Tag Archive for 'Association of Equipment Manufacturers'

AEM: What the State of the Union Needs to Address Bipartisan solutions needed to get policies passed, support 1.3 million U.S. jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) President Dennis Slater issued the following statement today on what the equipment manufacturing industry needs to hear from

Dennis Slater, AEM President

President Trump during tonight’s State of the Union Address and from Democrats in their response:

“Equipment manufacturers want President Trump and the Democrats to work together this year to pass legislation to support 1.3 million equipment manufacturing jobs and keep our nation strong,” said Dennis Slater, president AEM. “Without everyone working together, the American worker and U.S. consumers will bear the brunt of continued D.C. gridlock. We urge both Republicans and Democrats to find common ground on solutions that will rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, create greater access to free trade, bolster the U.S. agriculture economy, and secure comprehensive tax reform that levels the playing field for our industry in a globally competitive business environment.”
In addition to 1.3 million good-paying jobs supported by equipment manufacturers in all 50 states, the industry also contributes $158 billion year to the U.S. economy.
In 2019, AEM has four main policy priorities:
Infrastructure
Infrastructure is the backbone of America’s economy. To have the strongest, most resilient economy in the world, America must have the best infrastructure in the world. That is why AEM is urging policymakers to pass comprehensive legislation to rebuild our infrastructure, create good-paying jobs, grow our economy, and help reclaim our infrastructure advantage. AEM believes that the federal government must continue to maintain a strong role in funding U.S. infrastructure construction, maintenance, and modernization. This includes providing a long-term and sustainable funding mechanism for the Highway Trust Fund, connecting urban and rural America, ensuring that projects are delivered in a cost-effective and time-efficient manner, providing job training programs for the workforce, and maximizing the use of smart technology.
On January 25, AEM began a two-week public affairs campaign titled “Start with Infrastructure.” The campaign’s goal is to demonstrate the wide-ranging benefits of infrastructure investment to the nation’s economy and keep infrastructure at the top of policymakers’ lists to take action on in 2019. The campaign features digital and social advertisements in the Washington, D.C. media market. AEM is also hosting a town hall discussion on the “Prospects for Infrastructure in the 116th Congress” with members of Congress and business leaders at the Newseum this Friday, February 8. A live stream of the event will be available at www.twitter.com/imakeamerica.
Trade
With about 30 percent of equipment made in the United States destined for export, it’s important that the Trump administration and Congress support pro-growth trade policies that keep U.S. equipment manufacturing competitive in an increasingly competitive global market. Tariffs artificially raise the cost of domestic production, eliminate export markets for U.S. equipment manufacturers, and risk wiping out many of the benefits of tax reform. While other countries’ unfair trade practices must be addressed, taxing American consumers and businesses will not solve the underlying problems.
In addition, the retaliatory tariffs put into place by China significantly hurts U.S. farmers and the broader agriculture economy, further threatening to reduce the domestic sales of agriculture equipment. In 2019, AEM will continue to urge the Trump administration and Congress to promote free and fair trade through the successful ratification of the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA), and launch negotiations with other trade partners to create improved market access for U.S. manufactured goods and services, and find a long-term solution to the ongoing trade dispute with China.
AEM members have regularly spoken out against the tariffs and AEM joined the free trade coalition “Americans for Free Trade” as an executive member last year along with more than 80 of the nation’s leading trade associations and businesses.
Agriculture
A strong farm economy not only assists farmers and ranchers but also helps protect the 320,000 agriculture equipment manufacturing jobs across the United States. That is why AEM wants the U.S. Department of Agriculture to implement the 2018 Farm Bill quickly. It’s also why AEM wants the Trump administration and Congress to expand rural broadband coverage and expects the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to follow the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) law as written and allowing year-round sales of E15.
In 2019, AEM will also work with the EPA to expand its understanding of the full range of Drift Reduction Technology (DRT) and improving the DRT program so it achieves its intended purpose.
Tax policy
AEM led the equipment manufacturing industry’s efforts to reform our outdated tax code and secured many of the changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that President Trump signed into law in 2017. While the final bill was not perfect, it represented the kind of comprehensive and permanent tax reform that will tilt the playing field back in favor of equipment manufacturers in the United States.
AEM supports all efforts to make the new tax code even stronger for equipment manufacturers, including making permanent full expensing for short-life investments, the deduction for qualified business income, and 100 percent bonus depreciation, as well as making the Base Erosion and Anti-Abuse Tax (BEAT) a true alternative minimum tax.
For more information about AEM’s top advocacy positions, please visit www.aem.org/advocacy.
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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 supports 1.3 million jobs in the U.S., and 149,000 more in Canada. Equipment manufacturers also contribute $188 billion combined to the U.S. and Canadian economies. AEM is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2019.

