PA Chamber Welcomes US-EU Trade and Technology Council Meeting to Pittsburgh

PA Chamber President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement regarding tomorrow’s inaugural meeting in Pittsburgh of the United States and European Union Trade and Technology Council:

“On behalf of Pennsylvania’s business community, we welcome European Commission Executive Vice Presidents Margrethe Vestager and Valdis Dombrovski to Pittsburgh to meet with Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai. Pennsylvania has a growing portfolio of innovative technology companies, in addition to our historic leadership positions in energy, manufacturing, and trade and logistics. With international trade supporting more than 1.5 million Pennsylvania jobs and several EU nations among our state’s top trading partners, we encourage our leaders and the delegation from the EU to work on policy that leverages both of our strengths and promotes enhanced coordination and cooperation to address global challenges.”

State & Federal Political Recap

Gov. Wolf Holds News Conference in Support of Minimum Wage Increase

On Friday, Governor Tom Wolf joined Democratic members of the House and Senate, including House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton, in Philadelphia to again call for a raise in Pennsylvania’s minimum wage.  Without regard for the economic consequences of this proposal, Gov. Wolf has repeatedly called for the state’s minimum wage to be raised to $15 per hour after an initial increase to $12.  The governor and advocates have also proposed eliminating the tipped credit system used primarily by the restaurant industry, which would force these small businesses to increase labor costs by 425 percent as they continue struggling to recover from the pandemic.

Carla Sands Announces Run for Pennsylvania Senate Seat

President Trump’s former ambassador to Denmark announced last week that she was joining the crowded primary field vying for the state’s Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate.  Carla Sands is a Pennsylvania native and CEO of Vintage Capital Group.  The primary election will be held in May 2022.

New Law Gives Telecom Companies Competitive Advantage in PA

According to reporting in the Pennsylvania Capital-Star, legislation that passed in late June could be a boon for the competitiveness of Pennsylvania’s telecom market.  Municipal permitting for 5G infrastructure — formerly a process that could play out over many months — is now limited by statute to 60 or 90 days before being granted automatic approval.

Commerce Department adds 34 Chinese Companies to ‘Entity List’ for Xinjiang, Trade, Military Abuses

On Friday, the Biden Administration added 34 additional companies, 14 headquartered in the People’s Republic of China, to the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security’s ‘Entity List’ for activities “contrary to the foreign policy and national security interests of the United States.” Among the reasons for the listings were support for actions that aided the PRC government’s oppression of minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, trading with Iran in violation of existing U.S. regulations, and supporting China’s military modernization programs.  Maintained by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the list restricts trade practices on goods listed on the U.S. Government’s Export Administration Regulations.