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Cautiously Optimistic for 2019

The longest ever shutdown of the U.S. government ended when both the Senate and the House approved a measure to temporarily reopen the federal government. But the five-week partia government shutdown cost the U.S. economy about $3 billion in forgone economic activity that won’t be recovered.

Meanwhile, much is being discussed with regard to the U.S. and China seeking a resolution to the ongoing trade war. With representatives meeting, observers seem optimistic about a solution. With the impending March 1st deadline, meaningful approaches to resolving the trade war are still lacking. The Democrats and Republicans need to come to a mutual solution regarding the prolonged trade wars as well as the immigration issues.

If these issues trickle beyond the first quarter of 2019, there will be an impact on our

economy. Resolving these issues are paramount to continue a healthy business environment.

I am optimistic about Google’s plans to double its workforce in New York City to more than 14,000 people over the next decade. Google and Amazon’s respective expansions in New York open up a new front in the battle for talent among the tech giants. It’s definitely a good thing for New York, with its dependence on income taxes, to secure tens of thousands of new six-figure jobs. The city is in the midst of its largest and longest period of job growth since the Second World War.

As we continue our negotiations with the New York City District Council of Carpenters, our biggest challenge to our membership continues to be the loss of market share due to the increased non-union presence in our market. I am cautiously optimistic we can find a common ground for the betterment of all parties involved and conclude these negotiations in the first quarter of 2019.

I hope to see everyone at the upcoming AWCI annual convention in National Harbor, Maryland at the end of April. For more information please visit I also look forward to seeing you all at the WC&C 19th Annual Dinner Dance at Terrance on

the Park on March 30th.

— Michael Webber

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