Give Our Industry a Voice on Trade


Give Our Industry a Voice on Trade

SBCA will be voicing the industry’s concerns on Capitol Hill.

While a component manufacturer’s business is impacted by an array of influences, one of the most significant are federal regulations, their enforcement, and the near-constant process of reinterpretation agencies go through. Therefore, it’s important for the structural building components industry to ensure those who are elected and tasked with serving our best interests know what we believe will help our industry and what will likely do it harm.

SBCA will be hosting a Legislative Fly-in June 11-13, where we will gather members together in our nation’s capital to make sure our lawmakers and federal agency representatives hear from us and have a better understanding of the industry. Additionally, our goal is to give CMs the opportunity to build relationships with their lawmakers and invite them to tour their plants when they are back in their districts.

In previous years, SBCA has hosted a Legislative Conference in Washington, DC. This year’s Legislative Fly-in is similar, but with a focus on efficiently getting members to DC and effectively communicating their concerns in a shorter amount of time.

During the SBCA Open Quarterly Meeting on March 6-8, the SBCA Board of Directors approved two statements that reflect the views of the association on (1) international trade and (2) labor and immigration issues. These position statements provide the foundation needed for SBCA members to travel to Washington, DC and focus on two of the most significant issues affecting CMs and the country as a whole. The statements can be found on the Advocacy Resources page of the SBCA website.

Critical to the event are the lawmakers who sit on committees that have jurisdiction over trade and immigration issues, in particular those lawmakers who have a direct influence on how new laws in these areas are shaped. SBCA will be focusing on members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, the Senate Subcommittee on National Security and International Trade and Finance, and the House Subcommittee on Trade. Having identified these lawmakers, SBCA is reaching out to members in each of their states for help in reaching them. Elected officials will spend more time listening to their constituents, especially as CMs create more local manufacturing jobs (voters). The contribution of CMs to local and state economies is not lost on any congressional representative.

It’s very important to meet with members of Congress and their staffs – in Washington, DC – to establish relationships. However, it is more important to turn these DC meetings and associated relationship building activities into truss plant tours when elected officials are at home. SBCA staff will help any member seeking to contact their congressional representative/senator, state representative/senator, and/or their governor’s office to schedule a plant tour. Establishing as many relationships as possible will be beneficial as other issues arise that may need to be addressed by your elected officials.

About the Author: TJ Jerke tackles local, state, and federal issues that impact the daily operations of component manufacturers, and explores what they can do to advocate for their needs in the marketplace.