Washington Doesn’t 'Get It' . . . Yet

More than 200 manufacturers — 25 of them representing Precision Machined Products Association member companies — recently carried a message of an industry in crisis to more than 120 members of Congress or staff.


 

More than 200 manufacturers — 25 of them representing Precision Machined Products Association member companies — recently carried a message of an industry in crisis to more than 120 members of Congress or staff. The meetings took place on February 10-11 as part of the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) “Manufac-turing: Making America’s Future Forum and Fly-In.”

Attendees, particularly PMPA representatives, were well prepared for their day of congressional visits, thanks to an open meeting of the PMPA Government Affairs Com-mittee, two NAM-sponsored panel discussions and a special “How to Lobby” session presented by a team of experienced Washington lobbyists.

While supporting the NAM legislative agenda designed to foster a more pro-manufacturing environment in the United States, PMPA attendees pointed out the threat to survival that faces America’s basic manufacturers. The PMPA contingent also stressed the need for immediate and meaningful assistance to the metalworking industry.

The association’s Government Affairs Committee prepared a report titled Talking Points, which PMPA participants used during their visits with legislators and their staffs. Recommendations contained in the report are designed to have an immediate, positive impact on the health of basic manufacturing in the United States. The Talking Points report remains available on the association’s Web site.

Among the recommendations receiving the strongest support from the legislators was a call for vigorous and immediate enforcement of existing trade laws that provide the legal authority to impose sanctions on countries that manipulate their currency to gain competitive advantage. Also opening a few eyes on Capitol Hill was the looming threat to America’s national security caused by the declining economic health of third- and fourth-tier suppliers to the defense industry supply chain.

“This was an excellent first step in carrying our message to Congress and the administration,” said Michael B. Duffin, executive director of the PMPA and leader of the PMPA delegation. “But anyone who thinks the job is done because 200 manufacturers spent a day describing our problems to one-fifth of the Congress is deluding themselves. We must continue to take our message about the importance of basic manufacturing to our elected officials in Washington and in their state and local offices.”

The association and its Government Affairs Committee will continue creating opportunities to relay our unique problems and proposed solutions to elected officials at home and in our nation’s capital. PMPA members and non-members who would like to become more personally involved in this effort are encouraged to contact Dave Burch at PMPA headquarters.