Independent dealers are making sure their collective voices are heard by federal lawmakers this week.
The National Independent Automobile Dealers Association’s annual National Policy Conference and Day on Capitol Hill opens on Monday in Washington D.C., as independent dealers arrived from across the country to continue to expand the growing footprint of the used-vehicle industry in the nation’s capital.
NIADA highlighted that one of the industry’s most important events of the year promises to make a bigger impact than ever before, with dealers and industry leaders expected to engage with more members of Congress and Congressional staff than ever before, topping the record of 110 meetings set at the 2017 NPC.
Since returning to Washington in 2013, the National Policy Conference has given independent dealers the chance to meet face-to-face with legislators and regulators, making the voice of the used-vehicle industry, independent dealers and small business heard and represented in shaping the policies of the federal government.
“This event is a truly amazing opportunity for independent dealers to be able to come to Washington D.C. and get involved in the process,” said NIADA president Andy Gabler, owner of Lakeside Auto Group in Erie, Pa.
“During the past five years, NIADA has made huge strides in our presence in Washington. Legislators and regulators know who we are and respect what we do. We have made our voice heard, educated legislators and created important relationships,” Gabler continued.
The highlight of the event is Wednesday’s Day on Capitol Hill when some 200 dealers and industry partners representing the national association and its various state affiliates will meet with Senators and Representatives or their staff to advocate for the industry against tariffs, and in support of making the reforms of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act permanent.
In addition, Reps. Roger Williams (R-Texas), Mark Walker (R-N.C.), Mike Rogers (R-ala.), Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) and John Carter (R-Texas), as well as Massachusetts Republican Senate candidate Geoff Diehl are expected to attend the annual Friends of the Auto Industry Congressional Reception on Tuesday night, and Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) will speak at the Power Lunch in the Kennedy Caucus Room during the Day on the Hill.
The NIADA Political Action Committee will present its Legislator of the Year award during the conference.
The conference also features a series of regulatory briefings on Tuesday at the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City, including updates from the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, the Federal Trade Commission, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators and the House Ways and Means Committee.
Tuesday’s agenda also features an address from keynote speaker Chris Stirewalt, Fox News’ politics editor and co-host of the popular weekly podcast "I’ll Tell You What".