Time to Engage

This AMBA event brought together the highest number of mold manufacturing participants the group has seen.

There I was last month in Washington D.C. attending the American Mold Builders Association’s (AMBA) Fall Conference—which was focusing on the problems of the decline of U.S. manufacturing—when someone in the audience was informed by his Blackberry that Congress just passed the bail-out bill … how timely.

This AMBA event brought together the highest number of mold manufacturing participants the group has seen … all in an effort to call attention to the need for fair trade to keep U.S. manufacturing strong. And I’d like to share with you what I learned, so as to encourage you to get engaged.

They say that “you have to know where you’ve been to know where you’re going,” and that was the crux of the six presentations that day. In an effort to set the stage for us, the speakers discussed the Marshall Plan, GATT, VATs, WTO, Doha Round, etc. What are these you may ask? Well, I encourage each of you to do a little research to find out how these fit into the timeline of what brought moldmaking to where it is today. In a nutshell, they each play a part in the trade policies set in place today, which negatively impact our manufacturing base, and our nation as a whole.

We are all familiar with the free trade/fair trade dilemma, but what some don’t seem to realize is that this has actually caused an industrial crisis we all need to pay more attention to. The state of the economy, loss of manufacturing jobs, failure to enforce trade agreements, currency manipulation, the U.S. regulatory framework and tax laws are all connected in this industrial crisis. And the only solution to many of our problems today is bringing manufacturing back to the U.S.

The current state of manufacturing is not going to change if we keep doing things the same way. So starting today identify and organize your issues—the importance of: addressing “fair trade” agreements and currency manipulation; eliminating illegal trade (IP and dumping) and tax disadvantages (VATs, etc.); and, developing a strategy to reduce U.S. dependency on foreign energy.

Get informed and then get engaged—engaged in communities at the grassroots level with both legislative and educational efforts. Attend town hall meetings. Starting local is key because it is the local and state governments that endure the costs and weight of job, income and health insurance loss.

Join forces with organizations of the same mind (like the AMBA who’s already joined forces with other associations) and become one forceful voice. When enough people are interested and worried, they will start to voice their opinion, spreading the word, and inevitably, they will take action. It may be not be felt at first, but it will grow if we become champions for the mold manufacturing cause.

Each of us must get in the game and get engaged … just consider what will happen if we don’t. If you have an idea that we can share with our readership on how to “get engaged” on this issue, call me at (800) 579-8809 or via e-mail at cfuges@gardnerweb.com.

And remember to vote!!! Don’t underestimate the value and power of each vote.

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