'Inside the TCMA' featured Article
Fort Worth Foundryman Makes First Trip to the
AFS Government Affairs Conference
   Owen Daniel  |  August 21, 2013

On The 2013 AFS Government Affairs Conference (May 1-3 in Washington DC) was well-attended with over 100 AFS Members, guests, spouses and staff. Attendees included Member Company Owners, Officers, Directors and Managers as well as representatives from the Associate Membership (i.e., suppliers and consultants).

The Conference opened Wednesday May 1 with a brief orientation and tutorial regarding Capitol Hill visitations (a valuable feature for ‘freshman’ Delegation Leaders such as myself), including an informative and entertaining ‘skit’ illustrating the do’s and don’ts of Congressional Meetings. The Morning Session stressed the Competitive Imperative for US manufacturers: get ready to be globally competitive or get ready for retirement.

The luncheon speaker was Kimberley Strassel, editorial columnist for the Wall Street Journal. Her candid message made it clear to this Foundry-man that the Legislature is pre-occupied with damage control and re-election; and that the burden of Industry Specific Political Action falls squarely on our shoulders. Association participation is more important now than ever.

The Afternoon Session was devoted to Industry Priority Issues, including (but not limited to):

• EPA Trends (including MACT Standards and enforcement initiatives)
• Energy and Commerce (featuring speakers from Legislative Committees)
• Impact of proposed Tax Reform (importance of Depreciation provisions)

Thursday, May 2nd was devoted to Capitol Hill Visits. While it was a disappointment to learn that Congress had given itself an impromptu, week-long paid holiday for all their dedication to their constituent’s needs and numerous bi-partisan accomplishments, it was gratifying to discover that their young intelligent staffers are eager to hear our issues and offer cooperation and assistance. The diligent and ever-professional Texas Delegation managed to visit the offices of Sen John Cornyn; Sen Ted Cruz (his office was a basement store-room); Rep Kay Granger (her COS Matt Leffingwell will go far); Rep Joe Barton (a true Friend of Our Industry and many thanks to his COS Ryan Thompson for the VIP Capitol Tour); and the office of Rep Ralph Hall.

Friday, May 3rd was about EHS Regulatory issues and Obama Administration Domestic Policy. I will not tire the reader here with further discussion of worn-out platitudes. Let it suffice to say (once again) that it will be our job as Industry Leaders to insure that issues such as Truly Affordable Employee Health Care and Domestically-Produced Procurement Regulation, Fair Trade agreements and etc become policy rather than dreams.

I appreciate the opportunity to serve the TCMA in this capacity and I would add Kudos to the AFS staff for a job well done.

May your backlog be consistent and profitable and with sincere regards,

Owen Daniel
GM, Midland Manufacturing Company
TCMA Delegate to the AFS Government Affairs Conference