COVID ReliefAs Congress returns to Washington this week after a recess period, AEM sent a letter to congressional leaders Monday morning detailing several priorities for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives to consider as they continue negotiations on the fourth COVID-19 relief package. While reports indicate that reaching consensus will be a challenge, AEM has consistently reminded lawmakers of the need for additional relief for equipment manufacturers, dealers, and the industry’s sector partners. If a final deal can be reached, the fourth package could be passed and signed into law at some point during the next three weeks.  

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, AEM has put forth a series of policy recommendations for how to ensure the health and safety of the 2.8 million men and women of the industry, as well as the economic resilience of its member companies. We have also been working closely with the U.S. Congress and the White House to make sure that many of the industry’s key policy priorities are included in the various coronavirus relief packages. 

Monday’s letter made the case for:  

  • Reauthorization of the federal surface transportation program, 
  • An infusion of federal funding for state departments of transportation to shore up infrastructure projects already underway,  
  • Emergency grants for biofuels producers,  
  • mechanism to ensure better coordination among federal agencies and trading partners to prevent future supply chain disruptions, 
  • A specific loan program created under the Main Street Lending Program (MSLP) to provide short-term, bridge financing that small and medium-sized equipment manufacturers need to weather the current crisis, 
  • S. 4194, a bill to establish the National Institute of Manufacturing, and 
  • An investment in retraining programs for sectors, like equipment manufacturers, deemed essential.  

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, AEM has been in close contact with lawmakers and their staff, educating them about how equipment manufacturers have stepped up to keep their employees and their communities safe, to retool their facilities to manufacture and supply desperately needed health and protective equipment, and to keep their manufacturing operations running to supply the equipment needed to build, feed, and power the country.

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