AEM Letter to Trump Transition Team

Nov. 30, 2016
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November 22, 2016

President-elect Donald J. Trump
Trump-Pence Transition Team
1717 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20006

Dear President-elect Trump:

On behalf of the board of directors, the 948 members of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers and the men and women of our entire industry, we want to extend our warmest congratulations on your election. We look forward to working with your administration over the next four years to advance our common goals of investing in our people and our country.

That is why we are writing: To respectfully ask that your administration take concrete steps to support manufacturing in America. We firmly believe that bipartisan solutions on the issues of infrastructure, taxes, trade, agriculture and building a skilled workforce will help to advance both the middle class as well as manufacturing as an industry.

We were heartened to hear you speak powerfully during the campaign about the need to invest in our infrastructure. Equipment manufacturers strongly support infrastructure investments that will pay dividends for our economy and our workers. Our nation needs to not only repair our existing and neglected infrastructure, but also seize this opportunity to build a long-term, sustainable vision for our infrastructure that keeps pace with technological changes and economic growth. You spoke repeatedly of your intention to make this a priority during your presidency, and we are eager to help you follow through on that pledge.

We also believe that reforming our current tax system is essential to supporting manufacturing in America. Our overly burdensome and outdated tax system costs Americans tens of thousands of unrealized jobs each year, and we hope that your administration will work with the Congress in a bipartisan fashion to reform the tax code. Our industry and its customers depend on a fair and reliable tax system that encourages investments in production machinery while helping to bring down overall tax rates to keep our manufacturers competitive in the global marketplace. As you had said during the campaign, there is an opportunity to join tax reform and infrastructure efforts during your administration, and we would encourage you to consider this approach.

Equipment manufacturers also depend on unfettered access to foreign markets to help support U.S. manufacturing jobs here at home. We wish to convey to you the importance of trade to our industry; the United States cannot afford to handicap manufacturers’ ability to sell their products abroad by withdrawing from established trade agreements.

A strong agricultural economy is also critical for equipment manufacturers. Declining commodity prices have harmed farm incomes, which, in turn, make it more difficult for farmers to invest in agricultural equipment. We hope that your administration will take meaningful steps to improve the farm economy by protecting our crop insurance programs, beginning early work on a new farm bill, and protecting and expanding the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). We also urge you to be judicious in pursuing regulations that risk raising costs for farmers and manufacturers, especially during this delicate time in the marketplace.

Finally, we stand ready to work with your administration to support equipping America’s students and workers with the skills they need to succeed. Manufacturing jobs offer a pathway to the middle class for millions of Americans, and yet many workers lack the necessary training and skills to work on a modern shop floor. We are eager to partner with your administration to support investments in our people and help unlock the pathway to good manufacturing jobs.

In closing, we hope that your administration will find an effective partner in our industry when possible, and a respectful and informed adversary on those issues where we may disagree. It is our sincere belief that we can achieve great things by working together, and we hope to do so in the coming year.

Sincerely,

Leif Magnusson Michael A. Haberman
AEM Chair AEM Vice Chair
President, CLAAS Global Sales Americas, Inc. President, Gradall Industries, Inc.

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AEM Board Of DirectorsSteven W. Berglund, President & CEO, Trimble Navigation Ltd. Robert B. Charter, Group President, Caterpillar Inc. Robert B. Crain, Sr. VP & General Manager North America, AGCO Corp. Ronald M. De Feo, President & Chief Executive Officer, Kennametal Inc. Richard M. Goldsbury, President Doosan Bobcat North America & Oceania, Doosan Bobcat Jerry Johnson, President, Farm Ranch & Agriculture Div., Blount International, Inc. David L. Koppenhofer, Exec. Dir., OEM Sales & Support, Cummins Inc. John D. Lagemann, Sr. VP Sales & Marketing – Regions 3 & 4, Deere & Co. Göran Lindgren, President – Sales Region Americas, Volvo Construction Equipment Chuck Martz, President, CEO & Chairman, Link-Belt Construction Equipment Company Richard A. Patek, Group President, Astec Aggregate & Mining Group, Astec Industries, Inc. John Patterson, Chairman, JCB USA Group & Director, JCB Group Jeffrey R. Reed, President & CEO, Reed International/VSS Macropaver Barry L. Stoughton, President, BLS Enterprises, Inc. Todd H. Stucke, Sr. VP Sales, Marketing & Product Support, Kubota Tractor Corp. Jim Walker, VP Case IH North America, CNH Industrial David O. Woods, Chief Executive Officer, Magellan Executive Partners