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AEM President Slater on 2014 Elections

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Dennis Slater, AEM President

Dennis Slater, AEM President

Dennis Slater, president of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), made the following statement following statement following the results of the 2014 midterm elections:

Yesterday evening, voters across America made it clear that they think Washington is broken, and they expect our elected leaders to come together to fix it.

Americans have grown tired of the gridlock and partisan bickering that has plagued Capitol Hill in recent years. With tonight’s election, they have sent a clear signal that they want action on the problems facing this nation. It is far past time for our lawmakers to put aside partisan differences and work together toward crafting constructive solutions. The new leadership in the U.S. Senate must now demonstrate they can move America forward.

That means no more threats of government shutdowns or risking defaulting on our national debt, and an end to pointless show votes that serve no purpose but to energize each party’s ideological core at the expense of productive legislating.

Equipment manufacturers and the broader business community share voters’ frustration. The good news is that there is ample opportunity for President Obama and Congress to work together on commonsense solutions. Those efforts should begin without delay; there’s no excuse for Congress to waste the next two months by failing to deal with issues that demand their attention now.

An immediate order of business for Congress should be responsibly fixing the Highway Trust Fund by restoring the gas tax to its 1993 buying power while oil prices are at recent record lows. Congress can continue to boost access to affordable energy by approving construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

They can rally around commonsense legislation to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank for the long term and give American manufacturers the tools they need to compete in the global marketplace and support jobs in the United States. Lawmakers should give President Obama improved authority to negotiate trade deals and move toward swiftly approving pending trade deals with our European and Asian partners.

And there is both ample room and great need for Congress to find a bipartisan solution to fixing a tax system that has become so complex and burdensome that it is now a barrier to job creation.

The 114th Congress faces a choice: They can repair their broken bond with voters, or they can continue down their current path and risk turning their relationship with voters into something more toxic.

On behalf of the equipment manufacturing industry, I sincerely hope that President Obama, Speaker Boehner and our Senate leaders opt for progress over provocation.

AEM / AEMP Draft Telematics API Standard now availabl

AEM LogoAEMPISO global acceptance sought for industry-wide data sharing standard

The AEM / AEMP Draft Telematics API (Application Programming Interface) Standard is now available to end-users, including contractors, fleet managers, rental managers and dealers/distributors, as well as OEMs, systems management firms and other interested construction/industrial and related industry professionals.

This new industry-wide draft standard provides end-users with more OEM equipment data and more convenient access, which allows them to better manage and analyze information across their fleets, and helps them save time and money on the job site or within their operations.

The standard is a collaborative effort of the Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), working on behalf of their members and the industry.

To achieve a globally recognized standard for conformity worldwide, the AEM/AEMP Draft Telematics API Standard will be submitted for acceptance by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

“The release of this Draft API Standard is a significant achievement and will be of great benefit to all heavy equipment fleet management professionals as the association continues its efforts to encourage integration to telematics into today’s modern fleets. It clearly demonstrates AEMP’s Equipment Triangle approach to solving industry issues. AEMP is pleased have played a key role in advancing this critical industry initiative,” said Thad Pirtle, VP of Equipment for Traylor Bros, Inc and Chairman of the Board of AEMP.

Expanded equipment data, one program to manage mixed fleets

The AEM/AEMP Draft Telematics API Standard expands the original AEMP Telematics Standard to include 19 data fields (with fault code capability).

The Draft API standard also changes how the data is accessed: via an Application Programming Interface (API) with standardized server-to-server communication protocols, so end users with mixed equipment fleets can use their own business systems and software without the need to work across multiple telematics provider applications.

The API standard’s secure Internet protocol allows for manufacturer protection of proprietary information; disclosure to third-party companies for the purpose of aggregation is not permitted.

Must sign up online to receive Draft API standard

While access to the AEM/AEMP Draft Telematics API Standard is free, industry professionals must sign up directly via the or AEMP or AEM websites to be sent the Draft API Standard and to receive any future updates or additional documentation. Anyone who has previously signed up should receive the draft standard during the first week in September.

AEMP and AEM also encourage participation in the API developer group to ask questions and receive any clarification that is needed. Request access here: https://groups.google.com/d/forum/telematics-standard.
The associations caution that while they are making the draft standard available now to help companies become familiar with its contents for business planning purposes, the document is still a work in progress. Final language is dependent upon completion of the ISO acceptance process.

More information is available on the AEM and AEMP websites – http://www.aem.org/SRT/Technical/Telematics/ or http://www.aemp.org/aemaemp-telematics-standard/.

