AWPA 2015 Government Affairs Conference

At this year’s Government Affairs Conference we will celebrate the success of a long-term effort by the AWPA and other manufacturing groups, resulting in passage of the Enforcing Orders and Reducing Circumvention and Evasion Act (ENFORCE).  Combining Congressional advocacy, committee meetings, time for business, and two evening receptions for renewing relationships with colleagues and customers, this year’s Government Affairs Conference should not be missed!

Click here for a printable version of the meeting brochure. 

Program Information

Opening Reception

The meeting begins with time dedicated to meeting old friends and checking in with your knowledgeable industry colleagues. The conference will open with a reception on Wednesday evening for attendees to mix and mingle, and begin discussing the issues on your personal agenda and AWPA’s government affairs agenda.


General Session Program

Grassroots Action and the Passage of ENFORCE: How AWPA and Members and a Coalition of Manufacturers Turned ENFORCE into Law

Janet Kopenhaver, AWPA Director of Government Affairs, and Amy DeArmond, Government Policy & Legal Affairs Strategist at Leggett & Platt, will discuss the route this bill took on its way to passage, and which actions had the most impact on its final approval. Come hear how AWPA Members combined forces with other companies and associations to move this legislation through an increasingly deadlocked Congress. They will discuss how they built relationships with their legislators, and how they were able to educate and inform them on how transshipment has affected our industry.

Employment Regulation: What to Watch, and NAM's Policy Agenda for the Upcoming Year

There are several employment issues to watch in the last two years of the Obama administration, including recent changes to overtime rules, decisions from the National Labor Relations Board. Joe Trauger, Vice President of Human Resources policy for the National Association of Manufacturers, will discuss these issues and present NAm's policy agenda for the upcoming year. 

Taking the Next Step in Political Engagement

You participate in Congressional Visits and you vote. What else can you be doing to support your company and manufacturing? Kraig Naasz, President & CEO of the American Frozen Food Institute, will provide a political update and discuss how to get involved in political campaigns. Mr. Naasz directs the institute’s advocacy and public outreach efforts. He will talk about the steps you can take to positively impact elections at all levels of government.


US House Wire & Wire Products Caucus Briefing and Lunch

This Congressional Briefing serves a two-fold purpose: keeping both AWPA members and our Congressional Representatives and their staffers up-to-date on the current legislative issues facing our industry. In order to have an impact, you must use this opportunity to educate your Representatives about the wire industry and the challenges the industry faces; and encourage them to influence government policy on your behalf.  Your participation is vital to ensure the level of turnout that will make an impression on our legislators. We know advocacy works – remember to invite your legislators, and plan to attend the Caucus Briefing. Prior the meeting we will be sending an email invitation to assist you in securing the participation of your House members and their staffers.

Congressional Visits

In-person visits with Congressional Representatives, Senators, and Staffers are the best way to influence your legislators. These opportunities to meet in small groups with the Representatives and Senators who represent districts and states where your company has facilities give you the chance to communicate your concerns, and to hear from your legislators where they stand on the issues facing your company and your employees. These visits are often a starting point for AWPA’s lobbying efforts – your face time with staffers and legislators is followed by additional information from AWPA Director of Government Affairs, Janet Kopenhaver. You will be provided with talking points which include plenty of information on the issues and your legislators committees and voting record – all you need to bring is yourself! This will be the perfect time to THANK your Congressmen and women for their support and votes on the bi-partisan trade legislation. The contacts you make as a constituent are essential to building the long-term relationships that increase Congress’ understanding of our industry and an important way to ensure that they represent our interests in Washington, DC. Please make sure to register for Congressional Visits when you register for the meeting. If you have existing relationships with your legislators, you will have the opportunity to specifically request visits with them when you are registering. If you are new to the process – Janet will set up the appropriate visits for you to begin making these important contacts.

Congressional Visits Debriefing

Everyone who went on Congressional Visits will meet to report on their meetings over breakfast on Friday moriing, beginning at 7:30 am. Your personal feedback will help AWPA staff provide the appropriate follow-up with your legislators.

Committee & Board Meetings

This year we return to the usual schedule for committee meetings. The AWPA Executive Committee and Membership Committee meetings will take place on Wednesday afternoon. The Stainless Wire and PC Strand Committee meetings will take place on Friday morning. We will also explore the possibility of establishing a Wire Rope Committee. Interested producers should set aside some time on Thursday afternoon to meet with other companies in this product sector. The Government Affairs Conference will conclude with a Board of Directors meeting and lunch on Friday afternoon.