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To Members of the United States House of Representatives

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

On behalf of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), I urge you to support H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, when it is considered.

AEM is the North American-based international trade group serving the off-road equipment manufacturing industry. AEM members number over 800 companies that manufacture equipment, products and services used worldwide in the agriculture, construction, forestry, mining, and utility fields.

Each day brings more news of a deepening recession that requires swift and bold action to address – we cannot afford to wait any longer. H.R. 1 will take critical steps needed to jump-start our economy and increase our long-term competitiveness. The legislation will make a desperately needed investment in our nation’s crumbling and inefficient infrastructure, which is hampering our ability to compete in the global marketplace. By putting Americans back to work rebuilding and upgrading our transportation, energy, and water infrastructure, we will employee millions today and at the same time will create the foundation for a 21st century economy.

Additionally, H.R. 1 makes important adjustments to the tax code that will help businesses not only to survive these hard times but to make the necessary investments for growth. Provisions allowing for bonus depreciation, 5-year carryback of net operating losses, long-term extension of the renewable energy production tax credit, and extension of small business expensing will give existing businesses the tools to rebound and entrepreneurs the opportunity to flourish.

Finally, we urge you to resist any attempts to amend H.R. 1 with misguided provisions that would restrict trade or create protectionist policies. Such provisions would result in increased costs for new infrastructure programs, could violate existing international agreements and would almost certainly invite retaliatory action by our trading partners – all counterproductive consequences that would only serve to dampen the momentum this critical legislation is designed to create.

Understandably, legislation with the size and scope necessary to stimulate a $14 trillion economy will draw criticism as to the measures it employs. H.R. 1 is not perfect, but the economic situation demands we act NOW, and this bill provides the impetus we need to set our nation once again on a path to prosperity.

I again urge you to support H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, to help get our economy moving again. Should you or your staff have further questions, do not hesitate to contact Nick Yaksich or Anne Forristall Luke at 202/898-9064.

Dennis J. Slater

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