by Amy Antenora Editor
Motor vehicle suppliers are the largest single manufacturing industry in the U.S. As such, this industry is not only greatly impacted by what goes on in Washington , but it can also be a great influence on Capitol Hill as well. There are a number of issues in debate right now that this industry must keep a close watch of – from environmental emissions regulations to small business health insurance plans and more.
The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) will hold its annual Legislative Summit May 16-17. Key issues slated for discussion at MEMA’s event include health care, raw material prices, tariffs, R&D tax credits, counterfeiting and others. The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) will hold its bi-annual Legislative Summit June 12-13. Among the key issues slated to be addressed with state legislators and their representatives are the Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act and health insurance.
We asked several aftermarket executives if they plan to attend any upcoming legislative events and if so, what are the primary issues they are concerned about. Many companies we spoke with said at this point they were unable to confirm their commitment to this year’s events. Some were even reluctant to comment.
One company that asked not to be named said it doesn’t attend any of the industry associations’ legislative events because of a corporate policy prohibiting them from face-to-face meetings with U.S. legislators. They are also prohibited from using lobbyists to carry their message to Capitol Hill. This company doesn’t turn a blind eye, however, staying abreast of legislative issues that may impact their business, via their association membership.
The Automotive Oil Change Association (AOCA) has plans for its own legislative event in the fall but said that there is a possibility that some of the AOCA’s members will attend one of the other upcoming legislative summits. “We have a lot of the same issues,” said Steve Christie, executive director of the AOCA. “We’re interested in Association Health Plans and Right to Repair. Those are the two biggies we’re heavily involved with.”
While industry associations work hard to serve as the voice of their members when it comes the major issues impacting their businesses, there is still a need for individuals who are willing to speak up. If you are interested in attending one of the upcoming legislative events, check out our Industry Events Calendar for more information.