PMA Next Gen Division Lobbies CongressNovember 1, 2007
On September 18-19, PMA’s Next Generation Leaders Division met in Washington, D.C., to network, discuss industry issues and spend a day lobbying lawmakers. Congressman Tim Ryan (D-17, OH), an original author of the PMA-endorsed Ryan-Hunter bill (H.R. 782), spoke to the group about Chinese currency misalignment. Ryan’s legislation would label currency manipulation as an illegal subsidy and allow for countervailable duties of imported products. Congressman Mark Kirk (IL-10, R) then spoke to the group, focusing on quality and safety concerns over Chinese products being imported to the United States. Both lawmakers expect some form of legislation targeting China this year.
The group visited 34 congressional offices. The meetings produced immediate results, as Congressmen Peter Roskam (IL-6, R), Bart Gordon (TN-6, D), Sam Graves (MO-6, R), Candice Miller (MI-10, R) and Ron Lewis (KY-2, R) agreed to cosponsor the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act (H.R. 1127), sponsored by Congressman Joe Knollenberg (MI-9, R). The bill, a priority for PMA members, provides steel consumers with legal standing before the International Trade Commission when deciding trade cases involving steel imports.
PMA held its first Next Generation Leaders’ fly-in in 2006 to demonstrate to Congress that there are hundreds of thousands of jobs that depend on a strong manufacturing base for decades to come. “Congress needs to be educated on the issues, and the fly-ins help to accomplish that goal,” says James Barrett, a member of the division and a design engineer with Link Systems, Nashville, TN.
“This event was an eye opener on the legislative process,” adds Kevin Mallory, Morgal Machine Tool Co., Springfield, OH, “and the need for more PMA members to get out in front of their congressmen and make sure our voice is heard.”