Earlier today, the House approved the bipartisan Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353), sending the legislation to President Trump for his signature. Today’s action comes on the heels of Senate passage on July 23. AED made enactment of H.R. 2353 a key part of its legislative agenda this Congress.
The legislation reforms, modernizes and reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. The Perkins Act, which hasn’t been updated in more than a decade, is the principal source of federal funding for the improvement of secondary and postsecondary career and technical education programs across the nation.
“Today, Congress took a long overdue step toward addressing the nation’s skills gap by approving the Strengthening Career & Technical Education for the 21st Century Act,” said AED’s President & CEO Brian P. McGuire. “By reflecting current workforce needs, empowering state and local entities, and emphasizing work-based learning opportunities, the bipartisan legislation provides tools to better prepare workers for well-paying careers and ensure that U.S. companies can seize new business opportunities, making the United States more competitive in the global economy.”
“The greatest strategic challenge facing the construction equipment industry is the scarcity of skilled technical workers that is costing AED members more than $2.4 billion per year in lost revenue and economic activity. H.R. 2353 is an important part of the solution, which along with a commitment by businesses, schools and government officials to collectively tackling the technical education crisis at all levels, will help our nation’s students acquire the skills needed to meet employer demands. Thank you to the bill’s sponsors for their leadership on this issue. The construction equipment industry urges the president to sign this important legislation into law as soon as possible.”
The legislation will help:
• Align CTE programs to the needs of the regional, state and local labor markets.
• Support effective and meaningful collaboration between secondary and postsecondary institutions and employers.
• Increase student participation in work-based learning opportunities.
• Promote the use of industry recognized credentials and other recognized post-secondary credentials.
These improvements will more effectively spend federal dollars to help our nation’s students acquire the skills that they need and employers – including AED members – are demanding.
To view AED’s most recent letter of support for H.R. 2353 visit: http://aednet.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/AED-HR2353HouseVoteSupportLetter.pdf
The AED Foundation recently commissioned two studies by the College of William & Mary quantifying the skilled worker shortage’s impact on the construction equipment industry and analyzing career and technical education (CTE) programs on a state-by-state basis. Visit aedfoundation.org/research/ to learn more about The AED Foundation’s research.
For more information please contact Daniel B. Fisher, AED’s Vice President of Government Affairs at email@example.com.
While not formally introduced as legislation, Chairman Shuster intends it to serve as a basis for comprehensive infrastructure investment legislation later in 2018 or during the next congressional session.
“AED is greatly appreciative to Chairman Shuster for championing policies to rebuild the nation’s crumbling infrastructure in a sustainable manner,” said AED’s President Brian P. McGuire. “The Chairman’s proposal acknowledges solutions that AED has urged Congress to enact for the past decade, including increasing the current user fee, ensuring drivers of electric vehicles pay their fair share into the Highway Trust Fund and shifting the nation towards a per-miles-traveled charge or another solution to ensure the long-term viability of the federal highway program.”
“Chairman Shuster has demonstrated leadership and advanced a transformative plan to rebuild America. His congressional colleagues must now accept their responsibility and pass legislation this year that will show the country that Washington is serious about investing our nation’s infrastructure. The American people have waited far too long and it’s time to turn words into action.”
Key components of Chairman Shuster’s plan include:
• Maintaining the Highway Trust Fund’s solvency through 2028, by phasing-in, over three calendar years, a 15-cent per gallon gas tax and 20-cent per gallon diesel increase (following the three-year phase-in period, the gas/diesel tax will be indexed to inflation).
• Buttressing the Highway Trust Fund by establishing a 10 percent fee on the wholesale price of electric batteries used to propel motor vehicles and a 10 percent fee on the wholesale price of adult bicycle tires.
• Eliminating the federal gas tax by September 30, 2028, and replacing it with a new vehicle-miles-traveled program or other similar solution.
• Streamlining the federal permitting process for infrastructure projects.
