questioned by Former Chief U.S. Trade Negotiator

The chief U.S. trade negotiator who paved the way for China's entry into the World Trade Organization says the deal has not worked to the benefit of the United States.

Now that he is retired, Robert Cassidy, former assistant United States Trade Representative for China, says he is compelled to speak his mind in expressing misgivings over how the federal government failed to stop China from gaming the global trading system.

Source: Manufacturing & Technology News

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