 

AEM Reports: Midyear 2014 U.S. construction machinery exports decline 17.3 percent

AEM LogoU.S. construction machinery exports dropped 17.3 percent during the first half of 2014 compared with midyear 2013: $8.93 billion in exports were shipped to global markets compared to $10.8 billion for first-half 2013, according to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), citing U.S. Department of Commerce data.

The AEM off-road equipment manufacturing trade group produces global trends reports using U.S. Commerce Dept. information to assist members’ business planning.

Africa was the only world area in the plus column, with a 4.3 percent increase. Australia /Oceania recorded the steepest decline, at 38.6 percent, followed by South America with a 33.1-percent drop.

At midyear 2014, exports of construction machinery to Europe declined 25.4 percent compared to first-half 2013, for a total $1.02 billion, and exports to Canada dropped 4.6 percent to total $3.51 billion.

Exports to Asia declined 13.9 percent to $1.04 billion for the first half of 2014. Mid-year exports to Central America decreased 23.7 percent to $949.3 million, and exports to South America declined 33.1 percent to $1.28 billion.

Australia/Oceania’s construction equipment export purchases decreased 38.6 percent for a total $460.7 million, while Africa took delivery of $682.1 million worth of construction equipment, a gain of 4.3 percent.

The top countries buying the most U.S.-made construction machinery during the first half of 2014 were: (1) Canada – $3.51 billion, down 4.6 percent; (2) Mexico – $770.4 million, down 24.6 percent; (3) Australia – $424.7 million, down 40.6 percent; (4) South Africa – $400.5 million, down 26.7 percent; (5) Brazil – $358.3 million, down 30.1 percent; (6) Chile – $299.8 million, down 37 percent; (7) Peru – $279.4 million, down 15.1 percent; (8) Belgium – $210.4 million, down 36.3 percent; (9) Saudi Arabia – $206.2 million, down 43.1 percent; (10) China – $189.8 million, down 21.8 percent; (11) Russia – $172.1 million, down 36 percent.

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ASCE Reports on Gas Tax Increase, Highway Trust Fund Shortfall, Important Bill Stall

Our transportation infrastructure has become a major issue as current funding faces a serious shortfall. More than halfway through the year and most road repairs are still waiting to be started let alone completed. If the country faces another winter like the one that just passed, we’ll need tanks or half-tracks to navigate the pot-hole dominated transportation infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) as well as other associations, such as American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) and Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), are growing more concerned as Congress continues to battle over possible solutions to this problem.

Over the years a number of solutions have been proposed and all have been rejected because party politics are more important than user needs. ASCE has posted a number of statements on this situartion.

{08d819bc-1d22-4dd2-80f4-4bea43d54eb4}_ASCE_GovernmentRelations_WashingtonBipartisan Senate Duo Calls for Gas Tax Increase

U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Bob Corker (R-TN) released a plan on Wednesday to raise the federal fuels tax and index it to inflation. Their proposal would increase the gasoline and diesel fuel tax (currently at 18.4 cents and 24.4 cents per-gallon, respectively) by 6 cents per gallon in each of the next two years, for a total rise of 12 cents, and index that tax to inflation using the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The plan would also include a tax relief offset to minimize the fiscal strain placed on consumers and businesses from any future rate hike. ASCE Executive Director Patrick Natale, P.E., applauded the announcement, calling it, “an encouraging step to improve our economy and raise the grades on the nation’s surface transportation infrastructure.” It is estimated that the proposal would raise enough revenue to fund federal surface transportation programs at current levels, and provide for a very slight increase in the out years because of indexing.

Late last year, ASCE supported legislation introduced by Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), H.R. 3636, the “UPDATE Act of 2013,” which would increase the fuels tax by 15 cents per gallon over the course of three years and also index it for inflation. This Congress marks the first time, in a long time, that both the House and Senate have openly discussed, and had members endorse, increases in the federal gas tax. Prospects of this Congress actually enacting such a measure remain unclear, though the best chance may be in the interim legislative period known as the “lame duck” session which begins after the November election and could stretch until the end of December. ASCE will continue to urge Congress to enact legislation that provides a significant, long-term sustainable funding source for surface transportation programs and projects.

New Report Looks for Solutions to the Highway Trust Fund Shortfall

On Wednesday, joining a chorus of advocates looking to move on the Highway Trust Fund, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) released a new report looking for solutions.