View Chairman Shuster’s vision statement here:https://transportation.house.gov/uploadedfiles/infrastructure_vision_statement.pdf
View the discussion draft here: https://transportation.house.gov/uploadedfiles/infra_001_xml.pdf
View a section-by-section analysis of the discussion draft here: https://transportation.house.gov/uploadedfiles/section_by_section_.pdf
For more information please contact Daniel B. Fisher, AED’s Vice President of Government Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brian P. McGuire, president and CEO of Associated Equipment Distributors, issued the following statement following President Donald J. Trump’s executive order signing that addresses the nation’s skilled workforce challenges and establishes the National Council for the American Worker.
“AED commends President Trump for his leadership in addressing the nation’s skills gap. Businesses, schools and government officials must collectively commit to tackling the technical workforce shortage, and the president’s executive order is a positive step to giving students and workers the necessary skills to thrive in today’s economy.
“The greatest strategic challenge facing the construction equipment industry is the scarcity of skilled technical workers. In fact, the industry’s technician shortage is costing AED members more than $2.4 billion per year in lost revenue and economic activity. Preparing workers for well-paying careers will ensure that U.S. companies can seize new business opportunities, making the United States more competitive in the global economy. The construction equipment industry looks forward to working with President Trump and his administration to help our nation’s students acquire the skills that they need and employers – including AED members – demand.”
This article was originally posted in Transportation Today. To view the original article, click here.
During a recent visit to Luby Equipment Services in Caseyville, Ill., U.S. Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL), who serves on the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, discussed opportunities to develop larger ports along the Mississippi River in order to drive commerce to Illinois and Missouri, and the importance of strengthening the nation’s infrastructure.
The congressman’s tour of Luby Equipment Services’ facilities and a panel discussion took place on May 30 and was arranged by the Associated Equipment Distributors (AED), a trade group representing companies that distribute, rent and support equipment used in construction, energy, agriculture and other sectors.
The health of southern Illinois’ infrastructure, particularly its highways, rail lines and waterways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Each year nearly $3 trillion in goods are shipped to, from and within Illinois, relying heavily on the state’s network of roads and bridges, according to TRIP, a national transportation research group. The design, construction and maintenance of transportation infrastructure in Illinois supports about 154,000 full-time jobs across all sectors of the state economy, the group says.
Bost, who represents 12 counties in southern Illinois, said he was pleased with the visit to Luby Equipment Services, which deals in construction equipment at six locations in Illinois and Missouri. “They continue to be leaders in the community and I appreciate the good jobs they provide as they service the heavy equipment industry,” Bost said.
Other issues of importance to the industrial equipment industry Bost touched on during the visit included taxes and workforce issues.
David Kedney, sales manager at Luby Equipment Services, said, “The key takeaway was the dialogue regarding the countless benefits from investments in our nation’s infrastructure and roads,” Kedney said. “We feel that having budget stability for larger road jobs will provide confidence to contractors at all levels to invest in equipment purchases.”
“Infrastructure is vitally important to our economy,” Bost said, “and I will take their input back to Congress as I continue my work on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.”
This article was originally posted in the Star-Telegram. To view the original article, click here.
The water main break and subsequent sinkhole near University Park Village (“SUV falls into sinkhole in Fort Worth,” June 10) highlights the need for a long-term infrastructure investment plan for the nation.
Communities across Texas and the entire country are plagued by inadequate pipes, roads and airports, structurally deficient bridges, and crumbling dams and levees.
Time is wasted in traffic or sitting on an overcrowded runway. Clean water is squandered and roads flooded as water mains break. Lives are put at risk and economic growth is hindered.
Our infrastructure is the lifeblood of our economy. It impacts our quality of life, the competitiveness of our businesses and the safety and security of our country.
We can’t forsake our responsibility when it comes to infrastructure upgrades.
Vermeer Texas-Louisiana, Fort Worth
This article was originally published in Transportation Today. To view the original article, click here.
U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) addressed the need for Congress to pass an infrastructure package, as well as mining, tax and workforce issues of importance to the heavy equipment distribution industry during a visit last week to Road Machinery & Supplies Co. (RMS) in Savage, Minn.
Paulsen, who serves on the House Ways & Means Committee, said he is hopeful that a legislative package to address the nation’s infrastructure needs will come together. But he acknowledged that one potential funding source for highway projects, raising the gas tax, has little support in Congress.
