By The Associated Press Reporter | April 30, 2018 09:31:01President Donald Trump’s administration is proposing to spend $2.3 billion on the nation’s top jewelry repair shops and a $1.3 million grant for jewelry restoration in a major overhaul of the nations biggest jewelry repair programs.
The program is part of the $1 trillion spending plan Trump unveiled during his campaign to address the nation s opioid crisis and the millions of Americans who died in the crisis.
Trump has proposed to spend the money on repair, jewelry restoration, and rehabilitation of older and worn-out jewelry.
He has proposed giving $500 million in grants to the largest private repair shops to get them up and running, $1 billion to private companies to hire and train more workers and $1 million to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to pay for equipment and maintenance.
The proposed spending includes a $500,000 grant to the United States Jewelers Association for “improved jewelry repair and maintenance services” and $500 for each repair shop that gets approved.
It also includes a proposal to increase the number of certified jewelry restoration professionals from 5,000 to 10,000 and create a new “Joint Jewelry Repair and Restoration Council” to coordinate the industry’s efforts.
The administration will propose to use the $2 billion for the repair of $500 billion in “hard to find” jewelry.
The proposal is a step toward repairing some of the countrys biggest jewel repair shops, which are in desperate need of repairs after losing more than a third of their stock in recent years due to the opioid crisis.
The Trump administration also wants to increase funding for private repair firms by $1 to $5 million to help them attract more workers.
The Federal Emergency Manager for Jewelry, which is overseeing the programs, said it was disappointed in the proposal and hoped to see the Trump administration continue to make the program more accessible to all.
“The federal government is making it easier for businesses to invest in repairing jewelry, but unfortunately we still see so many businesses continue to fail in this area,” said Marilyn T. McFarland, acting administrator for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. “It is critical that we do everything we can to assist all of these businesses, but it also requires a concerted effort by all the stakeholders.”
In a statement, the American Jewelry Association said it supported Trump’s initiative to help private businesses.
“We are pleased that the administration is taking steps to improve access to the repair, restoration, rehabilitation, and repair of older, worn-outs jewelry,” the association said.
“This is especially important for young women and families who are at risk of developing conditions such as arthritis, which may result in the loss of jewelry and/or other items that are critical to the daily lives of their loved ones.”
A group of more than 2,000 private repair businesses, including many of the oldest and most established, are asking the Trump White House to extend a $2,000-per-day extension of the government’s Jeweler Repair and Restitution Program.
The Jeweler Restoration Council, which will be headed by the chief executive of the American Society of Apparel and Footwear, said in a statement the Trump plan “is an important step in the right direction toward repairing and restoring the jeweler community and restoring its reputation as an industry leader.”
The Jewelers Union, which represents the largest repair shops in the country, said the proposed spending is “very disappointing” and “a step backward.”
“This proposal is extremely disappointing and a step backward,” said Michael M. Siegel, president of the trade group.
“Many people have invested time, money and effort in these communities for many years, and this proposal will only make it harder to find jobs for these employees and communities.”
Trump’s plan comes as he continues to grapple with the opioid epidemic, which has claimed the lives of more Americans than any other American tragedy in recent memory.
Trump signed an executive order this week to expedite the federal governments plan to rein in prescription drug prices and other costs that are driving many Americans into poverty.
He also announced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would create a task force to examine ways to prevent the epidemic from spreading to the rest of the world.
In an interview on Fox News on Tuesday, Trump called the opioid crises a “big problem” and said the administration would be “absolutely not giving up.”