Header Image
The Virginia Manufacturer - Focusing on Manufacturing Issues of Today and Tomorrow

Virginia Manufacturer's Association

In This Issue

Save the Dates
VMA Member Committees
VOLUME 10 | Special Legislative Edition 1 | January 2017

Letter from the President & CEO

Dear Members:

This Virginia General Assembly is considering 2,443 bills this session. We have focused our attention on 45 specific bills. Those prioritized bills are available by clicking here.  
The VMA 2016-2017 Legislative Agenda is a good guide for members to use when evaluating those prioritized bills and all  key legislation.  I also recommend that everyone read our press release on the JLARC update on the cost of regulatory compliance on the manufacturing sector.  Together, these will give you a better foundation for the issues.

It is one week before the VMA Day on the Hill (February 6) and the legislative cross-over date (February 8) - the date when bills must be transmitted to the other body for consideration.  We are looking forward to a great turnout and your advocacy is critical to our overall success, so please register for VMA Day on the Hill by this Thursday.

Speaking of success, we need every member to contact their Delegate by phone this week to support HB2104 - Machinery & Tools Taxation Valuation Reform.  This bill is critical to restoring some balance to the taxation of our machinery and tools.  We believe that local commissioners of revenue should have to provide in writing a statement based in fact and law when they disregard the bona fide 3rd party appraisal of a manufacturers machinery and tools.  We also believe that the state tax commissioner should have a clear appeals process established for disputes involving machinery and tools taxation valuations.  These are common-sense reforms.  Click here for a detailed voting guide.  If you don't know how to reach your Delegate, click here.

As I announced earlier this month, we have already begun to develop the new  Manufacturing Competitiveness Strategy that will guide our legislative and regulatory work over the next five years.  It will be a strategic and tactical plan of how Virginia can improve its competitiveness in over 40 areas of measurement.  Your participation in this year's VMA Day on the Hill and service on VMA Committees will help the VMA Board of Directors develop that strategy for tomorrow as well as succeed with our legislative priorities today.

Thank you for supporting the only statewide association exclusively dedicated to manufacturing, industrial businesses and their allies.  We are proud to be Industry's Advocate since 1922.
Brett A. Vassey
President & CEO

Day on the Hill - February 6


VMA's Day on the Hill is February 6 at the Library of Virginia.  The day will begin with a Kickoff Breakfast at 8am. The keynote speaker will be The Honorable Ralph Northam, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, as well as guest speaker Stephen Moret, the new President and CEO, Virginia Economic Development Partnership.  

Over 20 meetings have been scheduled with key legislators.  A list has been posted on our VMA Day on the Hill website.  Members will use these meetings to build relationships and help legislators make informed decisions.  Member participation is key to our legislative success.  Visit our VMA Day on the Hill website for event details and register today.  

New Virginia International Trade Corporation at Risk

The VMA formed the World Trade Coalition last year and successfully advocated for the formation of the Virginia International Trade Corporation (VITC).  The VITC was to consolidate international trade services for Virginia business in order to help expand exports and avoid the structural deficiencies of being under the management of VEDP. Now, when the VITC is just a few months from implementation, the House and Senate Republican leadership are trying to delay its implementation.
The VMA became aware of this possibility in November and issued a press release calling for the General Assembly to expedite the formation of the VITC. In that release, we reported from the JLARC audit that 98% of the Commonwealth's economic development services are dedicated to services other than international trade.  A copy of that press release is available here.
In the coming weeks, HB2471 and SB1574 will be debated in which they eliminate the VITC and relegate international trade to a nine member advisory committee, appointed by the House and Senate, to the restructured VEDP Board of Directors.  To join the VMA Commerce Committee and help advise the Board of Directors on these proposals, please contact knoonan@vamanufacturers.com.

VITAL Program - Market Research, Trade Show & Trade Mission Grants for Members

The VMA offers members international trade assistance grants in cooperation with the VALET program.  Services include market research, finding a local partner, legal/shipping/payment issues, international trade show and trade missions.
Grants range from $250 - $1,750 toward VALET export services that are already $2,500 - $15,000 less expensive than similar commercial services.
If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact Kimberly Noonan ( knoonan@vamanufacturers.com) directly.

NAFTA on the Brink

By Crowell & Moring

Escalating tensions between the U.S. and Mexico have put the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) at risk for the first time since its birth in 1994. On January 26, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced his decision to cancel Mexico's participation in the 'three amigos' meeting in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the planned meeting between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada was to discuss their current trade relationship, including the possibility of renegotiating NAFTA.
With the future of NAFTA uncertain, there are a number of issues and scenarios companies should be aware of.
Click here to continue reading the full version of this alert.