Paulsen said that Congress has been working on approving the Water Resources Development Act, which aims to make improvements to the nation’s ports, locks, dams and other water resources infrastructure. Lawmakers also have been focused on legislation concerning energy infrastructure and renegotiations to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement, the congressman noted.
“Overall the tax changes implemented by the Republican Congress have been good for our industry,” RMS President Russell Sheaffer said. “There is confidence out there and we are investing in equipment and personnel. I know Rep. Paulsen understands our issues and we look forward to partnering with him to further strengthen the economy.”
RMS is a distributor of construction and mining equipment with sales and support operations throughout the Upper Midwest region.
“You create good paying jobs and careers that contribute to our economy in a big way,” Paulsen said of the company. “I recognize the workforce shortages you struggle with,” Paulsen said, adding that U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), chairwoman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, is working on those issues.
“It was great to have Rep. Paulsen here today to discuss issues of critical importance to RMS and the heavy equipment distribution industry,” said RMS CEO Mike Sill.
Paulsen’s visit was arranged by the Associated Equipment Distributors, a trade association representing companies involved in the distribution, rental, and support of equipment used in construction, mining, energy, forestry, power generation, agriculture and industrial applications.
On June 14, AED was joined by eight other major construction industry organizations on separate letters to Senate leadership and the Trump administration opposing the recently implemented tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from Canada, the European Union and Mexico.
Other signatories were the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, the Associated General Contractors of America, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, the Energy Equipment & Infrastructure Alliance, the American Concrete Pipe Association, the National Utility Contractors Association and the National Asphalt Pavement Association.
The letter to the U.S. Senate is in support of Sen. Bob Corker’s (R-Tenn.) bipartisan legislation (S. 3013) that would require congressional approval of tariffs deemed national security-related under Section 232 of the of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.
In the letters, the trade organizations expressed opposition to the tariffs on steel and aluminum, particularly highlighting the impact it will have on equipment prices. “The tariffs on Canada will result in a shortage of the raw materials used to manufacture construction equipment while driving up costs for contractors and other customers who purchase the machinery,” the groups wrote.
AED and its construction industry partners also cautioned policymakers that the tariffs will only exasperate delays in manufacturers meeting customer equipment demand. The organizations stated, “The tariffs on Canada, the European Union and Mexico will further disrupt the supply chain, resulting in delays in product completion, an increase in costs for equipment purchasers and inadequate quantities of new construction equipment to help rebuild America.”
Furthermore, the trade associations warned that the tariffs will negate many of the benefits of the new tax law, which ultimately will threaten economic growth and job creation in the United States.
To read the letter to the Trump administration visit, click here.
To read the letter supporting S. 3013 visit, click here.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Earlier today, on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol, AED’s 2018 Chairwoman Diane Benck of West Side Tractor Sales Co. demanded congressional action to invest in the United States’ crumbling infrastructure.
Benck’s call to action came during a Capitol Hill press conference where she was joined by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Reps. Garret Graves (R-La.), Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.) and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), as well as other senior construction industry leaders who participated. The event was organized by the Highway Materials Group, a coalition of trade associations representing companies that provide the materials and equipment essential to building America’s roads, bridges, highways, airports and water infrastructure. AED is a leading member of the Highway Materials Group.
With the federal Highway Trust Fund unable to support already inadequate investment levels and the nation’s infrastructure in a state of disrepair, Benck called on Congress to assume its responsibility and turn words into action by working in a bipartisan manner to rebuild the country. Benck detailed the economic impact that the uncertainty surrounding federal infrastructure programs has on the construction equipment industry, as contractors are wary to invest in new machinery without greater confidence in long-term project funding.
Discussing the economic benefits of infrastructure investment, Benck said, “Unlike many government programs, infrastructure funding provides a return on its investment through increased tax revenue and greater productivity. On the heels of the new tax law, there’s no better way to put the nation on a course for sustained economic growth than passing a fully-funded, long-term infrastructure bill.”
