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CEO DATELINE – NAM cancels June summit, ends annual fly-in

Advocacy strategy shifts to more local events, more targeted fly-ins

May 4, 2018
By Lori Sharn

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The National Association of Manufacturers is ending its fly-in, a signature event that brought 400 people to Washington, D.C., each year for meetings with members of Congress and Capitol Hill staff.  The Rally for Manufacturing had been scheduled for June 19-20.

NAM will focus instead on more efforts outside of Washington and on smaller-scale fly-ins with more targeted legislative objectives.   

“Delivering results and inspiring action in Washington now requires us to place our focus on additional, new efforts outside the nation’s capital,” said Keith Smith, senior vice president of public affairs and mobilization, in a statement to CEO Update. “We have been hearing from our members and CMA (Council of Manufacturing Associations) partners that they prefer to see more ‘outside-the-beltway’ regional and local events.”

Smith said NAM will remain flexible regarding the possibility of future summits, “but right now are focused on identifying and developing new ways to convene our members either in D.C. or outside to advance our agenda. … In today’s advocacy environment we can’t remain static—we are always assessing the most effective tactics necessary.”  

More than 400 manufacturers came to Washington for the 2017 Manufacturing Summit, holding more than 200 meetings and strategy sessions, according to NAM’s annual report. Headliners included Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Paul Ryan, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. 

NAM members and association allies were informed of the cancelation in the past few days, just seven weeks before the gathering.

Some manufacturing associations had been promoting their own fly-ins as being “in conjunction” with the NAM event.  The Print & Packaging Legislative Summit—co-hosted by five associations, including AICC, The Independent Packaging Association and the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association—will proceed as planned for June 19-20.