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WWEMA Elects 2015 Officers and Board

Chuck Powers and Frank Rebori The WWEMA membership elected new officers and directors at its 106th Annual Meeting, November 6-8 in Tucson, Arizona. The WWEMA 2015 Executive Committee comprises: Three members were elected to the WWEMA Board of Directors: Pictured above: Outgoing Chairman Chuck Powers (left) hands over the gavel to incoming Chairman Frank Rebori.

Tammy Bernier Honored as 2014 WWEMA Morriss Award Winner

Tammy Bernier WWEMA Chairman Chuck Powers named Tammy Bernier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Duperon Corporation in Saginaw, Michigan, as recipient of the 2014 James C. Morriss Member Achievement Award at WWEMA's 106th Annual Meeting, November 6-8 in Tucson, Arizona.

The James C. Morriss Member Achievement Award each year is presented to a WWEMA member for significant contributions to the mission of the Association and to the benefit of the water and wastewater industry. In presenting the award, Powers cited Bernier's outstanding service to WWEMA throughout the year, including serving as the Association's Treasurer, shepherding the work of a newly formed WWEMA Investment Committee, initiating an exploration of the WWEMA dues structure, and stepping in on short notice to serve as Chair of the 2014 Washington Forum.

Pictured above: Bernier is congratulated by (left to right) Aaron Collins, John Collins, Ron Collins, and WWEMA outgoing Chairman Chuck Powers. The James C. Morriss Member Achievement Award is named after Ron Collins' father-in-law and Aaron and John Collins' grandfather.

WWEMA Voices Opposition to WRRDA 'Buy American' Restrictions
WWEMA Executive Director Vanessa Leiby on May 16 sent a letter to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee expressing the association's adamant opposition to the American Iron and Steel language included in the proposed Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA).

While WWEMA applauds the bill's overall intent to support improvements to the nation's water infrastructure, the inclusion of trade-restrictive American Iron and Steel language "will negate many of the benefits, increase project costs, and ultimately hurt many U.S. businesses," the letter stated.

Read the full text of the letter.

2014 F&CA Council Puts Negotiation Skills to the Test

2014 F&CA Council The WWEMA 2014 Finance & Contract Administration Council, May 8-9 in Indianapolis, Indiana, brought together 43 industry members to discuss challenges and solutions on everything from bidding, to contract terms, to ethics and internal controls, to collections. This year's event built upon last year's session with a role-playing exercise that tested attendees' negotiation skills in a buyer/seller scenario.

Post-event evaluation results indicate attendees found the event and the role-playing session extremely valuable and call for expansion of that exercise in 2015.

WWEMA Washington Forum
Want to know what happened at the WWEMA 41st Washington Forum? Check it out:

WWEMA Provides 'Buy American' Position Statement to EPA
WWEMA on February 14 sent the Environmental Protection Agency the WWEMA Position on "Iron and Steel" Language in FY-14 Appropriations Bill for Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Loan Funds (SRFs).

Provided at the request of EPA, the statement iterates WWEMA's opposition to "Buy American" restrictions on funding and urges the agency to apply an extremely limited interpretation of the restrictions and to ensure that requirements for compliance and applications for waivers to the law be as streamlined and as simple as possible.

WWEMA, Rep. Pascrell Lead Webinar on PABs
Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) and WWEMA Executive Director Vanessa Leiby co-presented a webinar on January 29 titled Funding Your Municipal Drinking Water and Wastewater Projects. The focus of the webinar, which was attended by more than 190 water and wastewater utilities and other stakeholders, was to discuss upcoming legislation being introduced by Rep. Pascrell to eliminate the volume cap on private activity bonds (PABs) for drinking water and wastewater systems.

The original legislation on PABs was introduced in the 112th Congress as the "Sustainable Water Infrastructure Act of 2011" and is slated to be reintroduced in this Congress in the next three weeks. WWEMA is working closely with the Sustainable Water Infrastructure Coalition to support the legislation.

