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Kigali Amendment puts America first: Guest view

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Manufacturing jobs have increased since President Trump was elected. Now, the president has an opportunity to provide a huge boost to an enterprise in which the U.S. already has a significant competitive edge – the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration industry.

Two years ago, the U.S. joined other countries in a global accord that would limit ozone-depleting refrigerants called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Phasing out HFCs would encourage the development, manufacture and distribution of hydrofluoro-olefins (HFOs), the alternative to the damaging pollutants.

The accord is called the Kigali Amendment, and to become law it must be ratified by the U.S. Senate. Ratification will advance America’s manufacturing economy, create jobs and make us a leader among our global competitors. It is a key component to one of the president’s points of emphasis – putting our workers first.

The amendment would take effect on Jan. 1 of next year, and the U.S. would be positioned to lead the way in an industry where we already have a decided advantage. The air conditioning and refrigeration industry’s resources can make HFOs energy-efficient as well as affordable.

With more than 589,000 American workers employed in this industry and its ancillary segments, the Kigali Amendment offers a way not simply to save these American jobs, but to add potentially 33,000 more in the HVACR industry. Exports of our HVACR products also would add $4.8 billion to our economy.

In addition, Kigali would make obsolete much of the technology and refrigerants produced by our global competitors, notably China. An advancing GDP, improved job creation, outpacing our global competitors and helping to stop the ozone depletion of the planet is a win-win situation for America.

In June, 13 Republican senators sent a joint letter of support to President Trump urging him to send the amendment to the Senate for its advice and consent. They wrote: “The Kigali Amendment will protect American workers, grow our economy, and improve our trade balance, all while encouraging further innovation to strengthen America’s leadership role.” 

As a former GOP chairman of Lancaster County and a Trump delegate (PA-16) to the 2016 Republican National Convention, I believe that putting America first in job creation has been tremendous achievement by President Trump.

I’m not tired of winning yet. We need to improve upon the success and support the adoption of the Kigali Amendment to ensure that job creation moves ahead.

David M. Dumeyer is a self-employed consultant based in West Hempfield Township, Lancaster County.

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