Earlier this month, the Indiana Chamber held its annual D.C. Fly-in event. This year was heavily agency focused, as a number of high-level administration and international speakers discussed issues.

Indiana native Ted McKinney, United States Department of Agriculture undersecretary of agriculture for trade and foreign agriculture affairs, opened with remarks on agribusiness and the impacts of tariffs on agriculture.  He was followed by Martha Legg Miller from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); she’s director of the Office of the Advocate for Small Business (OASB) Capital Formation. Legg Miller explained the mission of the office, which began operations in January 2019. It was established pursuant to the SEC Small Business Advocate Act of 2016 to advance the interests of small businesses and their investors at the SEC and in the capital markets.

OASB advocates for small businesses and their investors by conducting outreach to solicit views on relevant capital formation issues, providing assistance to resolve significant problems, analyzing the potential small business impact of proposed regulations and rules, as well as recommending changes to mitigate capital formation issues and promote the interests of small businesses and their investors.

Brad Williams, senior adviser to the assistant secretary for nuclear energy, Office of Nuclear Energy, U.S. Department of Energy, discussed general energy issues including the importance of nuclear – today and in the future. This includes energy security, economic prosperity, global security, environmental sustainability, plus concerns about the financial viability of some currently operating plants.

Anne Reinke, the deputy assistant secretary of intergovernmental affairs, U.S. Department of Transportation, spoke about the current state of transportation infrastructure and the funding methods.

Attendees were fortunate to hear from Gerardo Lameda with the Mexican Embassy; he’s the minister of trade and North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) office. Lameda analyzed Mexico’s trade agenda and the view from his country on U.S. ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), including the labor reform and enforcement debate currently taking place in the U.S. Congress and the amount of trade between Indiana and Mexico.

The first day concluded with Trump cabinet member Alex M. Azar II, the U.S. secretary of health and human services. Azar, who worked at Eli Lilly & Company before returning to Washington, spoke about a number of ideas for health care reform, including association health care plans – which the Chamber now offers for small- and medium-sized businesses through its ChamberCare Solutions partnership with Anthem.

Day two started with a keynote address by FBI Supervisory Special Agent Craig Moringiello, who is the current supervisor of the counterintelligence program and a member of the crisis negotiation team. Moringiello discussed ways to protect intellectual property and offered precautions that should be taken to protect sensitive personal and business information when traveling outside of the United States. Meetings with representatives from Indiana’s elected officials rounded out the event.

The 2020 D.C. Fly-in will take place in September. Watch for further details in the coming months.

Senator Young Pushes for House’s Quick Attention to NAFTA Successor

This week, U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) discussed the importance of the House of Representatives quickly passing the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) for Hoosier farmers and manufacturers.

Signed one year ago, this agreement will modernize the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and support freer markets, fairer trade and robust economic growth in North America. With tens of thousands of Hoosier jobs supported by exports to Canada and Mexico, Young supports ratifying this important trade agreement as soon as possible. The U.S. Senate already took that step in June.

“The one thing that remains unfinished business as we look forward, that is so important to our economy, is to pass this USMCA deal. I represent the state of Indiana, the most manufacturing intensive state in the country. One out four manufacturing businesses in my state directly export to Canada or Mexico, resulting in roughly 60,000 jobs,” says Young.

“So, it’s important to our manufacturing workers, it’s also very important to our ag economy … 95% of our farms in the state of Indiana are family farms. … This is about saving our rural communities. President Trump has struck a good deal, a very good deal. (Speaker) Nancy Pelosi needs to move forward with it to sustain our economic health,” Young continues.

Watch the full video of Senator Young’s remarks here.

Resource: Greg Ellis at (317) 264-6881 or email: [email protected]