The big news in the weeks after the presidential election — both in the national press and in the HVACR world — was President-elect Trump coming to an agreement with Carrier Corp. on the amount of jobs that will be staying in the manufacturer’s Indianapolis factory.
This was paramount to Trump’s campaign, as he often bashed the manufacturer on the stump. Of course, that number of jobs staying was different depending on who was being quoted. I have heard anything from 700 to 1,100 jobs.
Personally, I don’t like the way Trump stepped in and assumed he knew what was best for American business. Companies make investments because they think they are best for all their employees and bottom lines. They should be able to make their own choices.
The picking of winners and losers is what we have had the last eight years with the current administration giving subsidies to certain companies because they felt their technology was the future of America — we are looking at you Solyndra.
I also was not a big fan of Trump announcing that “Carrier will sell lots and lots of air conditioners” from the factory he just toured — a factory that produces furnaces.
But the future president can make up for that if he starts tackling the bigger issues like regulations and the corporate tax rate. That is what will inevitably bring jobs back to the U.S.
KEEPING UP THE CONVERSATION
This is where those in the HVAC industry need to have their voices heard. With a new administration ready to take power — headed by an individual who has never served in public office before — now is the time for the industry to ramp up its lobbying efforts.
The industry is light years ahead of where it was 10 years ago in this effort. Every major association has at least one day where members head to Capitol Hill to explain the issues that are important to them. I urge you to check with the associations you are a member of and look into attending one of the events.
More importantly, every segment of the industry is talking to one another about how to speak with one voice as frequently as they can. Different parts of the industry can sometimes have different goals so they cannot always be reading from the exact same page of the book. But the things they agree on far outweigh the items they disagree on.
The important part is the industry’s voice is being heard.
AHRI has done a great job of making sure the mainstream media is aware that the association can be used as a source for any article on the industry. The issues facing this industry are complex and sometimes the best-intentioned lawmakers will assume the industry is thinking one way when in fact it is the direct opposite.
A good example of this is the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA). This is a 1975 law that the current Democratic administration was using very aggressively to help enact President Obama’s climate action plan. AHRI has been laying the groundwork the last two years to reform EPCA.
There are pieces of EPCA that are very vital to the HVACR industry. Specifically, the federal preemption section of the law is something many in the industry want to continue. If that were to be repealed, the industry would have to fight regulations at the state level with California undoubtedly being the biggest thorn in the industry’s side.
AHRI has already said the efficiency advocates are much more willing to talk than they were a few months ago. I wonder what changed their minds?
I urge those in the industry sitting on the sidelines to get in the game. Be part of the solutions that will make your work life a lot easier.
Let’s make the HVAC industry great again!
Publication date: 12/26/2016