By Dennis Slater, AEM President
Few industries understand the importance of decisive decision-making better than the men and women of the equipment manufacturing industry. That’s why we have so much hope for the new Trump administration and the 115th Congress to get down to work and begin to govern.
The next four years in Washington could be some of the most consequential for our industry, ranging from the opportunity to finally pass a major infrastructure bill to easing the tax and regulatory burden for manufacturers. At the same time, our industry must safeguard important agreements that enable U.S. manufacturers to sell their products all over the world and policies that help promote farm income.
This is a moment of tremendous uncertainty in America’s politics, and many voters are still recovering from one of the most divisive election seasons in recent memory. The good news is that AEM is in its best position ever to advance our industry’s priorities in both Washington and in statehouses across the country.
We have already worked to communicate our industry’s priorities to the Trump administration during the transition period and continue our work with leaders in Congress to advance legislation important to our industry.
I Make America will once again serve as the backbone for our grassroots efforts to urge Congress and the new administration to act. A new and improved I Make America website will empower manufacturing employees at many of our member companies to take direct action and urge Washington to take up and pass important legislation. And we’ll continue to use our digital arsenal to make sure elected leaders hear our industry’s voice.
Guiding our efforts this year as well are new policy working groups that will help provide real-time industry feedback on policy that emerges from Washington. Our new trade and tax policy groups have already met to begin developing our industry’s approach to these issues. At the same time, the culmination of our Infrastructure Vision 2050 initiative will result in forward-looking recommendations to shape the future of our nation’s infrastructure. We are also working to organize new events with government officials this year to educate them about some of the important agricultural issues that affect our industry.
Yet while Washington is an important nexus of business and politics this year, our industry cannot afford to turn a blind eye to the many important developments that will emerge from state capitols in 2017. That is why our Washington office has added a new staff member, Stephanie See, to address industry issues at the state level. In the coming weeks, we will be launching new tools to help AEM member companies sort through the issues that affect them on a state-by-state basis.
2017 is a year of tremendous opportunity for AEM and its members. The good news is that we have put in place tremendous resources as an association to be ready to seize this opportunity and make this year a productive year for our tremendous industry.