WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), Associated Equipment Distributors (AED), and the Equipment Dealers Association (EDA) urged governors to designate equipment manufacturers, suppliers, and dealers, and service technicians as “essential” to the economic continuity of the states as they continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As our nation confronts the unprecedented challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we call on the nation’s governors to recognize the essential role that equipment manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and service technicians play in feeding our people, connecting our nation, and powering our homes and hospitals,” said Dennis Slater, President of AEM. “As our nation’s governors take steps to protect Americans from the spread of COVID-19, AEM and our industry partners urge them to consider the essential role that our industry plays to the health and economic well-being of communities across the country.” 

“We are in a unique situation, but our nation has faced many challenges before and it’s imperative that our nation’s governors balance health and safety with economic consequences,” said Brian P. McGuire, President & CEO of AED. “Companies that supply the equipment and perform the needed service and maintenance on the machinery are essential to ensure vital infrastructure projects are able to continue uninterrupted.”

“In order for crops to be planted, harvested and brought to market our members and their employees are critical. No crops means no food, no meats, no fruits, no vegetables…nothing to eat. Machinery needs to be maintained, repaired and key parts must be on hand and accessible,” said Kim Rominger, President & CEO of EDA.  “As such, it is imperative that we emphasize the fact that our dealers and their employees are essential businesses and workers.”

In letters to all 50 governors, the three trade groups affirmed their commitment to the health and safety of the country, as well as the need to safeguard the nation’s equipment production, distribution, and maintenance capability, stating:

“As our nation continues to confront the ongoing and evolving challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we urge you to consider the essential role that equipment manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and service technicians play in guaranteeing a steady supply of U.S.-produced food, fiber, feed, and fuel, maintaining our nation’s roads and bridges and other important infrastructure assets, and keeping the nation’s energy infrastructure secure and resilient. At a time when farmers are preparing for a new planting season, contractors are looking to build and maintain critical infrastructure assets, and utilities are working to keep homes and hospitals powered, we have an obligation to ensure that they have access to the equipment and parts, as well as the repair and maintenance services, they need to perform these functions.”

Read all 50 letters.


AEM is the North American-based international trade group representing off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers, with more than 1,000 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture and construction-related industry sectors worldwide. The equipment manufacturing industry in the United States supports 2.8 million jobs and contributes roughly $288 billion to the economy every year.

AED is the trade association representing companies that sell, rent, service and manufacture construction, mining, farm, energy, forestry, industrial equipment and related supplies. Its 500 distributor members, which are predominantly small-medium-sized, family-owned businesses, have over 3,500 locations, employ 150,000 workers and account for more than $60 billion of annual sales revenue.

Founded in 1900, the Equipment Dealers Association (EDA), is a non-profit trade organization representing retail dealers in North America extensively engaged in the sale and service of agricultural, construction, industrial, forestry, outdoor power, lawn and garden, and/or turf equipment. EDA provides essential value to its members by enhancing the dealer-manufacturer relationship and advocating for a positive legislative and regulatory environment. EDA is headquartered in St. Louis, MO and is affiliated with regional associations located throughout the United States and Canada.

Media Contact:
David Ward (AEM)