Highlights From Copper & Brass Fabricators Council Board Meeting
A note from CBSA President, Dicky Farmer…
On September 11th, I attended the Copper and Brass Fabricators Council (CBFC) Board meeting and would like to share three interesting topics discussed there.
1. We have all heard the saying “A dollar spent is a dollar earned.” Question: Will the dollar bill become obsolete? During the 113th U.S. Congressional meeting the House introduced Bill HR.5196 replacing the $1 bill with the $1 coin. Consumer advocates state while making a dollar bill may be cheaper than making a coin, it may only last approximately four years compared with 30 years of the coin. Eliminating the dollar bill in favor of the coin would save $13.8 billion dollars over 30 years.
The Sacagawea dollar coin introduced in 2002 has a copper core and the clad is made of Manganese Brass, which gives the coin a distinctive golden color. Even though there are many advantages to the switch to a dollar coin, various government offices now have to issue reports before the dollar coin becomes a reality. Therefore, I expect it will be many years before this act will pass.
2. The 113th Congress will likely extend the 50 percent bonus depreciation through the end of 2015. This bill is expected to pass Congress and be signed by President Obama during 2014. If passed, business owners will be able to deduct 50 percent of the cost of their purchased assets in the first year, and the remaining cost could be deducted over several years using regular depreciation or Section 179 expensing.
3. Congressman Bob Latta and Congressman Tim Murphy introduced Bill HR.5350, the Infection Reduction Labeling Act of 2014. This act would enable producers to accurately label antimicrobial copper products with their infection reduction properties.
According to Latta, more than four percent of patients develop an infection during their hospital stay which results in 100,000 deaths and more than $100 billion dollars in additional health care costs each year. Congressman Murphy says that bacteria such as infectious MRSA (methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus) dies within minutes when exposed to copper surfaces. But if left on plastics or other similar materials, MRSA can last for days. During trials solid copper alloys have been approved by the EPA and have been registered as an antimicrobial agent under the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. Our current law does not permit the EPA to allow the labeling of these products as antimicrobial by producers. This legislation would permit such labeling so these products infection-reducing properties can be fully realized.
I look forward to attending the CBFC Board meeting in December and updating you at that time with any new initiatives.
On a more personal note, with fall upon us and September nearly over, summer may have gone by too fast but I’m hoping you all took time to enjoy Labor Day earlier this month. This special holiday honors working people and their contributions to the American economy. This is your day of reward where you can enjoy the luxuries of life and I hope it was well-spent with your families.
Info provided by the CBSA Capsule