By Alex Russ, AEM Director of International and Regulatory Affairs

Whether in a frozen Montreal, a rainy Washington, D.C., a sunny Ottawa or a windy Calgary, AEM has been pounding the ground this year and advocating for our industry’s top Canadian regulatory and legislative priorities. We know how important this work is because we represent an industry supporting 149,000 jobs on Canadian soil and contributing over $19 billion a year to the Canadian economy. 

The following are just several of many advocacy actions AEM took this year on Canadian advocacy:

Scheer1. AEM meeting with Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer

On Jan. 18, in Washington, D.C., AEM met with Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer and a delegation of Members of Parliament to help highlight our industry’s key public policy challenges in Canada. Priorities discussed included ways to update NAFTA, which ultimately helped pay dividends when President Trump and the leaders of Mexico and Canada agreed to its replacement late this year with the signing of the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA).

2. AEM takes part in NAFTA negotiations

Just a few weeks later in January in Montreal, AEM representatives met directly with NAFTA negotiators from the United States, Mexico, and Canada, as well as U.S. Ambassador Craft to present our industry’s needs for an updated trilateral agreement that both maintains market access across all three countries and incentivizes foreign direct investment in North American equipment manufacturing.

3. AEM hosts Standing Committee on International Trade

This spring AEM hosted a delegation from the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade in Washington, D.C. AEM staff and member company representatives discussed the ongoing NAFTA renegotiations and highlighted important provisions the industry wanted to maintain with any new agreement. Regardless of the deluge of rain, participants enjoyed a highly memorable boat tour on the Potomac River.

4. AEM hosts Canadian Demo Day

In August of this year, AEM co-hosted its first-ever Demo Day in Canada. AEM invited over 40 staff members from Canada’s Pest Management and Regulatory Agency (PMRA) for a full day of field demonstrations highlighting the environmental benefits of modern sprayer and planter technologies. The Demo Day helped federal regulators see how equipment design and technology minimizes impact on the environment. Feedback from the PMRA after the Demo Day was positive, saying they hope for more engagement in the near future. Watch our video below to get a better sense of what took place during the Demo Day:

5. AEM appears before Standing Committees on Agriculture and Finance

In October, AEM appeared at the Standing Committees on Agriculture and Finance to present our key public policy priorities and challenges facing the industry in Canada. The appearance occurred during committees’ “Pre-Budget Consultations in Advance of 2019 Budget” hearings. At the Finance Committee, AEM highlighted the importance of trade for continued growth and investment and how updating Canada’s tax code could incentivize the purchase of new equipment. While at the Agriculture Committee, AEM discussed the importance of rural broadband investment to take better advantage of technology development reshaping modern agricultural practices. 

Justin Trudeau6. CABC State of the Relationship

Perhaps saving the best for last, I had the chance to meet Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the Canadian American Business Council’s (CABC) Annual State of the Relationship in Ottawa in November. During the State of the Relationship, AEM discussed how tariffs on steel and aluminum continue to negatively impact the equipment manufacturing industry on both sides of the border, and explained the political hurdles that must be overcome to ratify the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA).

AEM is already hard at work on our Canadian advocacy plans for 2019 with many more legislative and regulatory goals on tap in the new year.

To get engaged or learn more, contact AEM’s Director of International and Regulatory Affairs Alex Russ at aruss@aem.org (202) 898-9064.

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