NTEA’s North American focus

By Mike Kastner,  NTEA Managing Director
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This article was published in the August 2019 edition of NTEA News.

NTEA is committed to being considered globally as the undisputed resource and advocate for the North American work truck industry. The Association has offices in United States and Canada, and is working with Mexico’s government on issues of mutual interest, such as North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) revisions.

The work truck industry is deeply intertwined in North America. U.S. and Canada regulatory systems, in particular, are closely aligned, and NTEA member companies regularly conduct business on both sides of each border.

Recently, the Association addressed issues of interest to the North American work truck industry with all three countries during a series of meetings in Ottawa, Ontario.

For the past several years, NTEA invested resources in understanding the Canadian system and engaging with the country’s decision-makers to better serve the needs of the entire North American commercial vehicle industry. During challenging times in the Canada-United States relationship, NTEA positioned itself as a success case of industry working together across borders.

Most recently, we started engaging with Mexico as a valued partner nation in the trilateral work truck industry.

(Left to right): Jeffrey Phillips, NTEA Ottawa office liaison; Conservative MP Kelly Block; and Mike Kastner, NTEA managing director

In Ottawa, part of the work NTEA does through its government relations office is staying on top of key regulatory issues that can impact the industry. We recently attended the annual meeting of the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, which covered a range of regulatory and compliance issues from autonomous vehicles to transportation of dangerous goods.

We also met with officials at Transport Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada, which function as important regulatory agencies impacting the work truck industry in areas of motor vehicle safety and vehicle and engine emission regulations, respectively. Top of mind for Transport Canada is bus passenger safety, with the recent conclusion of a House of Commons Committee study into the issue.

NTEA supports members and other stakeholders by being a resource for in-depth industry technical expertise. As a result, the Association had the opportunity to work with Natural Resources Canada earlier this year to provide insights from an industry survey regarding relationships between driver behavior in the vocational fleet context and fuel consumption reduction. Ultimately, this evidence-based research helps support government program development and decision-making.

On the political side, NTEA has met with Members of Parliament over the years to introduce our industry and the work of our member companies. This June, we met with Conservative MP Kelly Block (vice-chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and member of the Canada-United States Inter-parliamentary group) who represents the riding of Carlton Trail – Eagle Creek in Saskatchewan.

Mike Kastner, NTEA managing director (left); and Ambassador to Canada Juan José Gómez Camacho (right).

MP Block highlighted the importance of hearing directly from industry for development of legislation in Canada and was pleased to learn the ways in which the work truck industry supports all other key economic sectors in Canada. After the meeting, she referenced how interested she was to hear about the important work NTEA does and noted our members truly are the backbone of the economy.

Since its inception in 1994, NAFTA has helped drive increased investment and production among all three North American nations. The countries’ supply chains have become increasingly connected, and NAFTA is an agreement that reflects how we build products together.

For the work truck industry, Mexico is a vital part of the North American picture. NTEA was honored to sit down with Mexico’s Ambassador to Canada Juan José Gómez Camacho to discuss issues of the day ranging from tariffs to the importance of United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

Ambassador Camacho emphasized the importance of trilateral cooperation and recognized North America’s work truck industry as a good-news example of how companies work together across borders.

NTEA will continue prioritizing meetings and engagements with key stakeholders in North America to help ensure our industry is well positioned to respond to changes and new developments.

For more legislative and regulatory information, visit ntea.com/advocacy.