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MERA notes progress with remanufacturing bill

The Motor & Equipment Remanufacturers Association (MERA) has voiced its support of new remanufacturing legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate.

Introduced on Feb. 25 by Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and James Lankford (R-OK), the Federal Vehicle Repair Cost Savings Act (S. 565) encourages the federal government to use remanufactured parts when maintaining the federal vehicle fleet.

According to the press release issued by the sponsors, “The bi-partisan measure requires federal agencies to encourage the use of remanufactured parts when doing so lowers costs, maintains quality and performance and does not compromise safety.”

MERA says the legislation is linked to the 2011 Remanufacturing Legislative Summit, held in Washington, D.C., which was just months after the launch of MERA.

“I want to express special thanks to the MEMA Washington Office and many MERA members, particularly Jack Vollbrecht from Remy, for their tireless efforts,” says John Chalifoux, president and COO of MERA. “Next steps include gaining more co-sponsors for the Senate bill, and the introduction of a new House bill.”

A General Accountability Office (GAO) study released in 2013 found that the federal government spends nearly $1 billion per year to maintain some 588,000 government vehicles. And according to the U.S. International Trade Commission, the United States is the world’s largest producer, consumer, and exporter of remanufactured goods. Remanufacturing of motor vehicle parts creates over 30,000 full time jobs, while remanufacturing of off-road equipment creates over 20,000 additional jobs.

“I’m proud that the first bill I’m introducing in the Senate is a bi-partisan, commonsense measure that will help save taxpayers money, promote conservation by remanufacturing parts and support remanufacturing suppliers in Michigan and across the country,” says Peters.

Adds Lankford, “Congress must consider every way to conserve limited federal dollars within every agency and every budget line-item. Encouraging remanufactured auto parts when repairing government vehicles is a worthy cost-cutting measure to save taxpayer money, and I’m pleased to co-sponsor this bill.”

Supporters of the legislation are seeking to have a companion version introduced in the House of Representatives. Senators Peters and Lankford both serve on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction over the bill. Committee consideration of the bill may take place as early as March 4, 2015.

“We thank Senators Peters and Lankford for their leadership and the introduction of this legislation. Remanufacturing is the future of manufacturing, and a critical component of the circular economy,” says Chalifoux.

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