Composites Manufacturers and Business Leaders Meet with Congressional Leaders

February 25 2019

On February 13-14, 2019, more than forty composites industry leaders gathered in Washington, DC for the 2019 Infrastructure Day. Hosted by American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA), the event facilitated meetings between composites manufacturers and congressional leaders to educate them about composite infrastructure products and key issues impacting the industry.

During opening remarks, ACMA President Tom Dobbins reiterated the urgency of the composites industry to get engaged with their legislators to build the case for composites and advanced materials. Over the two-day event, attendees had over 90 meetings with House and Senate offices of both parties from around the country.

ACMA’s leadership with legislative advocacy has yielded significant gains for the composite industry, including the inclusion of composites and advanced materials in the recently introduced IMAGINE act, which Rep. Rick Larsen (D- WA) stated “will help identify innovative technology and advanced materials to address the nation’s growing infrastructure needs.”

Gaining support for the IMAGINE Act was one of the key priorities for Congressional meetings, along with promoting authorization of a composites standards and research program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Additionally, participants received a briefing on the results of the Transportation Research Board’s analysis of the former Innovative Bridge Research and Construction Program (IBRC), which featured wide use of composite infrastructure technologies. The report also recommended a new federal program that models the IBRC program, along with new research programs by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and state DOTs to expand data collection and better evaluate the improvement in performance and life-cycle costs of bridges using new and existing advanced materials. These elements are included in the IMAGINE Act.

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