Be a Plastics Industry Champion

The American Mold Builders Association (AMBA) has just added its support to the just announced 2016 Plastics Industry Fly-In, which will take place on June 21-22. Led by the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI), the AMBA is in good company with eight other plastics industry trade associations whose members will descend on our nation’s capital to bring a message to legislators.

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The American Mold Builders Association (AMBA) has just added its support to the just announced 2016 Plastics Industry Fly-In, which will take place on June 21-22. Led by the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI), the AMBA is in good company with eight other plastics industry trade associations whose members will descend on our nation’s capital to bring a message to legislators.

What’s the message? That manufacturing matters. Plastics Champions from the AMBA, SPI, the Manufacturers Association for Plastics Processors (MAPP), the Plastics Pipe Institute, the Vinyl Institute, the American Chemistry Council, the Western Plastics Association (WPA) and the Plastic Pipe and Fittings Association (PPFA) are joining together to meet with members of Congress and demonstrate the importance of manufacturing to the well-being of the American economy and American citizens.

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Years ago in 2003 I attended an SPI Fly-In to Washington D.C. and in years following I returned to Washington with the AMBA when it brought its members together from across the country to try to connect with their legislators and drive home to them that their poorly enacted “free trade agreements” were benefitting the trade partners and NOT the American manufacturing sector. Those trade agreements have done nothing for the American business owner and certainly has not helped the employees.

This is hard work! If you’ve never sat at the table with your federal lawmakers to discuss the difference between free trade and fair trade, you should seize the opportunity to do it. It’s a valuable exercise in how to approach your lawmakers and show them who you are and what you do. Keep in mind that most of these legislators are completely out of touch with folks like us who have to work every day to pay the bills and support ourselves and our families. Each politician is different in the way he or she receives guests and many have an aide attend the meeting or run it. You’ll feel empowered at times, and at other times you’ll get angry or frustrated, but no matter what happens you’ll have a great feeling of accomplishment by the time the Fly-In is completed.

So be a Plastics Industry Champion and get on board for the SPI’s Fly-In. Do your homework and visit your legislators’ websites to see how they’ve voted on trade, healthcare and other legislation that affects your businesses. Have a list of questions ready and put together a PowerPoint presentation or a media kit that clearly defines our industry and its importance to the future of the USA. Most of all, enjoy the experience. Washington D.C. has a vibe to it that will penetrate your being and energize your efforts. It’s an amazing place.

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