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ABC 2020: Silver linings

U.S. Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia says American manufacturing will play an even more important role moving forward.

U.S. Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia says American manufacturing will play an even more important role moving forward.

The first virtual American Boating Congress wrapped up on Thursday with updates from Trump Administration cabinet members, outlooks on the upcoming elections from House Democrat and Senate Republican strategists, and some hopeful indicators on the economic front.

U.S. Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia opened the event by emphasizing that American manufacturing will play an even more important role in the economy moving forward.

Scalia and Trevor Hanger, of Forbes-Tate Partners, both pointed out the large percentage of Americans that believe their furloughs or unemployment status is temporary, and both highlighted the importance of that figure.

“That’s a number we really want to stay high,” said Hanger during the event.

The high percentage of people confident their job would return, the stock market’s resilience and the Fed support, are all positive signs, said Hanger, who also said he did not want to sugarcoat the severity of the situation.

The Russell 2000 Index, the small cap index, is showing renewed faith in small business also, said Hanger.

“Small business leads the way out of the recovery, so that’s a really positive sign to see,” said Hanger.

Like many economists and analysts, Forbes-Tate doesn’t foresee a V-shaped recovery. But they do see economic activity increasing in the second half of the year.

“People talk about a swoosh rather than a V,” said Hanger.

That angle of the upward swoosh will depend on industry, however.

“The silver bullet here for the economy is finding some effective vaccine or treatment for covid-19,” said Hanger. “To really get back to full strength, we need to instill the confidence people had pre-pandemic. That, at the end of the day, is what’s going to get us through and clear to the other side.”

Updates from the Senate Republican and House Democrat strategists showed both thought they would maintain control of each chamber, respectively.

David Bernhardt, Secretary of the Interior, delivered a message to the industry via video thanking it for the fun it provides.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross delivered an address via phone after he received the Jack Lawton, Jr. Conservation Award, presented by Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Sportfishing Policy. The award is named for CSP’s founding chairman.

“Secretary Ross connects commerce and conservation,” said Angers in a statement. “Since day one, he has recognized the critical role America’s millions of recreational anglers and boaters play in the American System of Conservation Funding. We are happy to honor him with our Jack Lawton, Jr. Conservation Award for his commitment to balancing conservation and public access.”

Ross was selected for his work helping protect menhaden fishing in the Chesapeake Bay, “a small fish with a big impact,” said Angers during the event.

During his remarks, Ross said he was “extremely honored” for the award

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