US trade associations open up to foreigners5 October 2001
The USA's Hoist Manufacturers Institute (MHI) and the Monorail Manufacturers Association (MMA) have changed their corporate by-laws to invite international manufacturers to join.
HMI and MMA are among 15 product groups, or subsidiary trade associations, affiliated to the Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA).
Extending membership to foreign companies is recognition of the growing internationalisation of the US hoist and monorail markets.
Of the fourteen members of the HMI, at least four are owned by European or Japanese companies. They were eligible to join because at the time of joining each one was manufacturing hoists in the USA.
The requirement that members must manufacture equipment in the USA has now been relaxed (a recognition of the status quo, since some members are now in the distribution business rather than manufacturing). Instead HMI and MMA are now welcoming companies to apply that sell equipment in the USA.
Hal Vandiver, managing director of both HMI and MMA, explained: "Today, to be eligible, a company must have been accepted as a member of the Material Handling Industry of America, manufactured equipment for sale in the USA for at least three years prior to its application for membership. In the past, they had to manufacture in the USA as well to be eligible." Membership has now been opened up to European companies like Stahl, Abus and Street. "If we are really going to represent the whole industry in the US, we need to be in a position to invite those people to participate," said Vandiver.
Membership of the Crane Manufacturers Association of America, which is also affiliated to the MHIA, remains open only to crane building operations based in the USA.