After more than a year of tense negotiations, earlier this week, the United States, Canada and Mexico unveiled an updated trade agreement to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The new accord, which will be called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), must now be signed by all parties (expected before Dec. 1) and then ratified within each country, a process that could take months or even years. Meanwhile, NAFTA will remain in effect until it is either replaced by USMCA or the United States, Mexico or Canada unilaterally withdraw.
Significantly, the USMCA is silent regarding the United States’ existing Section 232 tariffs on aluminum and steel from Canada and Mexico.
“AED welcomes the announcement that a new trade agreement has been reached and it includes two key U.S. allies – Canada and Mexico,” said AED’s President and CEO Brian P. McGuire. “We now encourage the administration to build on this momentum and work diligently to come to a resolution with Canada and Mexico on steel tariffs, which are disrupting supply chains, increasing costs for equipment purchasers and exasperating shortages of new construction equipment to rebuild America.”
To view the final text of the agreement click here.
AED is reviewing the text and working with our partners to determine the agreement’s impact on the broader industry, including equipment manufacturers and your customers. Please provide your input and comments regarding the USMCA and it’s possible impact on equipment dealers to AED’s Vice President of Government Affairs Daniel B. Fisher.
Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) this week announced they have retained lobbying and public affairs firm, Impact Public Affairs, to represent the Association in Ottawa and throughout Canada.
“I am extremely pleased to welcome Impact to the AED team,” stated Brian P. McGuire, AED’s president and CEO. “Impact has an outstanding reputation as one of Canada’s premier public affairs firms. Their seasoned political consultants understand government and have their fingers on the pulse concerning the current administration’s motivations and constraints. I expect them to be a tremendous asset to AED’s growing Canadian presence,” he added.
Impact’s President Huw Williams will spearhead AED’s effort in Ottawa and beyond. Williams is a sought-after professional specializing in government and media relations. With extensive experience in the print and broadcast media, Williams has appeared frequently as a corporate spokesperson on CBC and CTV national news. In 2018, Williams was recognized as one of the Top 100 Lobbyists in Canada by the Hill Times Insider Guide. Mr. Williams’ government experience is diverse, having served as Acting Chief of Staff to the Deputy Prime Minister of Canada; as a Senior Special Assistant to the Minister of Constitutional Affairs; and as a Legislative Assistant to the Speaker of the Alberta Legislative Assembly among other high profile positions.
“Impact Public Affairs is excited to develop this new relationship with AED,” stated Williams. “AED is one of the premier trade associations in North America and their knowledge of, and commitment to, Canada is most impressive. We look forward to assisting them with legislative and public affairs issues as they endeavor to expand their footprint north of the border,” Williams concluded.
“AED is excited to work with the Impact team on issues important to the Canadian construction equipment industry,” said AED’s Vice President of Government Affairs Daniel B. Fisher. “With this partnership, AED members will see a new level of engagement in Canada that will increase the industry’s visibility among policymakers and result in policy solutions that induce economic growth and dealer profitability.”
About AED: 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. More information is available at www.aednet.org.
About Impact Canada: Building relationships for over 20 years, Impact Public Affairs is a full-service firm based in Canada’s capital with offices in Toronto and Montreal. More information is available at www.impactcanada.com
The U.S. Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued proposed regulations regarding two key provisions from the new tax law, the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act.
One proposed rule pertains to Section 199A of the statute (“Qualified Business Income Deduction”), which includes the 20 percent deduction for pass-through businesses. The other deals with the law’s 100 percent bonus depreciation provision. Both are key parts of the new law for equipment dealers.
It’s imperative that equipment dealers consult with your CPA and tax attorney to determine the impact on your company. The IRS is accepting public comment on both proposals. Please provide any feedback and concerns to AED’s Vice President of Government Affairs Daniel B. Fisher as soon as possible.
Review the Section 199A proposal, a notice providing methods for calculating the deduction and a FAQ document here.
Review the 100 percent bonus depreciation proposal here.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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.