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Report on Cutting Manufacturing Regulations Still Being Developed

Business groups seeking higher truck weights, ELD exemptions.

The Commerce Department said its report to President Trump on boosting the nation’s manufacturing sector though reduced regulations remains under development.

An executive order signed by Trump during his first week in office ordered Commerce to recommend actions to prop up factory activity in the United States.

In early June, administration officials told CNBC the report was ready. However, a Commerce Department spokesman confirmed to Fleet Owner last week the report has not been published in the Federal Register, which is required as part of the executive order. The spokesman did not provide additional information.

During a public comment period, manufacturing groups urged the administration increase federal truck size-and-weight limits and granting more exemptions from the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate.

Trump’s Jan. 24 executive order laid out a timeline of up to 60 days for public comment, with the report due within 60 days of reviewing the recommendations. The public comment period closed on March 31.

In a separate development, the administration missed a self-imposed deadline for finishing a probe of global steel imports by the end of June.

Gary Cohn, a Trump economic adviser, said the report is in “near-final form” and be used in discussions with trading partners, including at the just completed G-20 economic summit in Germany.

In June, Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross said the United States might have to take action to fight steel dumping, which could include new tariffs.

At the same time it ponders action on steel, the Commerce Department proposed additional tariffs on lumber imports from Canada.

In April, the United States announced a plan to slap 20% tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber. Now, the Commerce Department is considering duties on some lumber products as high as 30.88%. A final decision is expected in September.

 “The United States is committed to free and fair trade, as seen today with the preliminary decision to exclude softwood lumber from the Canadian Atlantic Provinces in the ongoing antidumping and countervailing duty cases,” said Ross. “While I remain optimistic that we will be able to reach a negotiated solution on softwood lumber, until we do we will continue to vigorously apply the . . . laws to stand up for American companies and their workers.”

This story originally appeared at Fleet Owner

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