The goal of the webinar was to inform drinking water and wastewater systems about the legislation and urge them to provide support for passage of the bill. The webinar was organized by WWEMA member Environment One Corporation in conjunction with Water Infrastructure Management (UIM) Journal. WWEMA members and all those who are concerned with the state of the nation's water infrastructure are encouraged to review the presentation and submit letters of support to their Congressional delegations.

WWEMA Chairman Addresses Conference in India

The Hindu WWEMA Chairman Chuck Powers on January 24 presented a one-hour session on the "Global State of the Water and Wastewater Industry" at a forum as part of the fifth edition of the National Conference on Pumps in Coimbatore, India. Organized by the Southern India Engineering Manufacturers' Association and the Indian Pump Manufacturers Association, the event was attended by end users, manufacturers, consultants, and engineering firms. The presentation offered an overview of both the U.S. and global markets, including challenges, drivers, general industry trends, and technology trends. Coverage of the presentation appeared on page 2 of the January 25 edition of The Hindu, one of India's most widely read English-language newspapers.

WWEMA Elects 2014 Officers and Board
The WWEMA membership elected new officers and directors on November 15, 2013, at its 105th Annual Meeting in Ponte Vedra, Florida. The WWEMA 2014 Executive Committee comprises: Five members were elected to the WWEMA Board of Directors:
WWEMA Names New Executive Director

Vanessa Leiby WWEMA has named Vanessa Leiby to serve as executive director of the association, effective January 1, 2014. Leiby succeeds President Dawn Champney, who will retire December 31.

"Vanessa has a great deal of experience in the water industry and association management," said WWEMA Chairman Deb LaVelle. "What's more, throughout her career she has demonstrated a commitment to WWEMA's ideals and many of its advocacy positions. Our Board of Directors feels confident that Vanessa will lead the association on a path of continued success."

Leiby has more than 30 years of experience in the water and wastewater industry and has extensive experience in association management, having served as executive director of the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA) from 1991 to 2003. Currently she is a principal for The Cadmus Group, where she provides support to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water on a wide range of projects related to water and energy efficiency, source water protection, and regulation development and implementation.

Prior to her positions at The Cadmus Group and ASDWA, Leiby worked from 1989 to 1991 as an environmental scientist at Wade Miller Associates and from 1987 to 1989 as an air-water quality scientist for the Ohio EPA state drinking water program. She holds a bachelor's of science in zoology, with a concentration in aquatic ecology, and a master's of science in zoology, with a concentration in aquatic toxicology, from The Ohio State University.

WWEMA Annual Meeting: A Focus on Funding

2013 Annual Meeting Water and wastewater equipment manufacturing company executives and manufacturers' representatives gathered at the WWEMA Annual Meeting November 14-16 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, to hear from a variety of experts on the topic that is keeping everyone in the industry up at night: funding.

The event included insights on the economy and various funding proposals and models from John de Yonge of Ernst & Young's Cleantech Center, Tracy Mehan of The Cadmus Group, and Sean Snaith of the University of Central Florida's Institute for Economic Competitiveness.

Additional speakers examined topics such as new technologies (Claudio Ternieden, Water Environment Federation); water reuse and desalination (Wade Miller, WateReuse Association); the Water Resource Utility of the Future (Ken Kirk, National Association of Clean Water Agencies); and current trends and concerns as identified by the WWEMA Presidents Council (Ron Duecker, JWC Environmental).

During the Chairman's Awards Dinner, the association honored JWC Environmental as recipient of this year's James C. Morriss Member Achievement Award for its work on behalf of WWEMA and the industry. Pictured above are: Past award winner Larry Scully; WWEMA President Dawn Kristof Champney; award presenter Ron Collins; JWC Environmental President Ron Duecker; past award winners Tom Pokorsky, Tom Mills, Brian Harrell, and Kent Troup; and WWEMA Chairman Deb LaVelle.

F&CA Council Participants Share Real-World Struggles, Successes

2013 F&CA Council The WWEMA 2013 Finance & Contract Administration Council, September 12-13 in Indianapolis, Indiana, brought together 45 industry members to examine common challenges in contract negotiation and execution.