In the paper, CRFB calls for a long-term solution, which brings highway spending and revenue in line. Short of that, they also suggest that transferring money into the Trust Fund from general revenue would be acceptable if and only if that transfer is fully paid for with other spending cuts or revenue increases. The paper includes a huge number of potential options to help close the Highway Trust Fund shortfall that help add to the policy debate on Capitol Hill.

Read the report

Senate Debate on Combined Transportation, Science Appropriations Bill Stalls

On Thursday, the U.S. Senate pulled three fiscal year (FY) appropriations bills – Commerce, Justice and Science; Transportation, Housing and Urban Development; and Agriculture – from the floor because there was not agreement on how to proceed with votes over amendments. The Senate had originally planned to debate the bills into next week with hope of speedy passage. The U.S. House of Representatives has already held votes on Commerce, Justice and Science, and Transportation, but has not yet passed Agriculture.

On Transportation, the House approved legislation to fund the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) at a slightly lower amount than is contained in the Senate bill. Both the House and Senate provide $40.3 billion for highways, and the House provides $600 million less for transit, $450 million less for TIGER grants, $130 million less for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and $200 million less for Amtrak.

The Commerce, Justice and Science section provides a total of $51.2 billion in proposed discretionary budget authority for programs at the Departments of Commerce and Justice, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This is a decrease of $398 million below the fiscal year 2014 level and is funded at the same amount as the bill that cleared the House, although the two chambers’ versions differ in details. Specifically, the Senate bill provides:

• $7.2 billion for NSF, an increase of $83 million over fiscal year 2014. The House version provides $7.4 billion.
• $900 million for NIST, $50 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. The House version contains $856 million for NIST.
• $17.9 for NASA, $254 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. The House version also funds NASA $17.9 billion.

Should the Senate quickly resume debate and adopt these appropriations bills and should the House approve Agriculture, there exists sufficient time before the August recess for both chambers to remedy any differences and enact legislation on-time before the start of the new fiscal year on October 1. However, if recent history is any indicator, it is more likely that an appropriations patch, or “continuing resolution”, of some short-term length will be required this fall.

ASCE has been urging Congress to agree on a fix for the Highway Trust Fund which is facing insolvency in the next couple of months. Appropriations bills and current enacted funding levels will be inadequate to prevent a funding crisis if there is not enough money in the trust fund to provide project reimbursements. That is why ASCE is urging the public to act now and tell their Members of Congress to “Fix the Trust Fund“.

Kolberg-Pioneer, Inc. to Host I Make America Nationwide Harley Tour

KPI-JCIKolberg-Pioneer, Inc. (KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens) will host a stop on the I Make America Harley Tour, a national campaign designed to promote pro-manufacturing policies to create more jobs in the U.S. and keep the economy competitive with other countries.

HarleyThe I Make America Harley Tour, sponsored by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), is taking a custom-painted Harley Davidson on the open road in a uniquely-designed truck with glass sides. It will stop at Kolberg-Pioneer, Inc. (KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens), located at 700 W. 21st St. in Yankton, on June 9, 2014 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. A short program will be offered to employees and local officials at 10:30 a.m.

“We strongly believe in AEM’s efforts to keep the focus on growing American manufacturing jobs, building America’s infrastructure and getting the economy back on track. As an industry leader, we feel that it is our duty to help lead the way toward greater investment in our transportation system,” said Jeff May, president of Kolberg-Pioneer, Inc., KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens’ South Dakota manufacturing facility.

“Better roads and better bridges mean more business and more jobs for all Americans. This is a crucial time for Americans to push for a transportation bill, and it is critical that we unite with others in our industry and make it clear that a multi-year, federal highway bill is absolutely vital in continuing America’s prosperity. We will continue to work with AEM and all of our industry partners to keep the focus on these critical issues that affect manufacturers in very real ways.

“I Make America was created to be a force for positive change in the equipment manufacturing industry,” said AEM President Dennis Slater. “Economic conditions in America remain a challenge and we need our government to partner with us to advance pro-manufacturing policies that address those challenges. I Make America is our platform to spread awareness and maximize our voice in Washington, D.C.”

According to AEM, about one in six private sector jobs in the U.S. depend on the manufacturing base. Congress can help to create business conditions that will grow the economy and U.S. manufacturing jobs by encouraging infrastructure investment and increasing American exports for our economy to keep pace with other countries.

Everyone who signs up with I Make America through Oct. 3 has a chance to win the 2014 Harley-Davidson Road King, featuring a custom I Make America paint job.  You do not need to be at the event to enter. Simply visit www.IMakeAmerica.com for a chance to win the Harley and become an I Make America supporter.

For more information about KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens, visit www.kpijci.com