As Members of Congress deliberate about trade, tax and energy policies, U.S. competitiveness, and jobs, manufacturers should use the opportunity to contact their legislators, share their perspectives, and even host them for a visit. When it comes to trade, an often-overlooked part of the story is the importance of the indirect exporter, a company that supplies parts or components to another enterprise that exports the end product. Only the final product gets counted in the government’s export statistics.
Senator Charles “Chuck” Grassley (R-IA), a long-time strong advocate for opening foreign markets to U.S. businesses and farmers, saw this firsthand during his April 2 visit to NEMA member company Interpower in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Sen. Grassley currently serves as chairman of the Judiciary Committee and as a senior member of the Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over trade, tax, and health programs and which he has chaired. Sen. Grassley also serves on the Budget Committee and the Agriculture Committee.
According to Interpower’s press release on the visit, Sen. Grassley learned from Interpower President Bob Wersen that “25% of Interpower’s business is direct export and 50% is exported by Interpower’s customers, making exporting an important part of the total volume for the company.” Sen. Grassley viewed the manufacturing and testing processes for some of Interpower’s key product lines for export.
During a “town-hall” question-and-answer session with Interpower employees, Sen. Grassley also heard interest in the reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, which supplies export credit and financing assistance to U.S. companies making sales in emerging markets. If not reauthorized by Congress before June 30, the Bank will cease operations, leaving many companies at a real disadvantage to foreign competitors.
As part its services, NEMA facilitates connections between Members of Congress and NEMA companies located in their state or district. Contact us for more information.