Events and News

Government Affairs Fly-In Connects Metalcasters to Policymakers in Important Moment for Industry

June 23, 2017

AFS members, metalcasters and suppliers gathered June 20-21 in Washington, D.C to share the positive significant contribution of metalcasting to the nation’s economy, infrastructure and defense, and advocated for better policies affecting our industry. This year, hope for change was in the air and attendance was up more than 50%.

On the first day of the Fly-In, attendees heard from a variety of highly reputable experts on infrastructure, trade policy, OSHA issues, tax reform and
environmental regulations.

Earlier in the day during the luncheon, Stephen Hayes, FOX News contributor and editor-in-chief, The Weekly Standard, gave a compelling and insightful keynote speech that gave a high-level view of the confusing political environment in Washington.

 “The dust is not going to settle anytime soon,” Hayes said. “The question is, what will get done despite the chaos?” Although the president exercised executive authority to accomplish several important tasks in his first months in office – a dramatic rollback on regulations in critical areas and the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court – the rest of the agenda will require working with Congress. Success with Congress depends on the administration speaking clearly and with one voice saying the same things on important topics, like health care and tax reform, Hayes said.

On the second day, Fly-In attendees participated in more than 100 meetings on Capitol Hill, providing dozens of legislators and their staffs with persuasive arguments and position papers on a wide range of issues affecting foundries.
Meetings were focused on:  

• Comprehensive tax reform.
• Fair trade policies.
• Harmonized regulations.
• Sustained infrastructure package.
• The need to reopen OSHA’s new one-size fits-all crystalline silica rule, which will be enforced beginning June 2018.

At the evening reception Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) and Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-Alabama) were presented with the 2017 Metalcasting Industry Eagle Award during a reception on Capitol Hill. The award is given to elected officials who have shown outstanding leadership on behalf of the industry. Both lawmakers have been leaders on robust infrastructure investment, lower taxes, eliminating unnecessary regulatory burdens and the importance of educating the next generation of skilled workers.

AFS leadership showed strong support for the Fly-In. Along with Government Affairs Chair Brad Muller of Charlotte Pipe, all four AFS officers participated–Patricio Gill, Blackhawk de Mexico; Jean Bye, Dotson Iron Castings; Peter Reich, Laempe Reich; and Jeff Cook, Eagle Alloy; as well as the association’s 2015-2016 president, Bruce Dienst, Simpson Technologies and several Board members.  

Thanks to these officers, the other attendees, and Casting Industry Suppliers Association (CISA) for participating in this year’s event, our
metalcasting message was delivered clearly.