MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
January 13, 2020
Happy New Year to all of you. We are certainly hopeful that 2020 will be a more profitable year than 2019 – and it certainly seems to be heading in that direction. I am very proud to serve as your President and thank the Members and the Board of Trustees for the confidence they have shown in me by re-electing me this past May at our Annual Meeting.
Recently the online news services reported that Chinese Vice Premier Liu would be heading to Washington next week to sign a phase one trade deal with the United States. If this happens it should be good news for all of us in the vehicle trade business. As all of you experienced, the trade war took a wrecking ball to the automotive industry this past 18 months and was clearly not sustainable for either the United States or China. The United States agriculture industry also took a tremendous hit which clearly was part of the pressure that China exerted on the United States to settle. If it actually happens this time, we should see an uptick in our business.
As vehicle exporters we still have to contend with other changes in the China market such as the new emission standards – “China 6” which will go into effect the end of June 2020. So hopefully be prepared to ship as much as you can prior to that date and be ready for the new emission standards that will go into effect.
Our association continues to grow although I would like to see growth at a faster pace. We have much to offer our members. Our alliance with JDIMI – our insurance broker – has been very successful and that program alone can pay the entire cost of your membership (with your marine insurance savings). Because of the collective size of all of our exports, JDIMI is able to offer rates not available to individual companies. As a partner, they have been fabulous. In 2019 alone, NAATA received $21,000 USD from JDIMI in our insurance program through the sponsorships they have committed to. We expect to see that program grow over the next year and I would urge all of you to use the JDIMI insurance portal for all of your insurance needs. It’s a benefit to you and a benefit to the Association.
We have also concluded an agreement with AFEX to provide us with favorable currency exchange rates. I can tell you from my personal experience AFEX is great to work with and I highly recommend them. Under our agreement with AFEX they too are now partners of the Association and they will be contributing to the Association based upon members usage. I urge each of you that if you are in need of currency exchange services, please use AFEX.
Our Conference this past year was held in Vancouver. It was hugely successful. Although the industry as a whole was suffering through a downturn as a result of the trade war, we had a good turnout at the conference with a program that was informative and current. In 2020 we will be having our conference in Las Vegas which has been scheduled to coincide with the SEMA conference. The opening drink is scheduled for November 5 and the substantive portion of our conference will be on November 6, with a fun event for the 7th. We are now negotiating with various venues and will be back to you shortly with more information.
As all of you can see, we launched our new website at www.naatatrade.org and we continue to make improvements to that and add features. Please keep checking on it and we certainly welcome your suggestions as to how to make this feature work even better for you.
Our annual Members Meeting will be held in Miami, Florida and we have tentatively scheduled it for April 16 and 17. This scheduling was done to avoid a conflict with Easter, Passover and Ramadan. We will be back to you shortly concerning hotel and event information.
Again, I wish all of you a happy and healthy New Year and I hope to be communicating with all of you regularly.
Very truly yours,
Charles S Brofman, President