EDA HEADS NEW COALITION OPPOSING ILLEGAL TAMPERING

The Equipment Dealers Association (EDA) has been coordinating industry “right-to-repair” efforts since 2016. “Together, we have worked in lockstep with our industry partners at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), Associated Equipment Distributors (AED), the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) and our regional dealer association partners including the Far West Equipment Dealers Association (FWEDA), the Midwest-Southeastern Equipment Dealers Association (MSEDA) and the Iowa-Nebraska Equipment Dealers Association (INEDA),” explained Natalie Higgins, EDA’s Vice President of Government Relations. In 2019, the industry saw an onslaught of so-called “right-to-repair” bills filed in some 23 states. Higgins added, “We have coordinated closely with our off-road and outdoor power industry partners and fought these bills each step of the way.”

“We are very proud to say that no “right-to-repair” bills have passed in any state legislature,” stated Gary Manke, CEO of MSEDA, “but it has required a lot of hard work on the part of our associations and other industry partners.”

This year, though, EDA has a new tool in its arsenal, a coalition of more than 30 organizations, in various industries, working together to thwart efforts to undermine federal law and proliferate illegal tampering. The “Coalition Opposed to Illegal Tampering” will be weighing in on the widespread risks that vague and overly broad “right-to-repair” bills across the United States and Canada. “Our coalition encompasses many different industries – but we all recognize the safety and environmental risks that this type of legislation would create,” explained Joani Woelfel, CEO of the Far West Equipment Dealers Association and founding coalition member. “Whether you are in the business of selling boats, batteries, power tools or portable generators, or you are operating a landscape business, you don’t want your customers exposed to the safety risks that come with illegal tampering,” added  Mark Hennessey, CEO of the Iowa-Nebraska Equipment Dealers Association. The coalition will share intelligence and resources to maximize results. “The benefit of this coalition is that we are harnessing the individual efforts of each member to the benefit of all. While each industry’s concerns may vary, our common interests are in protecting the safety of product users and the environment,” added Higgins.

The Coalition has already begun to weigh in with state legislators and will continue to do so as the state legislative session period ramps up. “We are pleased to lead this next step in advocacy for our industry,” said Kim Rominger, President and CEO of EDA. “This is the largest coalition that we are aware of on this issue and it will require the attention of legislators moving forward.” For more information on the coalition, contact Natalie Higgins at nhiggins@equipmentdealer.org.