Stephen Barlas

Contributing Writer
Stephen Barlas is a freelance writer that has more than 30 years of experience covering Congress, the White House, and the many regulatory agencies found in Washington, D.C. He has covered issues affecting the metal fabricating industry for The FABRICATOR for more than a decade.

Manufacturers must deal with new OT rules

June 1, 2016

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U.S. manufacturers have to come to terms with the new overtime rules issued by the U.S. Department of Labor.

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Higher costs for some steel on the way?

May 31, 2016

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The U.S. International Trade Commission is expected to levy antidumping and countervailing duties on Chinese steel.

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OSHA publishes final silica rule

April 11, 2016

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Shops that have abrasive blasting capabilities need to be aware that a new OSHA rule involving worker exposure to crystalline silica particles has been published.

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Major energy bill includes manufacturing provision

February 12, 2016

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Under the provision, Industrial Assessment Centers would be able to do more than advise manufacturers.

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New law enhances manufacturers’ tax benefits

January 21, 2016

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Congress finally provides permanent approval for Section 179 expensing deduction and bonus depreciation laws.

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Congress finally commits to infrastructure investment

December 9, 2015

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The recently approved highway bill increases domestic content and funding for railway cars.

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Manufacturers want Congress to restrain EPA on ozone

October 22, 2015

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It may be an uphill battle as the EPA reduces the limits of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds that manufacturers can release into the atmosphere.

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Cranking out complex drawings on a supercomputer?

August 7, 2015

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Proposed legislation might make it possible for manufacturers to access big-data capabilities at national labs.

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More manufacturing institutes on the agenda?

June 4, 2015

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President Obama wants $150 million to expand innovation network.

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Manufacturers push hard for trade promotion authority

May 11, 2015

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Mechanism to protect investors outside the purview of U.S. courts proves to be an issue of concern for those that oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

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Machining association chips away at ozone proposal

April 2, 2015

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The Precision Machined Products Association believes metal manufacturing operations will struggle to meet proposed EPA ozone standards.

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EPA targets aerospace segment

March 11, 2015

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed in February to tighten up air emission standards for aerospace manufacturing and fabrication facilities. The agency said it initially surveyed 1,300 facilities nationwide that potentially could emit hazardous air pollutants (HAPs); all of these...

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Tax break for manufacturers up in the air

March 10, 2015

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Prospects for Senate passage of a bill establishing a permanent expensing allowance for capital equipment are dicey. The House passed the America's Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2015 (H.R. 636) in February with all but one Republican voting for it and 33 Democrats adding their support. Now...

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Watch where those spent solvents go

February 5, 2015

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The Environmental Protection Agency has finally enacted its rulemaking that affects metal manufacturers that have to recycle or dispose of spent solvents.

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Congress approves manufacturing program--with an asterisk

January 9, 2015

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Congress fulfilled President Barack Obama's wish to set up a network of manufacturing innovation centers across the U.S., but there is a catch: The effort won't have its own budget. The endeavor will have to be funded through existing budgets in the Department of Energy and the Pentagon.

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