To address a growing number of restrictive regulations being considered by U.S. state legislatures, the AEM Board last week approved a recommendation to hire a full-time employee to expand AEM's state-level advocacy.
The new employee, who will report to AEM Senior Vice President Nick Yaksich, head of AEM's Washington, D.C., office, will develop and execute targeted strategies to create or sustain partnerships with governors, legislators, regional dealer associations and other business groups. Objectives include enhancing the manufacturers' position against onerous dealer legislation, supporting initiatives to increase infrastructure investment and serving as a liaison with governors on matters important to AEM.
In addition to the new position, the Association plans to commit considerable financial resources to move from reactive to proactive to represent AEM members and the industry in the continually growing state regulatory and legislative environment. The position will also manage state contract lobbyists in priority states.
In other actions, the Board supported a staff proposal to organize an AEM I Make America fly-in to Washington in September 2017.
In addition, the Board received the report of the Government & Public Affairs Committee, which included:
An announcement of the formation of member working groups for tax reform and trade to better inform and engage members and present AEM policy positions to Congressional leaders.
An update on the I Make America tour, which has included 15 events at member companies to date with at least 13 more stops scheduled.
A review on the progress of the Infrastructure Vision 2050 initiatives, including the 2050 Challenge; AEM’s leading role at Infrastructure Week in Washington; the Mobility 2050 Symposium at Northwestern University; and the upcoming Rural Infrastructure Summit at Farm Progress on August 29th.
A breakdown of AEMPAC contributions of $166,500 to date for the 2016 election cycle and an announcement of plans for the annual AEMPAC fund-raising event at the Annual Conference.
The Board also:
Supported the initial work and discussions by the AG and CE Sector Boards to identify a possible future role for AEM to support its members in workforce development. Staff will work with Jeff Reed, president and CEO, Reed International/VSS Macropaver, and Mark Core, executive vice president, forage and lifecycle solutions and CMO, Vermeer Corporation, the appointed AG/CE task force co-chairs, to find commonality between the sectors to support workforce. Both Sector Boards will also proceed to develop plans to determine what AEM can do to support members and have a positive impact on workforce development. Plans will be presented in November.
Directed staff, following the CE Sector Board report, to reach out to the AEM membership (AG and CE) to determine if there is an interest in a trade mission to Cuba. It was noted that while most large companies are already active in Cuba or exploring it, small and mid-sized companies may be interested.