The equipment manufacturing industry supports 1.3 million good-paying jobs in the United States and generates $159 billion each year to the economy.

To encourage investment, job growth, and development and production of more equipment in the United States, AEM advocates on behalf of its 1,000+ members to urge elected officials to champion policies that creates a globally competitive business environment, rebuilds our nation’s infrastructure, opens up foreign markets for equipment manufactures in the United States, and keeps the U.S. agricultural economy strong.

To learn more about equipment manufacturers’ economic impact, read our Economic Impact report here: Download Economic Research Report.

Learn about our Canadian advocacy efforts.


Policy priorities

We work with our 1,000+ members and policymakers to advance policies that help move our industry forward, generating significant economic benefits in the U.S. and around the world.

Right to Repair

Several states are considering legislation to provide access to proprietary diagnostic systems to independent repair services. AEM believes overly-broad “Right to Repair” legislation is not only unnecessary, but would risk the safety, durability and environmental sustainability of equipment.

Agriculture equipment manufacturers and dealers will continue their commitment to make available a comprehensive toolkit of maintenance, diagnostic, and repair information for tractors and combines by 2021. To encourage innovation and regulatory compliance, manufacturers and dealers will also continue to deny access to back-end source code which can be used to reset safety features, reprogram control units, or change settings that affect emissions and safety compliance.

State Dealer Laws

AEM represents manufacturers’ interest when legislation is introduced that changes the balance between dealers and manufacturers.

Almost all AEM manufacturers distribute their products through independent dealers located throughout the world. Over the decades, these manufacturers and their dealers have developed partnerships that have stood the test of time and the marketplace. The contracts that have evolved are a function of the type of products, the nature of their markets and their combined experience.

AEM members have access to a database of existing state distribution laws and related information through the Foley Distribution Link: https://foleydistributionlink.com/.

State Policies

AEM continues to work with state legislatures to create pro-business environments across the country. This includes working with industry stakeholders to support customers and maximize their machinery’s productivity. AEM believes overly-broad “Right to Repair” legislation is not only unnecessary, but would risk the safety, durability and environmental sustainability of equipment. Agriculture equipment manufacturers and dealers will continue their commitment to make available a comprehensive toolkit of maintenance, diagnostic, and repair information for tractors and combines by 2021.

To encourage innovation and regulatory compliance, manufacturers and dealers will also continue to deny access to back-end source code which can be used to reset safety features, reprogram control units, or change settings that affect emissions and safety compliance.

Expanding Global Opportunities for Manufacturers

Equipment manufacturers of all sizes and sectors trade with the world to find new customers, grow jobs domestically and improve our country’s competitiveness in an increasingly interconnected economy. Equipment manufacturers need policies to help them access customers across the world and compete successfully in an increasingly tough global economy.

Secs. 232 & 301 Tariffs

Tariffs continue to take a toll on U.S. businesses, manufacturers, farmers, communities and families across the country. Here’s how both the Section 232 and 301 tariffs are making an impact on equipment manufacturers.

Section 232: By imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum, the administration has started a trade dispute with some of our nation’s largest trading partners and allies. These tariffs have led to retaliatory actions, resulting in lowered U.S. exports and the risk of losing market access for U.S. manufactured goods and agricultural commodities. Tariffs or quotas on steel imports are raising costs for equipment manufacturers in the United States and undermine our industry’s global competitiveness. Steel accounts for a substantial portion (at least 10 percent) of an average equipment manufacturer’s direct cost. President Trump has advanced a number of our priorities like tax reform and regulatory reform to help bolster domestic manufacturing. Now is not the time to reverse those gains by raising the cost of doing business for equipment manufacturers. We have made this perspective clear in multiple submissions to the administration, warning of the adverse economic impacts of steel and aluminum quotas or tariffs.