She also described the adverse impact that deficient infrastructure has directly on construction equipment dealers. As major users of the transportation network, AED members are plagued by congestion and insufficient highways, roads and bridges. Benck said, “Whether it’s delivering equipment to a customer or servicing equipment on a job site, the country’s inadequate infrastructure has a direct negative effect on my company. Time and fuel wasted diverts resources that could be invested in my business and hinders our ability to serve our customers.”
The Trump administration released an infrastructure proposal earlier this year, placing the ball squarely in Congress’ court to take action. AED will continue to pressure lawmakers to send a long-term infrastructure package that includes a solution to the Highway Trust Fund’s pending insolvency to the president’s desk before the end of the year.
If you have any questions, please contact AED’s Vice President of Government Affairs Daniel B. Fisher at email@example.com.
On Wednesday, April 18 two leading international trade associations joined forces to urge the Trump administration to permanently exempt Canada from steel tariffs and modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) without scrapping the accord entirely.
In a letter to President Donald J. Trump, Associated Equipment Distributors’ (AED) President and CEO Brian P. McGuire and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers’ (AEM) President Dennis Slater commended the efforts to maintain strong cross-border relations with Canada while also warning of the detrimental impact to U.S. and Canadian equipment manufacturers and dealers from continued trade uncertainty. Both AED and AEM have U.S. and Canadian members.
“The U.S. and Canada maintain a tightly integrated market for steel,” wrote McGuire and Slater. “Canada has competitively-priced steel production and is taking measures to stop the transshipment of lower-priced steel from other countries. We strongly urge you to grant Canada permanent exemption from U.S. steel tariffs to create market certainty, economic growth and avoid economic harm to our industry on both sides of the border.”
The equipment industry leaders also cautioned the president on NAFTA, encouraging the administration to update the agreement by strengthening trade and investment in the North American market, while maintaining current market access for the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The U.S. maintains a $3 billion a year trade surplus in construction and agricultural equipment with Canada and Mexico.
McGuire and Slater suggested negotiators focus on cross-border labor mobility to help alleviate significant skilled worker shortages in both countries. “Americans and Canadians alike have difficulty crossing the border to perform highly-specialized machinery repairs and servicing,” they wrote. “By including construction equipment service technicians in NAFTA’s International Mobility Program, we can overcome this challenge and have a positive economic impact for our industry.”
The April 18 letter to President Trump can be found here: aednet.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/AED-AEMTariffNAFTALetter-2.pdf
About Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) – www.aednet.org
AED is an international trade association representing companies involved in the distribution, rental, and support of equipment used in construction, mining, energy, forestry, power generation, agriculture, and industrial applications. AED’s more than 500 member companies, which are predominantly small-medium-sized, family-owned businesses, have over 3,000 locations throughout North America, employ 40,000 people and account for $15 billion in annual sales of construction equipment and related supplies. AED is headquartered in Schaumburg, Illinois and has an office in Washington, D.C.
About the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) – www.aem.org
AEM is the North American-based international trade group providing innovative business development resources to advance the off-road equipment manufacturing industry in the global marketplace. AEM membership comprises more than 950 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture, construction, forestry, mining and utility sectors worldwide. AEM is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with offices in the world capitals of Washington, D.C.; Ottawa, Canada; and Beijing, China.
Yesterday, President Trump signed two proclamations imposing steel (25 percent) and aluminum tariffs (10 percent). AED is concerned about the impact these actions could have on equipment distributors, manufacturers and their customers and the effect on the cost of future infrastructure projects. The association will closely monitor implementation of the tariffs and work with other industry organizations, the administration and Congress to limit its impact on construction equipment dealers. However, AED was pleased that certain countries were exempted, particularly Canada, and that the administration has indicated a willingness to be flexible in excluding more countries.
Following the White House announcement, AED’s President and CEO Brian P. McGuire said:
“The United States operates in a global economy and when a country takes protectionist measures it will always raise concerns about the negative impacts. However, similar to legislative and regulatory actions, the details matter and implementation is crucial. The coming weeks will be important to assess the Trump administration’s commitment to accommodating the concerns of our key trading partners and allies and the impact it will have on on-going trade agreement negotiations, such as NAFTA. Accessible and efficient international trade is critical to continued economic growth and international competitiveness.”