‹ Back to Columns

An Agenda We Can All Get Behind

Doug Kurkul

The week of June 10 will be Metalcasters Week in Washington. In the nation’s capital on June 11-12, metalcasters and suppliers will participate in the annual Government Affairs Fly-In. Those AFS members who cannot attend in person will be invited to communicate with their Senators and House members about our agenda. Moreover, all members of Congress will receive information about the importance of metalcasting. 

We invite you to join us in the nation’s capital for the Fly-In where we will advocate for our industry. This year, AFS is advocating for a five-part agenda that is vital to the future of our industry. Its components are consistent with the national policy of reshoring work back from overseas and making the United States the best place in the world for manufacturing. 

Just as the college basketball teams in the recent NCAA tournament had to play defense and offense, AFS is playing defense on the first of these policy priorities, and offense on the rest of the key issues:

• Stopping the Wave of Burdensome Regulations. AFS believes regulations should be based on sound science and cost-benefit analyses, and the result of thoughtful analysis. EPA, OSHA, and other agencies are rushing through a series of not-well-planned rules that would have enormously negative implications for foundries and the administration’s professed goal of reshoring. AFS and industry coalitions are working to slow, improve, or thwart these regulations.

• Putting a Stop to Trade Cheating. AFS is fighting for passage of a pair of bills (H.R. 2667 S.805) that would provide our government with clearer power to combat trade cheats that are unfair to U.S. manufacturers.

• Supporting Pro-Growth Tax Policies. The House has already passed a bipartisan bill that restores and/or extends a number of tax policies important to metalcasters. AFS is urging the Senate to pass the bill and send it to the president’s desk.

• Addressing the Workforce Shortage. There is no silver bullet to solve this problem overnight, but during the Fly-In AFS will be calling on Congress to adopt several measures that would help. For example, H.R. 1477/S. 722 is the Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act; and H.R. 6585 is a bill to expand eligibility for Pell grants.

• Advocating for Permitting Reform. Measures to improve the permitting process will help to eliminate unnecessary delays in moving forward with energy, manufacturing, and construction project permits. 
During Day 1 of the Fly-In on June 11, participants will receive briefings from experts on issues facing metalcasters. These briefings alone are worth participating in the event. There will also be a luncheon with political commentator Karl Rove who served President Bush 43 in the White House; and a reception that evening honoring pro-metalcasting lawmakers. 

Day 2 will start with a breakfast with Rep. Mike Rogers. Then, participants will fan out on Capitol Hill for meetings with lawmakers and their staffs, all pre-arranged by the AFS Washington Office. 
We thank you for your help in advocating for this important agenda!