The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) released the findings of its most recent CEO survey. The survey, the third in a series of surveys that AEM has conducted since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, asked executives of leading equipment manufacturing companies to weigh in on the job that President Trump and the 116th Congress have done to support the $288 billion equipment manufacturing industry; which political party will do a better job of advancing the association’s policy priorities; and what the next president’s top priorities should be for his first year in office.
Regardless of who the next president is and which party controls the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, the outcome of the 2020 elections will have a significant impact on equipment manufacturers, the manufacturing sector, and the U.S. economy for years to come. AEM has spent the year making the case that candidates running for office should focus on pro-manufacturing policies. The findings of this latest survey make it clear that those candidates who are successful at the ballot box need to get to work right away advancing policies that will keep the industry strong.
Key findings include:
- Despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn, nearly half of respondents are optimistic about the current state of the equipment manufacturing industry.
- Three-quarters of respondents are confident about the equipment manufacturing industry’s revenue growth over the next 12 months.
- A majority of executives are satisfied with the job President Trump has done to support the equipment manufacturing industry. However, almost one-third of respondents say that they are not satisfied with the job that the president has done.
- Nearly six in 10 respondents say that the 116th Congress has not done enough to support the equipment manufacturing industry, with one in three somewhat dissatisfied and another one in three very dissatisfied with federal lawmakers.
- Executives say that the next president should prioritize investing in our nation’s infrastructure, enacting effective tax, fiscal and monetary policy, and negotiating fair trade agreements with other countries during his first year in office.
- Most executives say that the Republican party will do a better job supporting and advancing the industry’s policy priorities, including infrastructure investment, trade and investment agreements, intellectual property rights, tax, fiscal, and monetary policy, support for rural America, and a commonsense energy strategy. However, a plurality say that the Democratic party will do a better job expanding access and improving the affordability of high-quality healthcare services for all Americans.
- More than half of executives say that a widely available COVID-19 vaccine is necessary for the economy to reopen.
The survey was in the field from Oct. 8 to 22. One hundred and four executives of small, medium and large companies, which represents 10% of the association’s total membership, participated in the survey.