MAKING YOUR VOICE HEARD loan funds programs.

• Full funding for the Water Infra- structure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA).

Infrastructure Network According to the American Soci-

ety of Civil Engineers 2017 Report, America’s infrastructure scores a D+. Whether it’s structurally deficient bridges, dams and levees or inad- equate roads, airports and water- works, America’s infrastructure is insufficient. Tirty percent of U.S. casting

production is dedicated to infra- structure. Metalcasters at the Fly-In asked lawmakers for a comprehensive infrastructure package that includes sustained infrastructure spending; new tools to attract more private invest- ment in infrastructure to supplement public funding; variety of funding mechanisms, and where possible, utilize existing federal programs; increased accountability and expedited regulatory permit processes; and, fund- ing support for long-term projects.

Fair Trade for U.S. Metalcasters U.S. metalcasters continue to face

significant trade challenges from foreign government trade-distorting policies and practices, in particular China’s state-owned enterprises. President Trump launched a Section 232 investigation into steel imports and aluminum in March. Te Com- merce Department is conducting a probe and held a public meeting in May. In early June, Trump indicated major action was coming quickly and that it could affect countries besides China, which is often blamed for creating a global steel glut. Section 232 isn’t used often, but it gives the administration power to determine whether the imports are having an adverse impact on national security and if so, it could lead to new tariffs or quotas in response.

Regulatory Reform Metalcasters have faced a deluge

of new regulatory mandates from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), OSHA, National Labor Rela- tions Board (NLRB), Department of

Metalcasters have several options to make their interests known to their elected officials. One opportunity is the annual AFS Fly-In in which a large group of members of the metalcasting industry converge on Capitol Hill to have face-to- face meetings with their members of Congress and staff. This strength-in-numbers approach is one facet of a year-long strategy to educate lawmakers about the metalcasting industry, its importance to the nation’s economy and security, and the federal policies that most impact your business.

This past June 20-21, more than 100 metalcasters joined together for congres- sional visits. Meetings focused on issues affecting foundries and their suppliers, including: comprehensive tax reform, fair trade policies, commonsense regulatory reform and sustained infrastructure spending. They also underscored how OSHA’s new one-size fits-all crystalline silica rule, which will be enforced beginning June 2018, will have a devastating impact on the foundry industry. Attendees heard from an impressive array of policy experts on the front lines of national policy formation in Washington, D.C. Stephen Hayes, FOX News contributor and Editor-in-Chief, The Weekly Stan-

dard, gave a compelling and insightful keynote speech delving into the mysteries of Washington’s inner political workings.

Members of Congress return to their home states in August and then again in

October, and this is an ideal time for metalcasters to host their representative or senator for an educational tour of their facilities. A typical plant tour lasts an hour and gives the host a chance to cover the metalcasting process and showcase their facility’s investments in technology, energy efficiency, and environmental improve- ments. Tours should include an introduction to employees—potential voters—and an explanation of how policies that support the business also supports the families of those who work there.

If hosting a plant tour is not possible, metalcasters can attend town hall meet- ings, write letters, and sign petitions. These are all ways to make metalcasting busi- ness visible to the people who enact policy that will affect their bottom line.

Metalcasters attending the AFS Government Affairs Fly-In used the opportunity to meet with and recognize lawmakers. Here, attendees show their gratitude to Sen. James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) (center) for his support of industry-friendly policies.

Labor (DOL), and other federal agen- cies. Recently, EPA and other agencies have begun to review a number of regulations including, but not limited to Waters of the U.S., Clean Power Plan, and Joint Employer. Te Regulatory Accountability Act

is bipartisan legislation that would constitute the most significant reform to the federal regulatory system in over seven decades. It requires effective

cost-benefit analysis. It also would require agencies to adopt the most cost-effective approach to achieve their objectives. Te bill would permit a judicial check on an agency’s cost-ben- efit analysis of major rules—the 40 to 80 costliest regulations out of the more than 3,000 issued each year. Te bill passed the House in Janu-

ary and is currently being considered in the Senate.

July 2017 MODERN CASTING | 21

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