October 19, 2021

Trade Associations Urge U.S. Action on Supply Chain Challenges

WASHINGTON, DC — The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), the trade organization representing many of the industry’s leading appliance suppliers, has lent its voice to a four-member coalition of trade associations urging immediate action by the Biden administration and Congress to address ongoing global supply chain challenges.

The Washington, DC-based AHAM yesterday joined the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) in releasing a white paper outlining how supply chain disruptions, which are being compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, “are hurting the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers, stalling the U.S. economic recovery (and resulting in) unprecedented damage to the global product supply chain.”

The call for action comes one day after a coalition of workers from across the supply chain warned world leaders that global trade is facing a potential “global transport system collapse” if governments do not restore freedom of movement to transport workers and give them priority to receive COVID vaccines that have been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).

“The ability to produce and deliver home appliances to consumers has been dramatically hindered by the COVID-19 pandemic and other supply-related issues, creating hardships for consumers and for businesses at every step in the supply chain,” said Joseph McGuire, president and CEO of AHAM. “The result is ongoing shortages of products, materials, components and labor, leading to delays and increased costs,” McGuire said, adding that, in some cases, the supply chain timeline has doubled or tripled.

“This is at a time when consumers are spending more time in their homes and more dependent than ever on home appliances to keep their families healthy and their homes clean,” he said.

The request by AHAM followed a series of meetings between association members and Biden administration staff, centered around issues important to AHAM-member companies, such as the Section 301 China tariffs, Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs, labor shortages, increased costs for shipping containers and increased shipping times, and semiconductor shortages, AHAM said.

“Combined with increased demand for appliances and equipment, supply chain bottlenecks have negative consequences, including increased costs, lost sales, delayed deliveries of critical products to consumers in the face of supply chain backlogs, and even shutting down manufacturing plants,” the association contended.

AHAM acknowledged that many supply chain issues will require long-term solutions, but the coalition also requested immediate relief from policymakers through tariff removal and fair allocation of semiconductors to all industries.

“Quick implementation of these and other policy solutions may help prevent a continued worsening of the availability of manufactured products in the U.S., while increasing productivity and stemming product cost inflation,” AHAM said.

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