Legislative News
Federal Spotlight: Oppose Export-Import Bank nominee
President Trump's selection of former U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett of New Jersey to lead the Export-Import Bank is drawing criticism from manufacturers and influential business organizations. During his time in Congress, Garrett was an outspoken critic of the of bank.

One of ABI's national partners, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), has been leading efforts to urge the U.S. Senate to reject Garrett. Many ABI and NAM members and their suppliers have used the Ex-Im Bank to get American products overseas. According to an NAM fact sheet," For manufacturers, the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank is an essential tool for creating and supporting jobs here at home as we sell our products to other countries. Workers, families, communities, businesses and even taxpayers are all better off when the Ex-Im Bank is fully functional and has a strong leader who understands the mission of the agency and its importance for manufacturing in the United States."

If you have utilized the Ex-Im Bank, contact Sen. Grassley and Sen. Ernst and ask them to reject Garrett's nomination.

NAM President Jay Timmons wrote an   op-ed in the Wall Street Journal urging the Senate to reject Garrett's nomination. In the piece, Timmons highlighted Garrett's past votes against the bank's reauthorization and statements displaying opposition to the bank he seeks to head. In 2015, while in Congress, Garrett said the agency "embodies the corruption of the free enterprise system," according to   Politico.

The Ex-Im Bank guarantees loans for foreign buyers of U.S. exports. It is a tool American manufacturers can use to help level the playing field when competing with other countries. Pressure will continue to mount on the Trump administration to withdraw the nomination and put forward someone who actually supports the functions of the bank.  Click here to read more from NAM.

Federal Spotlight: Made in America week celebrated at the White House
President Donald Trump is celebrating products manufactured in the country with a Made in America week at the White House. The administration has been holding similar themed celebrations for several weeks. On Monday, President Trump surveyed products from all 50 states and spoke about policy positions he adheres to that support U.S manufacturing. President Trump has been a strong ally of manufacturers by working to roll back burdensome regulations and fighting to level the playing field for American manufacturers in a global economy. RMA Armament CEO Blake Waldrop of Centerville represented Iowa at the event. Read more: Iowan to be featured at White House manufacturing celebration  (USA TODAY)

Focus on ABI Policy Committees: Economic Growth
Leading up to our ABI policy committees in late summer, we have been highlighting each of ABI's five policy committees so you know more about the mission and purview of each one. These committees steer the direction of ABI's policy agenda each legislative session. This week's profile on ABI's Economic Growth Committee is the final committee highlight. You can our other highlights in past issues. To sign up for a public policy committee, email Dorothy Knowles,  dknowles@iowaabi.org.   Click here to register for the Economic Growth Committee meeting on Aug. 15.  Click here to see all the upcoming committee meetings and to register.

Economic Growth Committee Mission Statement: To advocate for economic growth policies that foster the prosperity of Iowa through the successful investment and development of new and existing business and industry. Vigorous economic growth results from a superior business, regulatory, and tax climate, as well as a safe, reliable and energy-efficient infrastructure. To improve the competitiveness of Iowa's business climate, federal and state government must work in partnership with business, industry, capital sources, education, and agriculture.

Current Chair: Russ Cross, Wells Fargo

Issues handled by this committee:
  • Economic growth incentives
  • Broadband infrastructure
  • Transportation
  • Energy Policy
  • Government purchasing
  • Immigration
Recent Successes: Last session, ABI worked to inform legislators about the impacts of proposed significant tax credit cuts, and the legislation did not move forward. ABI was a proponent of legislation that helped Iowa manufacturers competitively bid for state agency business.

Next Meeting: Looking to 2018, the committee will look to update its policies and hear from Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority. The meeting is set for Aug. 15.  Click here to sign up.

Air Quality Bureau stakeholder meetings continue
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Air Quality Bureau has been holding a series of day-long stakeholder meetings to discuss the bureau's budget deficit, permit fees and efficiencies within the department. ABI and many member companies have been giving input at these meetings to give feedback and to help set priorities for the department. Any recommendations that come out of these meetings will be shared with ABI's Environment Committee members, and covered at the upcoming  Environment Committee policy meeting  on Aug. 17. If you would like to sign up for the committee, contact Dorothy Knowles,  dknowles@iowaabi.org .
Make an impact
If you're looking to make an impact on the makeup of the state Legislature, IIPAC is a critical component to increase your influence. We need you to join hundreds of your business peers to amplify the voice of Iowa business. Donate to IIPAC today, to help us keep business-friendly legislators in the statehouse.  Click here to donate.

