Equipping the Economy with Skills, Jobs and Dollars

NAM’s president, John Engler, spoke to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers’ board of directors this morning, a talk that focused on the benefits of trade and the prospects for renewal of Trade Promotion Authority in Congress. AEM’s members are keenly attuned to the issue: U.S. exports of construction machinery rose from $12.1 billion in 2005 to $13.7 billion in 2006, a 13 percent increase.

And, a recent study on agriculture machinery points to the sector’s wealth creation, also bolstered by strong exports.

Exports to other countries are an important contributor to the strength of the U.S. agriculture equipment industry, according to the AEM-FEMA-NAEDA study. For example, 2005 exports of $6.2 billion worth of agriculture equipment represented over 30 percent of the total revenue in ag equipment manufacturing that year. From 2001 to 2005, exports rose 49 percent, nearly double the increase in total U.S.-manufactured goods.

“It is clear that global trade contributes significantly to the vitality of the agricultural equipment industry in the United States,” stated Dennis Slater, President of AEM. “Our industry relies on trade policies that are free and fair if we are to continue to power jobs and dollars domestically.”

Along with sharing his thoughts on the issues of the day, Governor Engler also shared thanks and congratulations. The AEM has joined the Board of Trustees of the Manufacturing Institute, making a three-year commitment to the NAM’s non-profit research arm. The equipment association has a broad range of interests that coincide with the Institute’s focus on competitiveness and a skilled workforce.

Joe Loughery, president and CEO of Cummins, Inc. — the Indiana-based manufacturer — is chairman of the Board of Trustees, which also includes Herbert L. Henkel, president and CEO of Ingersoll-Rand; Douglas R. Oberhelman of Caterpillar; and Robert Ratliff, chairman of the board of AGCO Corp. So you can see that manufacturers of construction equipment and farm machinery are well represented. Joining them on the board on behalf of AEM is Nick Yaksich, vice president, global public policy.

Thanks to you all, and welcome aboard AEM.