Section 301: By placing billions of dollars in tariffs on many different types of construction and agricultural equipment and parts imported from China, President Trump and his administration has created an incredible amount of uncertainty for our industry, supply chains and customers. As a result, China continues to put in place reciprocal tariffs targeting a variety of U.S. products including manufactured goods and agricultural products. As an example, China’s retaliatory tariffs on U.S. pork and soybeans following the U.S. tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum, have already hurt agricultural commodity prices and export levels for U.S. producers. These tariffs hit small family farms the hardest and continue to further dampen farm incomes. By going it alone, the U.S.has failed to leverage our relationship with other trading partners damaged by China’s intellectual property theft, joint venture requirements, and trade barriers. Such action has made it harder to obtain multilateral support at the WTO. AEM continues to highlight the economic damages caused by these ongoing tariffs and is pressing the administration to find alternative ways to pressure countries for using our trading partners for unfair trading practices.

Trade Policies

With about 30 percent of equipment made in the United States destined for export, AEM urges the Trump administration and Congress to support pro-growth trade policies that keep U.S. equipment manufacturing competitive in an increasingly competitive global market. Tariffs artificially raise the cost of domestic production, eliminate export markets for U.S. equipment manufacturers, hurt U.S. agricultural producers and risk wiping out many of the benefits of tax reform.

While other countries’ unfair trade practices must be addressed, taxing American consumers and businesses will not solve the underlying problems. AEM urges the Trump administration to remove the harmful China, steel and aluminum tariffs and work with Congress to promote free and fair trade through the successful ratification of the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA).

United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA)

Equipment manufacturers support the USMCA and are advocating for its ratification in the U.S. Congress. Ratifying the USMCA will ensure North America’s manufacturing competitiveness and supports our industry’s nearly 1.5 million men and women working across the U.S. and Canada. Canada and Mexico are two of the largest export markets for U.S. manufacturers of agricultural and construction machinery, and our industry depends on cross-border trade and investment to continue economic growth.

U.S. Export-Import Bank

The U.S. Export-Import Bank is the national export credit agency. Since 1932, the Ex-Im Bank has provided billions of dollars in export credit and insurance to U.S. manufacturers, and generated revenue for the U.S. Treasury. AEM supports a bank that is fully functional and helps manufacturers of all-sizes export their equipment around the world. Given the importance of this agency to the economic health of U.S. manufacturing, AEM is advocating for a long-term multi-year reauthorization of the bank.

Non-Tariff Trade Barriers

At times foreign governments try to inhibit the importation of machinery outside of legal norms or previously signed agreements. AEM works with member companies to identify non-tariff trade barriers and resolve these issues directly with the U.S. and foreign governments.

International Standards

AEM maintains a robust Tech and Safety Department which works directly with member companies to develop international standards and industry best practices. Given the global scope of our industry, international standards play an important role in establishing rules based trade practices and prevent non-tariff trade barriers from hurting U.S. exports.

Agriculture

A strong farm economy not only assists farmers and ranchers, but also helps protect the 320,000 agriculture equipment manufacturing jobs across the United States. That is why AEM urges the U.S. Department of Agriculture to implement the 2018 Farm Bill quickly.

AEM is also looking for the Trump administration and Congress to expand rural broadband coverage, and is expecting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to follow the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) law as written and allowing year-round sales of E15. AEM is also working with the EPA to expand its understanding of the full range of Drift Reduction Technology (DRT) and improving the DRT program so it achieves its intended purpose.

Crop Insurance

Farm policy has a major impact on the health of the agricultural economy, which is a key driver of manufacturing employment. AEM urges the U.S. Department of Agriculture to implement the 2018 Farm Bill quickly, which serves as a vital safety net for production agriculture. The Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 includes policies that support production agriculture, crop insurance, conservation programs, research, and expansion of foreign markets critical to providing farmers with consistent policy for the next five years. Crop insurance helps protect up to 298 million acres of farmland a year.

Renewable Fuel Standard

AEM supports a comprehensive energy policy statement that addresses domestic energy production including conventional and renewables with a focus on implementing the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) as Congress intended.

