Equipment Manufacturers Flock to Capitol Hill for Record-Breaking Fly-in

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9/26/2022

Fly-inLast week AEM hosted its largest fly-in yet. At a time when partisanship is at an all-time high in Washington, D.C., AEM stands out for its ability to break through the noise and gridlock and for its unwavering focus on advancing bipartisan solutions to the country’s toughest challenges. That is exactly what 55 member company executives took the halls of Congress to do during last week’s two-day event. Representing equipment manufacturers and suppliers from across the country, participants met with 70 lawmakers in the House and Senate to advocate for pro-manufacturing policies that will help equipment manufacturers succeed in the United States and around the world.   

Highlights from the 2022 AEM Washington Fly-in included meetings with Sens. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Cindy Hyde -Smith (R-Miss.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), and Reps. Troy Balderson (R-Ohio), Brad Finstad (R-Minn.), Mike Flood (R-Neb.), Jim Himes (D-Conn.), Tracey Mann (R-Kan.), and Bryan Steil (R-Wis.)  

Member company executives and AEM staff had productive discussions about a range of issues, including how to bolster America’s manufacturing competitiveness, strengthen domestic supply chains, create a transparent exclusion process for Section 301 tariffs, incentivize the adoption of precision agriculture technologies, and invest in the American worker. “The AEM Washington Fly-in provides our member company executives with the opportunity to convene, collaborate, and promote the policies that are critical to the long-term success of the equipment manufacturing industry,” said Kip Eideberg, AEM’s senior vice president of government industry relations. “As Congress continues its legislative business through the end of the year, we will continue to remind lawmakers that they need to reach across the aisle and work to move our country forward.”  

AEM was also pleased to present its 2022 Champion of the Industry Awards. The award, presented only for the second time in the association’s 126-year history, recognizes members of Congress from both sides of the aisle for their steadfast support of the equipment manufacturing industry and their efforts to advance bipartisan, commonsense solutions to the country’s toughest challenges. U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and U.S. Representatives Cindy Axne (D-Iowa) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) were the 2022 recipients of this award.  

Below is a summary of the legislative asks for the 2022 AEM Washington Fly-in: 

American Manufacturing Competitiveness 

Equipment manufacturers asked lawmakers to champion legislation that will bolster domestic supply chains, invest in the American worker, and strengthen America’s long-term economic competitiveness and national security. To AEM, this means modernizing port infrastructure to alleviate bottle necks that cause longer-lead times, slower production, and more costly operations. 

Section 301 Tariff Exclusions 

Tariffs continue to hurt the equipment manufacturing industry. Equipment manufacturers asked lawmakers to establish a permanent Section 301 tariff exclusion process so American manufacturers can petition the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to remove tariffs needed for domestic manufacturing and our national economy. This would be a critical win for both large and small equipment manufacturers who have been forced to foot the bill on costly and harmful tariffs.  

Precision Agriculture Technology Adoption 

The demands of tomorrow require farmers to constantly do more with less. Enter precision agriculture. During the meetings on Capitol Hill, equipment manufacturers asked lawmakers to focus on incentivizing the adoption of precision agriculture technology to support the use of climate-smart practices by farmers and ranchers by co-sponsoring the Precision Agriculture Loan (PAL) Program Act (S. 2750; pending introduction in the U.S. House). 

Workforce Development 

Lastly, equipment manufacturers asked elected officials to enact a grant program that supports workforce development and apprenticeships for infrastructure industries, including manufacturing, transportation, construction, energy, information technology, and utilities. As more workers retire or shift to new employment opportunities, the focus must be on training a skilled and knowledgeable workforce.  

The fly-in follows the efforts of AEM’s Dairy Leadership Group that was in Washington, D.C. earlier this month to discuss the technological advancements in dairy production and to promote our soon-to-be-released Environmental Benefits of Modern Dairy Technologies study. The group met with several lawmakers, including U.S. Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) and U.S. Reps. Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-Penn.), and David Valadao (R-Calif.), as well as USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Terry Cosby, and White House Senior Economic Policy staff 

For more on AEM’s advocacy efforts, please visit www.aem.org/advocacy

Subscribe to the AEM Industry Advisor for more AEM news and updates. 

Advocacy & Legislation, AEM Updates

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