This year's format was highly interactive, with an extra half-day built into the program to allow attendees to share their real-world experiences related to topics such as contract negotiations, insurance and indemnity, surety bonds, and more. Post-event evaluation results indicate that the expanded format offered increased value for attendees and that they are eager to hold a Council again in 2014.

WWEMA Leadership Meets with Chairman of Ways & Means

Champney, Bernier, Camp WWEMA President Dawn Kristof Champney (left) and board member Tammy Bernier, president of Duperon Corporation (center), met with House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp on July 31 to discuss private activity bond legislation for water and wastewater projects and Buy American proposals that place U.S. manufacturers at risk in their export efforts.

WWEMA President Dawn Kristof Champney Announces Retirement
Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association President Dawn Kristof Champney has announced her retirement, effective December 31, 2013. The WWEMA Executive Committee has accepted her letter of resignation and has put into place the association's "President Succession Plan Policy."

Champney has served as WWEMA president since 1984, and was a member of the WWEMA staff in other capacities from 1976-1979 and 1981-1984.

"This was not an easy decision to reach, but I have decided the time is right for me to retire and begin my next journey in life knowing that WWEMA is in capable hands with a talented staff and a stellar leadership team ready to guide it successfully into the future," Champney said.

In her announcement to the membership, WWEMA Chairman Deb LaVelle wrote: "We will miss her enthusiasm and the passion she brought to the position as President.... We shall be forever grateful for Dawn's leadership, vision, and abilities to influence. As we move forward, WWEMA will continue its proud 105-year history, which offers great promise for continued success."

The association leadership is forming a selection committee to appoint Champney's successor. "I am confident we will be successful in finding a successor with experience, passion, and the ability to influence Capitol Hill as well as move the association forward successfully," LaVelle said.

During Champney's tenure as president, WWEMA has achieved many successes on behalf of water and wastewater equipment providers, including the elimination of restrictive standards governing the use of certain products in water and wastewater plants; the removal of onerous terms and conditions in municipal procurement contracts; the inclusion of a wide range of water and wastewater products slated for tariff reductions in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation trade agreement; the creation of a captive products liability insurance program at a time when water and wastewater process equipment manufacturers were being denied coverage; and the issuance of environmental regulations that recognize the capabilities of its members' technologies.

AWWA Technical Session Explores Innovation in Water Technology

AWWA Innovation Panel On June 10, WWEMA participated in "Overcoming Challenges to Innovation in the Water Industry," a three-hour technical session at the American Water Works Association's ACE13 Convention.

The session drew more than 70 industry professionals as panelists explored ways that manufacturers, public and private utilities, academia, and other interested entities can work together to eliminate the barriers to innovation within the water industry.

At the conclusion of the session, it was announced that the AWWA's Manufacturers Associates Council has formed five subcommittees to address the five top challenges identified:
* the risk-averse nature of the water sector
* low economic value placed on water (true cost of water)
* "or equal" bidding/procurement requirements
* complicated regulatory requirements
* trade restrictions/barriers

The session was moderated by Randy Moore, Utility Service Group. Panelists included (shown left to right): WWEMA Board Member Mike Dimitriou, WRT; Brent Fewell, United Water; Sally Gutierrez, EPA Office of Research and Development; Jim Taft, Association of State Drinking Water Administrators; and WWEMA Member Ralph Franco, Calgon Carbon Corporation. Also presenting was Peter Fiske, PAX Water Technologies (not pictured).

Coalition of 15 Groups Urges Congress to Oppose 'Buy American'

Letter to Congress WWEMA, along with 14 groups ranging from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to the National Taxpayers Union to the National Association of Water Companies, on June 5 sent a letter to all members of the U.S. Congress urging them to oppose legislation that would impose domestic content rules on funding for the nation's much-needed infrastructure projects.

"Such policies are inherently flawed and counter-productive to the economic welfare of U.S. producers and consumers alike," the letter stated. It pointed to numerous problems with "Buy American" measures: They increase project costs; they place unnecessary regulatory and administrative burdens on local governments, often resulting in the postponement of vital infrastructure projects; they limit access to the best available technologies, even among U.S. suppliers, who often rely on global supply chains; they stifle innovation as companies shy away from sourcing the best production materials; and they risk leading to retaliatory measures in which other countries impose similar restrictions on imports of U.S. goods and services.