Rural Broadband

Right now, rural broadband deployment across croplands does not meet the needs of production agriculture, in particular farm machinery. This issue will continue to grow in importance as farming becomes ever more sophisticated. To address this issue, we urge the Federal Communications Commission to implement the Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act as soon as possible to develop policy recommendations to fill the gaps in cropland coverage.

Spray Drift Mitigation

Drift from agricultural sprayers remains a focus of EPA. AEM continues to engage the agency to educate them on industry’s technological innovations to increase precision application.

Pollinator Health

AEM has led industry efforts to mitigate the effects of planting treated seed. This includes the development of an ISO standard that resulted in the redesigned of several brands of pneumatic planters.  

We continue to work with EPA and the broader agricultural community to promote pollinator health and the use of best practices.

Robotic Milking Machines

AEM is working closely with the Food and Drug Administration to update their regulatory framework to reflect the modern realities of advanced milking systems.

Infrastructure Policies

Infrastructure is the backbone of America’s economy. To have the strongest, most resilient economy in the world, America must have the best infrastructure in the world. That is why AEM supports comprehensive legislation to rebuild our infrastructure, create good-paying jobs, grow our economy, and help reclaim our infrastructure advantage.

AEM believes that the federal government must continue to maintain a strong role in funding U.S. infrastructure construction, maintenance, and modernization. This includes providing a long-term and sustainable funding mechanism for the Highway Trust Fund, connecting urban and rural America, ensuring that projects are delivered in a cost-effective and time-efficient manner, providing job training programs for the workforce, and maximizing the use of smart technology.

Infrastructure

Equipment manufacturers support a comprehensive approach to help reclaim America’s infrastructure advantage and give a boost to our economy. Adequate and predictable investment to repair and modernize U.S. highways, roads, bridges, airports, ports, inland waterways, as well as broadband and utility infrastructure supports thousands of jobs in the equipment manufacturing industry, as well as the construction and agricultural industries connected to it.

The Highway Trust Fund

The Highway Trust Fund (HTF) is the predominant vehicle for supporting federal investment in surface transportation infrastructure construction, maintenance and repair. The HTF faces a projected shortfall in the hundreds of billions through 2024, though, because its primary revenue source – the gas tax – has not kept pace with inflation. To date, Congress has not passed.

Broadband Infrastructure

Right now, rural broadband deployment across croplands does not meet the needs of production agriculture, in particular farm machinery. This issue will continue to grow in importance as farming becomes ever more sophisticated. To address this issue, we urge the Federal Communications Commission to implement the Precision Ag Connectivity Act as soon as possible to develop policy recommendations to fill the gaps in cropland coverage.

Airport Infrastructure

Airport terminal infrastructure and runways project improvements and other capital investment projects are funded through government grants, the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) local user fee, and other methods. Much like the federal gas tax, the PFC mechanism has not been updated since 2001. Future investment in airport infrastructure maintenance and upgrades faces a $4.2 billion gap if steps are not taken to bolster federal investment programs.

Ports, Inland Waterways, Locks and Dams

The U.S. navigable water system infrastructure provides critical benefits to a variety of industries important to the equipment manufacturing industry, such as in the movement of whole products to customers overseas, and the efficient movement of agricultural products from farm to market. This vast infrastructure network includes the ports operating on both coasts, the inland waterways found throughout the country, and the locks and dams responsible for helping barges and boats navigate rivers and canal waterways. All continue to deal with congestion and aging facilities despite being vital to a healthy U.S. economy.

Tax

AEM led the equipment manufacturing industry's efforts to reform our outdated tax code and secured many of the changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that President Trump signed into law in 2017. While the final bill was not perfect, it represented the kind of comprehensive and permanent tax reform that will tilt the playing field back in favor of equipment manufacturers in the United States. AEM supports all efforts to make the new tax code even stronger for equipment manufacturers, including making permanent full expensing for short-life investments, the deduction for qualified business income, and 100 percent bonus depreciation, permanently repeal the federal estate tax and generation-skipping transfer ("GST") tax, as well as making the Base Erosion and Anti-Abuse Tax ("BEAT") a true alternative minimum tax.

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