Utility Contractor Offers 7 Lessons in Entrepreneurship to Kick Off the New Year

Utility Contractor Offers 7 Lessons in Entrepreneurship
to Kick Off the New Year

 Going from selling directional drill rigs and underground equipment to running your own utility construction business requires a big leap of faith and a lot more. Scott Kandziora shares what he’s learned since he co-founded Milwaukee-based Underground Specialists in 2000.

1. Grab onto new utility technology 
Kandziora sold for Ditch Witch for five years out of college. Self-contained directional drilling equipment had just begun to transform the boring industry. “I grabbed on to the new technology because it gave me credibility with veteran customers,” says Kandziora. He trained crews on the rigs that he sold and saw a lot of people were not doing it right. He saw an opportunity to make money by doing things the right way.

2. Find a partner
Kandziora convinced Jerry Peterson, a former Ditch Witch principal, to go into business with him. Peterson had the industry contacts in Wisconsin and the funds needed for the start-up. “He really mentored me,” says Kandziora. The two worked together until Peterson retired in 2004 and Kandziora bought his share of the business.

3. Diversify your services
When Underground Specialists first launched, installing fiber optic cable for telephone companies was the primary source of income. By 2002, that market had dried up. “It forced us to go into the sewer and water market, where there was a lot more to learn about drilling,” says Kandziora.

When the government began subsidizing geothermal systems in the late 2000s, Underground Specialists pursued that market. They gradually added electrical and vacuum truck work to the mix.

In the last five years, the company expanded work in electrical, adding additional equipment and crew members to complete parking lot bases. “Diversification helps boost your sales,” he says. “When one market is down, another tends to perform well.”

4. Get utility crews invested in the business
Before Kandziora owned his own company he witnessed a lot of utility construction workers who just didn’t care about their work. “I never wanted to hear that from my employees,” he says. His solution was to create a profit-sharing system that allows employees to reap the benefits that come from working above and beyond on the job to help the company be profitable. “It promotes the attitude I want,” he says. When the company was too small to be able to provide health insurance for employees, he provided additional pay as compensation.

In today’s tight labor market, Kandziora is more inclined to hire less experienced workers and train them. “They don’t come with problems or bad habits learned from other contractors,” says Kandziora. Among his crew are a former landscaper, truck driver, roofer and a machine hand that are now all underground operators. Three supervisors are responsible for training the new hires on the drill rigs.

5. Be self-motivated
“I see a lot of small business owners sitting at home and waiting for the work to come,” says Kandziora. “I don’t think you can do that in this market. You have to be prepared to work long hours.” Kandziora believes it’s important to complete every bidding opportunity. “It’s easy to drop the ball and say, I’ll bid the next one.”

6. Recognize when you need to let go of the reins
Expanding from one crew to two crews in 2017 was a huge step for Kandziora’s business. “As a new business owner, it took me a long time to let go of the reins, to not be on every job site, controlling every aspect of it. It’s very difficult to let go and trust guys to keep the good name that you have been building. I finally realized that if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to sell the company when I wanted to retire,” says Kandziora. Finding and keeping good employees becomes even more important when you grow.

7. Stay up-to-date on the latest products and technology
Kandziora recognizes the importance of staying up-to-date on technology but admits with a growing company, it’s difficult to find time for reading. “Attending ICUEE is my opportunity to catch up on what’s new and what’s out there and it gives the guys a team-building experience,” he says. The entire team is included because each person has their own ideas of what might help on their projects. At the next ICUEE show, he will be paying special attention to vacuum trucks, drill rig electronics, drill rig innovations, and trucks.

“At ICUEE 90 percent of the equipment will directly help us on our sites. The fact that we can get on the machine is a huge benefit. It’s different from any other show we go to.”

Save the date for ICUEE, The Demo Expo for the Construction and Utility Industries, Oct. 1-3, 2019, Louisville, KY. To get the latest information about the show, sign up for show alerts.