"Our nation's water supply, delivery, and treatment systems are critical to public health, to the economy, to the environment, and to national security," said WWEMA President Dawn Champney. "Nowhere is it more important for us to find the best and most cost-effective technologies to address our infrastructure needs."

Read the full text of the letter.

FWQA Honors Students with Scholarships, Science Fair Awards

Michael Deane The Federal Water Quality Association on May 23 held its 21st Annual National Capital Environmental Scholarship Program Awards Luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., providing four metro area high school seniors with $2,000 scholarships (renewable each year) and honoring 21 winners of the Senior and Junior High Metropolitan Regional Science Fair Awards.

Keynote Speaker Michael Deane (above), executive director of the National Association of Water Companies, discussed the water-related challenges facing the nation today. "...I encourage you to take what brings you here today -- your curiosity, your discipline, your intellect -- and help us meet these new challenges head-on," Deane said. "There is nothing that touches as much of our lives and our communities and our world as water. So there is no career that will provide you as much opportunity to make an impact as working in water."

WWEMA is a sponsor of the scholarship program, and WWEMA Research Assistant Sharon Nye served as chair of the 2013 Scholarship Committee and as one of the 2013 Science Fair judges.

WWEMA, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Team Up to Oppose 'Buy American' Provision
WWEMA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on May 10 sent a letter to each member of the U.S. Senate opposing a potential "Buy American" provision to the Water Resources Development Act of 2013 (S. 601). Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) is expected to offer an amendment next week imposing "Buy American" restrictions on the water projects authorized by the act.

The letter argues that, "Under the guise of creating U.S. jobs and promoting U.S. industry, this protectionist measure could have the opposite effect by reducing competition, increasing project costs, and cutting U.S. exports of goods and services to countries that emulate U.S. policy."

Read the full text of the letter.

40th Washington Forum Examines Question: 'Is This the New Norm?'

Washington Forum With a mix of presentations on legislative, regulatory, and policy issues as well as market intelligence and opportunities, WWEMA's 40th Washington Forum offered attendees valuable insights to guide their businesses and provide a competitive advantage in today's tough market place.

Just a few of the highlights:

* Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ, pictured below) offered an impassioned plea for increased national attention to water and wastewater infrastructure. Pascrell announced plans to reintroduce legislation to fund water infrastructure projects through private activity bonds.

Washington Forum * A panel of utility directors shared their experiences, "pain points," and advice for manufacturers. Among their pet peeves when evaluating proposals: Manufacturers who waste their time talking about what their competitors can't do rather than explaining what their own products can do.

* David Asiello of the Department of Defense helped attendees better understand the department's labyrinthine procurement practices. Asiello said the DoD understands acutely the value of water as numerous servicemen and women have lost their lives during water deliveries to troops in arid regions.

Attending the Washington Forum were 81 WWEMA members, five non-member manufacturers, 21 speakers and several guests. Coverage of several of the sessions can be found at the Water Online website here, here and here.

WWEMA, Water & Wastes Digest Offer 2013 Scholarship
Applications are now available for the scholarship program sponsored by Water & Wastes Digest, awarding $1,000 to a student seeking a career in a water- or wastewater-related field. Applicants must have a parent employed by a WWEMA-member company. The deadline for 2013 applications is October 18. Details are available through WWD.

WWEMA/USWA Innovation Roundtable Draws Industry Leaders

Innovation Roundtable More than 60 policy makers, regulators, manufacturers and others gathered in Washington, D.C., on March 4 for a first-of-its-kind roundtable discussion on "Innovating for Water's Future," co-sponsored by WWEMA and the U.S. Water Alliance.

Download a summary of the discussion here.

"As budget numbers go from bad to ugly, there's real beauty in the water innovations that spring from public-private partnerships," said USWA President Ben Grumbles. "We have common ground on the urgent need to innovate and collaborate now to sustain water and invest in America's future."

