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Congress Approves Defense Authorization Bill: THE LEGISLATION INCLUDES BILLIONS IN CONSTRUCTION SPENDING AND OTHER PROVISIONS IMPACTING METALCASTERS.

In December, the House and Senate overwhelmingly approved the National Defense Authorization Act of2020 (S. 1790), which President Donald Trump signed it into law. The Fiscal Year 2020 defense bill contains a total of $738 billion in defense spending and creates a new U.S. Space Force, as a separate branch of the armed services. Included in the many provisions are authorizations for additional F-35s, C-130Js, and F15EXs, among other aircraft and nearly $11.8 billion for military and military family housing construction. In addition, the measure would authorize $23 billion to build 12 Navy ships, including three Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, two Virginia-class attack submarines, a new frigate and two amphibious ships. As critical suppliers to the U.S. military, there are several provisions of importance to U.S. metalcasters.

The measure contains a number of China-related provisions, including prohibiting transit agencies from using federal funds to purchase passenger rail cars and buses from Chinese state-owned or state-controlled enterprise. The ban excludes pre-existing contracts. Other provisions include one intended to reduce reliance on foreign sources of rare-earth minerals, and another that bars the U.S. military from purchasing China-made drones.

Other sections of the law of interest to the metalcasting industry include: Sec. 873: Requires federal agencies to pay small business contractors in an accelerated timeframe to 15 days, instead of thirty days; Sec. 1121-1124: Prohibit federal employers and contractors from asking about the criminal history of job applicants until they receive conditional offers of employment; and, Sec. 1648: Requires DOD to develop a comprehensive cybersecurity and will require all prime and subcontractors to adhere to those standards.

Stephanie Salmon, AFS Washington Office; Jeff Hannapel & Christian Richter, The Policy Group, Washington, D.C.

Caption: Congress approved a defense authorization bill that has implications for metalcasters.

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Title Annotation:WASHINGTON ALERT
Author:Salmon, Stephanie; Hannapel, Jeff; Richter, Christian
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Jan 1, 2020
Words:295
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