AEM Hails North American Leaders on Signing USMCA, Urges Implementation

Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) issued the following statement today on the recent signing of the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) by U.S., Mexican, and Canadian leaders:

Dennis Slater, AEM President

“Equipment manufacturers applaud the recent signing of the USMCA and are advocating for its quick implementation,” said Dennis Slater, president of AEM. “Ratifying the USMCA will ensure North America’s manufacturing competitiveness and supports our industry’s nearly 1.5 million men and women working across the U.S. and Canada.”
Nearly 30 percent of all equipment produced in the U.S. is intended for export. Since the creation of NAFTA two decades ago, the equipment manufacturing industry has benefited greatly from duty-free access to our industry’s largest two export markets, Canada and Mexico. AEM recently issued a statement of support for the new USMCA, calling a “step in the right direction.” AEM will be engaging the incoming 116th Congress in the New Year on the importance of the USMCA to U.S. manufacturing.
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 supports 1.3 million jobs in the U.S., and 149,000 more in Canada. Equipment manufacturers also contribute $188 billion combined to the U.S. and Canadian economies.

Hydraulic Breakers 101 — Selecting The Perfect Breaker

EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURERS WANT REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS TO WORK TOGETHER

Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) President Dennis Slater issued the following statement on what the 2018 midterm elections mean for the equipment manufacturing industry.

Dennis Slater, AEM President

“After a midterm election that saw record turnout and interest, there’s now a renewed opportunity for President Trump and Congress to work across party lines to tackle the issues that will help grow our economy and keep our nation strong,” said Dennis Slater, president of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). “Modernizing our nation’s infrastructure, promoting free and fair trade, and supporting a strong agriculture economy should all be bipartisan priorities for the 116th Congress. The equipment manufacturing industry stands ready to do its part by working with Congress and the administration to solve some of our nation’s biggest policy challenges so that we can add to the 1.3 million good-paying jobs our industry supports.”

Many of the top issues for voters in the midterm elections are issues that are also important to the equipment manufacturing industry.
TRADE: The escalating trade dispute with China and the decision to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum has had a negative impact on the equipment manufacturing industry. U.S. equipment manufacturers are facing higher production costs while the impact of retaliatory tariffs by trading partners hurt the U.S. agriculture sector and threaten to reduce the domestic sales of agriculture equipment. AEM believes that Republicans and Democrats should work together to address the uncertainty and disruption caused by the administration’s trade policies. This includes efforts to negotiate fair, binding, and enforceable trade agreements with countries and open up new markets for U.S. equipment manufacturers.
INFRASTRUCTURE: The lack of any meaningful action on a comprehensive infrastructure bill means that expectations for Congress and the administration to act next year will be even higher. Voters have repeatedly made it clear that they want Washington to keep its promise to rebuild and invest in roads, highways, bridges, ports, pipelines, and broadband networks. Equipment manufacturers will send a strong message to both Democrat and Republican members of the 116th Congress that they should start with infrastructure. That means working together in a bipartisan fashion to identify a long-term and sustainable funding mechanism for the Highway Trust Fund, connect urban and rural America through new infrastructure, ensure that projects are delivered in a cost-effective and time-efficient manner, and provide job training programs for the workforce that will help us reclaim our infrastructure advantage.
AGRICULTURE: A strong agriculture economy creates a strong manufacturing sector. Farm policies have a major impact on the health of the farm economy, which in turn is a key driver of the equipment manufacturing employment. Congress can and must pass the farm bill so that farmers and ranchers can keep providing our nation’s food security. Republicans and Democrats should also work together to craft a comprehensive energy policy for our nation, including supporting a strong Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and work to advance the effort to expand ethanol fueling infrastructure and work to open up more new markets around the globe for U.S. farmers and ranchers.
TAX: Tax reform empowered the equipment manufacturing industry to create jobs, improve the quality of life and build more in America. Many equipment manufacturers have hired more workers, created more well-paying jobs, invested more in America, and raised wages, and the industry has been given license to compete more fiercely in the global economy. Democrats and Republicans should work together to fix errors in the new tax law, which could create an opportunity to pass new, bipartisan tax legislation. Specifically, Congress should work in a bipartisan fashion to make the new tax code even stronger for equipment manufacturers, including making permanent full expensing for short-life investments and the deduction for qualified business income, as well as making the Base Erosion and Anti-Abuse Tax (BEAT) a true alternative minimum tax.
Every year, AEM’s grassroots campaign I Make America works to engage and motivate many of the equipment manufacturers’ 1.3 million men and women to get involved in the political process. This year’s activities included dozens of events at equipment manufacturing facilities, including the I Make America Town Hall Tour. To get our industry’s men and women more engaged this election year, the Town Hall Tour brought policy and industry experts to shop floors across the country for engaging and in-depth discussions on key policy issues – including trade, infrastructure, and agriculture – and was attended by more than 500 workers and watched by thousands more online. According to post-event polls, two-thirds of attendees felt they had a better understanding of the issues impacting the industry after participating in the Town Hall Tour.
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 1.3 million jobs and contributes roughly $159 billion to the economy every year.