The NPES Government Affairs Program represents the interests of industry members in the public policy arena by identifying legislative, regulatory, and judicial issues of importance, and then developing and advocating policy positions and priorities in response. NPES is a strong proponent of government policy that encourages and facilitates capital investment that creates jobs and economic prosperity. The association also has been an aggressive advocate for right-sizing and improving the business model of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), which is a vital partner in the distribution chain of printed communication. NPES is a leader in The Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service, composed of more than 30 trade associations and companies united in the interest of sustaining a postal system that remains indispensable to American commerce and communications in the 21st century. Coalition membership spans the range of mailers and their suppliers, which together form a $1.1 trillion industry supporting 8.5 million jobs.
The coalition is focused on the need to immediately affect changes that will allow the Postal Service to stem its current cash flow shortage, as well as longer term structural issues needed to right-size the USPS for the future. During 2011, NPES and its coalition allies have continued to advance these strategies by working with the 112th Congress, the Postal Service, postal unions, and other stakeholder groups.
Access to credit is another top tier NPES government affairs priority. In 2010 NPES and over 40 other trade associations formed the Small Business Access to Credit Coalition that successfully advocated for continuing enhanced Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs and extending expiring loan guarantees and borrower fee reductions.
Working hand-in-hand with expanded credit availability, NPES remains persistent in urging the continuation of expensing and bonus depreciation tax policy for needed capital investment. Rapid capital cost recovery often provides the leverage necessary to break investment loose for what some economists estimate are about 1.5 million companies ready to buy new equipment.
Capital investment was given a huge boost when the lame duck 111th Congress in its waning days enacted “The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010,” the most aggressive capital investment tax policy in recent memory. Specifically, the new tax law extends current law IRC Section 168(k) 50% bonus depreciation for two more years for equipment placed in service before January 1, 2013. Under a special provision, it provides 100% expensing for qualifying new plant and equipment acquired and placed in service after September 8, 2010, and before January 1, 2012.
The new tax law also extends enhanced IRC Section 179 expensing (currently set at $500,000/year with a phase-out starting at $2 million/year for tax years beginning in 2010 and 2011) through tax years beginning in 2012, but at a somewhat lower level of $125,000/year with a $500,000 phase-out. Those amounts will revert to $25,000 and $200,000 respectively in 2013.
Finally, NPES continues to stress the importance of free, fair international trade and during its June 2011 Capitol Hill Fly-in the association made an extra effort to push hard for Congress to approve the long-awaited free trade agreements with Columbia, Korea, and Panama, international trade being a major market for many of NPES’s members’ products.