Participation opportunity: Board of Regents announces tuition task force meetings
The Board of Regents Tuition Task Force has announced dates and times for four public stakeholder meetings. The Tuition Task Force was established this year by the Board to facilitate a public discussion examining core issues and strategies central to the process of setting tuition at Iowa's public universities. ABI, along with other business stakeholders, has been invited to provide input and ideas at the first meeting which takes place on Thursday, July 27 at the John and Mary Pappajohn Center in Des Moines. Click here   for a full schedule of the meetings. Contact Nicole Crain,  ncrain@iowaabi.org,  if you are interested in participating. All meetings are open to the public and during listening sessions at the three campuses, the task force will receive public comments.
ABI is hiring a communications coordinator
Do you know someone who would be great at helping share the stories of Iowa businesses? ABI is hiring a communications coordinator to lead the organization's communications and marketing efforts. Join a smart, energetic team supporting member businesses across the state! Read the job description here:  bit.ly/2uejd7l and share with those you think would be a great fit!
From the Desk of...
Right-sizing a custom software project

Kelly Kimmich
Far Reach, Inc.

When you're getting ready to jump into a software project, you inevitably think about all the possibilities-about how great it could be some day. This is not a bad thing. By all means, dream big; know where you want to go with it.

Keep in mind, though, that your big vision won't happen overnight.

Following are some words of wisdom about how to realize your dream in a way that keeps your idea lean, focused, and as valuable as possible.

Step Back
Because your big vision won't be realized overnight, one of the most important steps after defining that big vision is determining what's best to build first-here and now. Go ahead and lay out your dream product, but then step back and prioritize. Prioritize the functionality and features that will add the most value for your users (and therefore for you). Save the nice-to-have features, no matter how cool they seem, for later in the process.

A simple example of a nice-to-have feature is an awesome graphic, fully animated with CSS, that displays after a user logs in successfully. While this feature can be labeled cool, it probably can't also be labeled necessary and/or valuable. The real value is in the user successfully accessing the system. Snappy graphics might add to the visual experience, but they don't help the user accomplish anything. Consequently, their value is limited. These should go to the bottom of the list. Keep reading...
Top News
John Mickelson announced as winner of Emerging Leaders Award 
(The M&A Advisor)   John Mickelson was selected by The M&A Advisor as a winner of its Emerging Leaders Award. Mickelson was chosen for his accomplishments and expertise from a pool of nominees by an independent judging panel of distinguished business leaders.

CIRAS Digital Manufacturing Conference is Aug. 8 (CIRAS)
At this event, national experts will be available to help Iowa manufacturers move forward in the various aspects of digital manufacturers.The conference includes: John Brandt, a national expert in the Internet of Things who will highlight his recent survey that indicates IoT is generating ROI broadly across manufacturing; two NIST experts on cybersecurity and connecting manufacturing equipment to the web; and panels of Iowa companies that have had success implementing a variety of digital manufacturing tools.

Iowa SBIR Showcase will highlight funding opportunities available to Iowa businesses 
(Iowa SBIR)  The Iowa SBIR Showcase is part of a national outreach effort to convey the the technology funding opportunity provided through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. The event is Sept 6 in Iowa City.

Learn about doing business with NAFTA partners  (Scarbrough International, LTD)
Learn the ins and outs of conducting business with NAFTA partners at this event in Altoona on Nov. 9. Who should attend? Importers, exporters, manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, compliance, logistics, traffic, purchasing, international sales, and North American sales.

West Des Moines a host side for Live2Lead on Oct. 6 (Live2Lead)
West Des Moines has been selected as a host site for the live simulcast of L2L: Live2Lead. Featured guests include John C. Maxwell, Dave Ramsey, Cheryl Bachelder and Warrick Dunn.
Governor's Club Sponsors