Association of Equipment Manufacturers Expands Canadian Advocacy Efforts
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers is expanding its advocacy services in Canada after its Board of Directors identified Canadian advocacy as a key strategic priority for the industry. AEM's increased work in Canada comes at an especially pivotal juncture for the economic relationship between the United States and Canada, and reflects the importance of free and efficient cross-border trade for the success of the industry in North America.
"Canada is arguably the most important international actor for our industry, considering the number of equipment manufacturers, parts and service providers and customers who call Canada home," said AEM President Dennis Slater. "Canada is also the leading export destination for manufacturers of construction and agricultural equipment in the United States. That is why our Board of Directors have identified expanding our advocacy services in Canada as a key strategic priority for our industry."
Equipment manufacturers support 149,000 jobs in Canada, and last year contributed $15 billion (USD) to the Canadian economy. AEM represents almost 90 member companies in Canada, ranging from OEMs to dozens of parts and service providers. Canada is the top export destination for heavy equipment; U.S. construction equipment manufacturers exported $9.1 billion in product to Canada in 2015, and agricultural equipment manufacturers exported $2.1 billion in product to Canada in 2016.
AEM has already begun taking several steps to increase its advocacy footprint in Ottawa, and across the entirety of Canada. AEM empaneled a special working group for Canadian members this year chaired by Skyjack Inc. President Brad Boehler; the working group's 18 member company representatives have met throughout 2017. AEM also organized a dinner for its board members at the Canadian Embassy to the United States in Washington, D.C. earlier this year. AEM has also ratcheted up its efforts in Ottawa by joining the Canadian American Business Council (CABC), meeting with various MPs, and helping to welcome U.S. Ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft at CABC's State of the Relationship reception in November.
"I am thrilled to see AEM take a more active role in advocating on behalf of our industry in Canada," said Boehler. "Given AEM's extensive policy expertise and connectivity with senior decision makers in both industry and government, the association is uniquely positioned to help companies of all sizes overcome legislative and regulatory issues impacting their economic growth."
Top advocacy priorities for AEM in Canada include the renegotiation of NAFTA (for which AEM continues to engage both the U.S. and Canadian governments), agriculture policy, regulatory reform, infrastructure investment and workforce development across Canada.
AEM further intends to increase its advocacy work next year by welcoming MPs and government ministers to manufacturing facilities across Canada, and pushing pro-manufacturing polices in Parliament.