"It is imperative that our industry join together to address the barriers to innovation," added WWEMA President Dawn Kristof Champney. "Factors such as the 'low bid' mentality, inadequate reward systems for risk taking, and long payback periods prevent us from embracing technologies that can better protect and preserve our water environment."

The event began with a discussion on "Framing the Needs and Challenges," with panelists WWEMA Chairman Deb Lavelle; Rich Anderson, senior advisor for the U.S. Conference of Mayors; and Robert Steidel, director of Public Utilities for the City of Richmond (Virginia).

The next panel spoke on "Leveraging Existing and Exploring New Opportunities" and included Nancy Stoner, acting assistant administrator for the EPA Office of Water; Suzanne van Drunick and Sally Gutierrez, both from the EPA Office of Research and Development; Alex Dunn, executive director and general counsel for the Association of Clean Water Administrators; and Jim Taft, executive director of the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators.

It concluded with a facilitated discussion among all participants, led by Brent Fewell, vice president, environmental compliance, United Water, and chairman of the U.S. Water Alliance's Business Advisory Council.

FWQA Luncheon Offers Insights into Sandy Relief Efforts

Weisman and Goldbloom The Federal Water Quality Association's February 28 luncheon offered an insider's look at the federal government's response to Hurricane Sandy and the recovery efforts of the local utilities in restoring their water and wastewater facilities.

Speakers Rich Weisman and David Goldbloom-Helzner of the EPA Office of Water shared some of the successes and challenges posed during and after the storm, including: Pictured, left to right: Rich Weisman and David Goldbloom-Helzner answer audience questions.

WWEMA Partners with 'Water for Jobs' Campaign

Water for Jobs Logo WWEMA has partnered with leading water associations, organizations and companies in support of a Water For Jobs campaign to raise awareness that investing in the nation's water infrastructure creates jobs, drives innovation and safeguards public health.

Each dollar invested in water infrastructure increases GNP by $6.35. For every $1 million invested, 26,000 jobs are created. At a partners meeting on January 7, it was agreed that a water infrastructure summit be held within in the next several months to enlighten federal, state and local governments that investing in water infrastructure is a national priority.

WWEMA Secures Five Seats on Federal Advisory Committee
Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank has sent notifications to five WWEMA representatives who have been selected to serve on the Environmental Technologies Trade Advisory Committee (ETTAC) for the 2013-2014 term: Bill Decker (Aqua-Aerobic Systems), Hermes Gonzales (Hach Company), Roddy Tempest (Tempest Environmental), George Vorsheim (Environment One Corporation) and WWEMA President Dawn Kristof Champney.

ETTAC provides private-sector advice to 19 federal departments and agencies, with a primary focus on promoting the export of U.S. environmental goods and services. Most recently, the committee played an instrumental role in a groundbreaking Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) agreement that will significantly reduce tarriffs on a list of 54 environmental goods, including many products produced by WWEMA members.

FWQA Luncheon: A Look Ahead at the 113th Congress

Claudia Copeland WWEMA staff attended a Federal Water Quality Association luncheon on November 29, featuring a presentation by Claudia Copeland, a specialist in resources and environmental policy at Congressional Research Services. Copeland offered her outlook on the 113th Congress and its potential effects on the water and wastewater industry.

Copeland reviewed expected changes in leadership to committees of interest to the industry, including the potential implications of the installation of Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA) as the new chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. She also discussed possible developments regarding the Water Resources Development Act and the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA).

WWEMA President Dawn Kristof Champney is a past president of FWQA, and WWEMA "Washington Analysis" Editor Sharon Nye is the current secretary of the association.

WWEMA Honors Steven Wood as Morriss Award Winner

Steven Wood WWEMA Chairman Deb LaVelle named Steve Wood, technical sales manager at Severn Trent Services, Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, as recipient of the 2012 James C. Morriss Member Achievement Award at the association's 104th Annual Meeting, November 1-3 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Wood was recognized for his work as WWEMA's representative on the EPA Arsenic Public Water System Compliance and Alternative Affordability Criteria Work Group. This role demanded a great deal of effort within a limited time frame as Wood provided technical expertise in developing two reports to Congress.

