Manufacturers and Associations Unite to Offer Support to Trump

With more than 1,100 signatures of support—many from association leaders—an open letter from the National Association of Manufacturers hopes to set a constructive tone as Donald Trump transitions into the presidency.

Now that the results of the 2016 presidential election are set in stone, the business world wants President-elect Donald Trump to know that it’s ready to work with him.

Last week, the National Association of Manufacturers drew more than 1,100 signatories to an open letter directed at Trump. The letter called for unity and emphasized a willingness to work together to find solutions to the problems facing the country.

“We write today not only to offer our congratulations but also to express our commitment in reuniting our country and our people after this particularly difficult election,” wrote Jay Timmons, NAM’s President and CEO. “It is our shared belief that we, representing companies large and small, have an urgent need to restore faith in our vital economic and government institutions and to bolster the promise of America—to lift everyone up and leave no one behind. American families, businesses and our communities cannot truly prosper and reach their full potential in a country that is divided and distrustful.”

While manufacturers were prominent among the signatories [PDF], many of the people who signed the petition are top executives at associations. Aluminum Association President and CEO Heidi Brock, for example, said the organization would gladly work with the administration and Congress on key policy priorities.

Consumer Technology Association President and CEO Gary Shapiro, another signatory, emphasized that, even though Trump’s victory was not anticipated by many, he saw much opportunity from a policy standpoint for his members to move forward.

“We will have a peaceful transition of power, and I hope Mr. Trump’s gracious and unifying speech early this morning will ring true these next four years,” Shapiro wrote in a blog post on Wednesday .

ASAE President and CEO John Graham IV, FASAE, CAE, who also signed the letter and whose organization helped generate interest among signatories before the election, emphasized that it is important that associations put their best foot forward.

“Putting aside the rancor we’ve all seen during this campaign, every change in Administration provides an opportunity to establish the association community as problem solvers and as partners in the development of good public policy,” Graham said in a statement to Associations Now. “We saw the NAM letter as tremendously positive, and we think it’s the right message for us to deliver to a new Administration—that we are here to help and we have resources and ideas to share to do what’s best for the country moving forward.”

President-elect Donald Trump and President Barack Obama, shown meeting in the Oval Office last week. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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