America voteBy Kip Eideberg, AEM Senior Vice President of Government and Industry Relations —

Editor’s Note: This was originally published by The Hill, a top U.S. political website read by the White House and more lawmakers than any other site – vital for policy, politics, and election campaigns. It is being republished here with their permission.

With the 2022 midterm elections fast approaching, a lot is on the line for American manufacturing and the communities that rely on the U.S. equipment manufacturing industry. The results will not only determine who wields power in Washington and state capitals, but it will directly impact the future of the 2.8 million family-sustaining jobs supported by our industry. Candidates from both parties would do well to remember who will be casting the ballots that determine their future on Nov. 8.

Poll after poll shows the economy is the top issue for voters. Despite supply chain issues that range from hiccups to crises, rising costs for products and raw materials, and persistent inflation and soaring interest rates, equipment manufacturers continue to ensure that the United States remains the world’s strongest and most dynamic economy. 

The economy remains a top concern, but our current legislative environment is an even greater issue. America is navigating an increasingly fraught period of geopolitical realignment, supply disruptions, food and energy insecurity, and volatile financial markets. The prospect of a divided government in 2023 is a real concern for all industries.

Bipartisanship and ideological moderation sound quaint these days, but they are needed now more than ever. Unless our lawmakers break out of their “doom loop” of mutual distrust, they will never be able to right the U.S. fiscal ship.

When I visit equipment manufacturers across the country, I hear a consistent message from the C-suite to the shopfloor, from the sales department to warehousing and distribution: the men and women of our industry are fed up with gridlock in Washington and plan to vote for candidates who champion bipartisan policies that will bolster America’s global economic leadership in manufacturing and ease the issues hamstringing our economy and hurting American families.

A recent survey of 100 top manufacturing CEOs echos this sentiment. Most manufacturing leaders believe there is an urgent need to bolster American competitiveness by addressing supply chain challenges, skilled labor shortages, and trade imbalances. The benefits of pro-manufacturing policies will reach far beyond our industry. Legislation such as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, CHIPS and Science Act, and the Ocean Shipping Reform Act benefit not only the manufacturing sector but also thousands of communities from the Pacific Northwest to the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.

These are communities that need important investments to upgrade their essential water infrastructure, build new public schools, help create well-paying jobs, and provide affordable, reliable, high-speed internet. Put differently, pro-manufacturing policies are pro-America policies.

Our continued success depends in large part on leaders — at all levels of government — who are willing to fight for the American manufacturing sector rather than fight with their political opponents.

We need lawmakers who recognize that American manufacturers are unmatched in their ingenuity, innovation and resourcefulness. We need leaders who have the courage to put policy ahead of politics and work together to advance solutions to our country’s toughest challenges. As the men and women of the equipment manufacturing industry cast their votes this fall, they know what’s at stake for the economy and their future. 

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