The James C. Morriss Member Achievement Award each year is presented to a WWEMA member who has contributed significantly to the mission of the association and to the benefit of the water and wastewater industry.

WWEMA Congratulates WEF on Successful Expo
WWEMA booth October 2012
With more than 900 exhibiting companies and 17,000 in attendance, WEFTEC, the Water Environment Federation's annual Technical Exhibition and Conference, once again proved "the place to be" for water and wastewater equipment manufacturers and their clients in 2012.

WWEMA staff and leadership enjoyed the show and made many valuable connections onsite. We congratulate WEF and look forward to WEFTEC 2013, October 5-9 in Chicago, Illinois.

Pictured here in the WWEMA booth are Past Chairman Ernie Childs, President Dawn Kristof Champney and Chairman Deb LaVelle.

APEC Forum Agrees to Tariff Decrease on Environmental Products
October 2012
At the latest Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Vladivostok, Russia, APEC members agreed on a ground-breaking list of 54 environmental goods on which they will cut tariffs to 5 percent or less by 2015, marking the first time that trade negotiations have produced a list of environmental goods for tariff cuts. Tariffs on some of these products in the region are currently as high as 35 percent. WWEMA played an instrumental role in the development of this list, ensuring that a majority of its members' products were included.

Trade Commission: Water Treatment Equipment Exports on the Rise
September 2012
WWEMA has been working with the U.S. International Trade Commission in developing trade data on exports of environmental technologies. USITC on September 17 released a two-page report on U.S. exports of water filtration and purification equipment, encompassing the majority of products produced by WWEMA members.

The report indicates a 20 percent increase in exports since 2007, surpassing prerecession levels. It includes statistics such as projected global demand for water through 2030 and percent share of U.S. exports to all major global regions. The publication can be accessed here (member login required).

WWEMA Surveys Members for Market Data/Analysis Needs
September 2012
WWEMA members often say they require access to more market data and analysis to remain competitive in today's market. The WWEMA Marketing & Member Services Committee is now developing a proposal for a pilot project commissioning research geared specifically toward the needs of water and wastewater equipment manufacturers. This research would be distributed exclusively to WWEMA members as a benefit of membership.

On September 13, the committee sent out an email requesting member input regarding the type of data and analysis that would most benefit them. That survey is now closed and the committee is reviewing the responses to ennsure that WWEMA gathers the data that is most pertinent to member needs.

WWEMA President Shares Market Outlook at 'Empowering Pumps'
September 2012
WWEMA President Dawn Kristof Champney has authored a feature article at EmpoweringPumps.com. 'Water Industry Looks to Rebound in 2013' shares data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, the U.S. Conference of Mayors Water Council and other sources and provides analysis regarding implications for the water and wastewater industries in the coming years.

WWEMA Conducts Market Indicators Survey
September 2012
WWEMA has conducted a survey of its membership to gauge growth/decline rates in orders, sales, employment and other market indicator categories. The survey requested information on the past 12 months as well as estimations for the next 12 months.

Results have been compiled and emailed to all WWEMA members.

A Victory for Fair Trade
August 2012
WWEMA aggressively advocates for fair and open trade policies which allow our members to compete most effectively. As such, we have been a lead advocate for eliminating many of the onerous, counter-productive "Buy American" provisions proposed for water and wastewater projects.

On July 31, Congressional leaders agreed to continue funding the federal government until March 2013 (six months into FY 2013) at the same levels as last year's debt deal, establishing a $1.047 trillion cap on spending by all federal agencies. The House majority was seeking approximately $19 billion in cuts below that level in the FY 2013 budget it passed earlier this year. This new six-month continuing resolution will likely be voted on in both chambers after the month-long August congressional recess. There are no policy riders associated with this deal, meaning the Buy American provision that was passed by the House Appropriations Committee earlier this summer has not been adopted.

WWEMA has been assured that no action will be taken to pass an independent FY 2013 appropriations bill for EPA this year. Staff may continue to negotiate text for the next Congress to consider, but there will be no independent appropriations bill for EPA for at least six months. WWEMA will continue to advocate against such trade-restrictive requirements in the coming year.