Business Group to Press Presidential Candidates on Manufacturing at Iowa State Fair

Aug. 13, 2015

MILWAUKEE – Iowa is about as big as it gets in presidential politics. And agricultural and construction manufacturing are about as big as it gets in Iowa. That’s why the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), the biggest business group representing agriculture and construction equipment manufacturers, is going to the Iowa State Fair to ask presidential candidates about how they plan to support manufacturing.

AEM, a trade association whose 900-plus membership includes some of the biggest names in manufacturing, will urge Iowans to consider how candidates stand on issues that would boost manufacturing jobs in Iowa and across the country. Iowa is the biggest producer of agricultural equipment in the country and the second-largest producer of construction equipment. AEM members include Caterpillar, John Deere, Kinze, Terex, Vermeer and many more.

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“Iowa is an important state in presidential politics and it’s important for AEM to have a strong presence at the State Fair on behalf of our 54 manufacturers who create and support jobs here,” said AEM President Dennis Slater. “So many of our industry’s products are designed and built right here in the heartland, so it makes sense to introduce our tens of thousands of workers to the people running for president.”

  • WHO: Association of Equipment Manufacturers and the “I Make America” campaign
  • WHEN: August 13-18, 2015; 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. CT
  • WHERE: West Grand Exhibit Area (between gates 10 and 11); Iowa State Fairgrounds (3000 E Grand  Ave, Des Moines, IA 50317)

AEM is taking its grassroots campaign, “I Make America,” which includes over 60,000 nationwide grassroots manufacturing workers, to the state fair from Aug. 13-18. Iowans will have a chance to sign up for the campaign and send messages over social media about their support for manufacturing while candidates are campaigning at the state fair.

“These are real jobs – jobs created right here in Iowa,” added Slater. “That’s why we are coming to the Iowa State Fair and why we are also inviting candidates to our member companies’ facilities to make it easy for them to shake hands with the folks who build big tractors, planters, cranes, excavators and all sorts of other equipment. Our workers need to know who they can count on to support keeping their jobs right here in Iowa.”

The state fair is the kickoff of a long-term effort to engage grassroots supporters on manufacturing issues between now and Election Day. Following the state fair, AEM plans to invite candidates to member company facilities and other opportunities as the election season progresses.

Visitors to the I Make America booth will have a chance to learn more about the 54 manufacturers in Iowa who are AEM members, grab a scoop of Iowa Blue Bunny ice cream, and sign up for I Make America with a chance to win prizes. They’ll also have a chance to send a message to candidates about their support for manufacturing using a Pixe Social technology located in the I Make America booth.

“Manufacturing workers in Iowa want to know how our next president will support this vital industry. How will the next president rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure? How will the next occupant of the White House work to support tax and trade policies that keep manufacturers globally competitive?” Slater asked. “We’ll encourage presidential candidates to answer those questions both at the State Fair and events in Iowa in the months to come.”

The I Make America booth will be open during fair hours from August 13 – 18, and will be located in the West Grand exhibit area between gate 10 and 11.

AEM President Dennis Slater and other senior AEM leaders will be available for interviews both in person and by phone from August 13-18. If you’re interested in arranging an interview, please contact Mike O’Brien at [email protected] or 202-898-9007.

AEM is a Milwaukee-based trade organization representing more than 900 manufacturers of construction, agricultural, forestry and mining equipment – including 54 manufacturers in Iowa.

The I Make America campaign is a grassroots advocacy program administered by AEM which works to build support for policies that support manufacturing in Iowa and across the United States. Over 60,000 manufacturing employees have signed up to support IMA and take action since the program’s inception in 2010.