ALA Government Engagement Updates
ALA Submits Joint Comments to FCC
ALA joined other consumer product trade associations in sending comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) opposing a recent proposal to assess and collect fees on users of unlicensed spectrum.
For some time, traditional communication devices (phones and computers) have enjoyed unfettered access to unlicensed spectrum. The FCC’s proposal is concerning because it would stifle innovation at a time when other consumer product connectivity is beginning to flourish.
Read the letter here.
Learn more about the FCC’s proposal.
ALA Opposes IRS Reporting
The Build Back Better initiative, President Biden’s domestic spending agenda, is stuck in legislative limbo. The White House and Congressional leaders continue to haggle over which programs should be included and which ones will be left out. The other component being negotiated is how the new spending will be paid for. One pay-for involves recouping back taxes owed to the federal government. To achieve this, the Biden Administration is promoting an idea that requires banks to increase reporting on accounts with transactions over $10,000.
ALA, together with other business and banking associations sent a letter to President Biden defending the right to privacy, urging his administration to drop this idea from further consideration.
Read the letter here.
Canada Updates COVID-19 Assistance Programs
The Canadian federal government decided to let two pandemic related relief programs, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy as well as the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, expire on October 23, 2021. Both programs, important to businesses and workers, were designed to help Canadians survive the worst of the pandemic. This decision comes despite heavy opposition from business groups.
To replace these valuable programs, the government is introducing, extending, modifying or replacing other COVID-19 related programs.
The Canada Recovery Hiring Program is being extended and has been modified to tighten the application criteria.
The government is also ending the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) but is replacing it with a more targeted program designed to help those in case of a lockdown. The new program is called the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit.
Additionally, the federal government has proposed two entirely new programs to help Canadian businesses hit hardest by the pandemic and the tourism industry. The Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program is designed to provide rent and wage subsidies to restaurants, hotels owners, tour operators and travel agencies. The Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program would provide rent and wage subsidies to “other” businesses that suffered substantial loss.
In total the new and modified programs will cost $7.4 billion and run through May 7, 2022.
Award Season is Upon Us
Is your company on the cutting edge of efficiency and technology? If so, then consider applying for an ENERGY STAR award. The application portal for this year’s ENERGY STAR awards is now open.
ALA members have a proven history of advancing new products that are efficient and technologically sound, as a result several manufacturers have won ENERGY STAR awards over the years. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, Dec. 7, at 8 p.m. Learn more about the ENERGY STAR awards.