By Dennis Slater, AEM President
An April snowstorm. Opening Day at the Brewers. Presidential candidates crisscrossing the state. These rites of spring seem as essential as cheese and bratwurst to residents of Wisconsin.
We at AEM also know full well how equipment manufacturing serves as an anchor for the state’s economy, which is why we’re fighting to make our members’ voices heard here in Wisconsin heading into the April 5th primary.
With the pitched rhetoric on the campaign trail this year, manufacturing issues have too often gotten lost in the debate over choosing our next president and deciding whether or not to re-elect our representatives in Washington and Madison.
That’s why I wrote last week in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to call both political parties to task for their recent rhetoric on trade. Any candidate who comes to Wisconsin needs to understand how important it is for our industry – and its workforce – to break down trade barriers and not risk new trade wars that would destroy Wisconsin manufacturing jobs.
It’s not just trade, either. Manufacturing voters expect more than rosy rhetoric and empty promises when it comes to investing in our infrastructure, supporting a strong and diverse agricultural economy, and relieving equipment manufacturers from the burden of high taxes and unnecessary regulations.
Wisconsin voters – and manufacturing voters nationwide – deserve detailed, credible answers from all of the candidates for the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations. It’s not just them, either: Every candidate, from the state house to the U.S. Congress – owes their voters a plan for how they’ll support manufacturing if elected.
That’s exactly why AEM is stepping up this election season to produce resources for our members and grassroots supporters to inform them on the issues. It’s why we’re working to connect manufacturers with candidates and elected officials – to make sure that conversation is being had. It’s why we’ll once again hit the road with our I Make America campaign this year to talk to employees at AEM member companies.
It’ll take all of us to make a difference on behalf of equipment manufacturers in a frenetic election year. But when our industry speaks with one voice, we’re more easily heard.