Three provisions actively supported by Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) have been included in the America COMPETES Act passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill aims to enhance America's global competitiveness by fixing broken supply chains, boosting scientific research, investing in STEM education programs, and more.
The three provisions are the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) reauthorization, the INFORM Consumers Act, and the Ocean Shipping Reform Act. PMI will continue to advocate strongly for these measures as a House-Senate conference negotiates the differences between the America COMPETES Act and the Senate's United States Innovation and Competition Act in the weeks ahead.
"PMI has advocated for these three provisions because they will help the plumbing manufacturing industry assure safe and reliable plumbing systems to strengthen water quality and water efficiency, protect shoppers from counterfeit or stolen merchandise, and make supply chains involving ocean shipping more efficient," said PMI CEO and Executive Director Kerry Stackpole.
Included in the House bill are the following key provisions of importance to plumbing manufacturers:
- The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for the Future Act reauthorizes NIST funding authorizations for FY22-FY26. Companies, academic institutions, and other federal agencies rely on NIST's laboratory programs to provide foundational research and material development for their products and programs. The authorizations include the NIST Plumbing Research Act to re-establish a federal laboratory to conduct research of premise plumbing and to promote new and innovative technologies that can improve the safety, water efficiency and reliability of our plumbing systems in buildings and homes.
- The INFORM Consumers Act modernizes the nation’s consumer protection laws and safeguards America's shoppers, with a particular focus on addressing the sale of counterfeit and stolen merchandise on e-commerce platforms. Organized retail crime is happening all over the nation, where bad actors are stealing from home improvement stores on a large scale and then selling those products online. Counterfeits, which are often found on leading online marketplaces, pose a serious threat to America’s economic competitiveness.
- The Ocean Shipping Reform Act represents the first major update to U.S. maritime law in more than 20 years. It will level the playing field by giving the Federal Maritime Commission greater authority to regulate harmful practices by carriers and setting rules on what fees carriers can reasonably charge shippers and transporters. Congestion at ports and increased shipping costs pose unique challenges for plumbing manufacturers, which have seen the price of shipping containers increase four-fold in just two years.