AFS to Press 5 Key Priorities During Metalcasters Week in Washington, June 9-15

The American Foundry Society will advocate for key policy priorities crucial to the metalcasting industry during Metalcasters Week in Washington, June 9–15, 2024. Highlighted by the AFS Government Affairs Fly-In on June 11–12, these priorities include:

  • Combating the wave of burdensome regulations,
  • addressing trade cheating,
  • supporting pro-growth tax policies,
  • tackling the workforce shortage, and
  • advocating for permitting reform.

As metalcasters gather on Capitol Hill, AFS aims to sustain and strengthen engagement with members of Congress, as well as shape policies that promote industry growth and sustainability. This is an election year, and your voices need to be heard clearly. Make sure to register today as we gear up to advance the metalcasting industry’s priorities with members of Congress and policy officials.


Five Federal Priority Issues for June 2024 Washington Fly-In

The Regulatory Onslaught

EPA and OSHA are developing far-reaching regulations at a breakneck pace. At EPA, this includes 1) the ill-advised PM 2.5 rule which will place much of the nation in non-attainment, thereby slowing much-needed plant construction and modernization; 2) PFAS regulations; 3) Power Plant regulations; and 4) tailpipe emissions restrictions. The Labor Department and/or OSHA are pressing for 1) a restrictive heat stress rule, 2) a vast overhaul of overtime policies, and 3) a highly objectionable union walkaround rule that would invite outsiders into plants during safety inspections. These proposed rules collectively could jeopardize the future of many manufacturing industries including metalcasting. AFS members are communicating the need to apply the brakes to the regulatory onslaught and the need for wiser consideration of any increases in the already heavy regulatory burden.


Fighting Trade Cheats

Foreign parties are circumventing trade laws and treaties to tilt the playing field in their advantage. AFS is urging Congress to enact the “Fighting Trade Cheats Act.” The bill numbers are H.R. 2667/S.805. The measures would raise penalties and improve enforcement for fraudulent and grossly negligent violations of U.S. customs laws. By increasing the maximum civil penalty for a fraudulent violation to three times the domestic value of the merchandise and instituting a five-year import ban for violators, the measures would reduce the impact of trade cheating.


Pro-Growth Tax Policy

AFS strongly supports the tax package that recently passed the House and urges the Senate to adopt those policies promptly, so as to encourage investment in the U.S. and offer business decision-makers predictability.


Addressing the Workforce Shortage

AFS surveys continuously show that the workforce shortage is the leading challenge facing most foundries. AFS members are lobbying for three important bills:

  •  Pass the “Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act” which is H.R. 1477 / S. 722. I would expand the use of 529 tax-advantaged Education Savings Account funds to include postsecondary training and credentialing, such as nongovernmental certifications.
  •  Pass the bipartisan “Workforce Pell Act,” which is H.R. 6585. It would expand Pell Grants to include short-term career training programs that are 8 and 14 weeks.
  •  Approve the “Stronger Workforce for America Act” which is H.R. 6555. It would reauthorize the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and include funding to support skills-based training and programs at community colleges.


Permitting Reform

AFS members are advocating for S. 3170, the “Revising and Enhancing Project Authorizations Impacted Review (REPAIR) Act. It would streamline the permitting process for U.S. energy, manufacturing, and critical infrastructure projects and reform the judicial review process for approved permits. It would ensure all laws related to permitting have the same review process, scope of adjudication, rules for standing, and statute of limitations; and would bar lawsuits based on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), instead focusing lawsuits on the statute for which the permit was issued. In the case of a judicial remand or other court action, the Act would establish a mediation process that allows the project developer and permit-issuing agency to directly address the challenge in order to allow the project to move forward. Also, the bill would increase transparency in court challenges to highlight unnecessary delays caused by the judicial process.


The American Foundry Society is a dynamic technical and advocacy organization that serves and represents the $50 billion metalcasting industry. AFS is the only association serving the entire industry, including all metals and processes, with a three-part focus on advocacy, education, and innovation. AFS also publishes Modern Casting and Casting Source magazines and presents Metalcasting Congress and CastExpo, the largest metalcasting trade events in North America. Founded in 1896, the organization is based in Schaumburg, Illinois, with an advocacy office in Washington, D.C. More information is available at