AEM and EDA Release 2018 Policy Pulse Survey Results

May 15, 2018

In April, the Equipment Dealers Association (EDA) and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) surveyed their members about the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted in December 2017 and President Trump’s recent implementation of steel and aluminum tariffs on their businesses. This was the first of several Policy Pulse surveys that will be conducted in 2018.

The survey identified eight provisions of the new tax code and asked respondents to rank them from the most beneficial to the least beneficial for their company’s respective operations.

Dealers and manufacturers were in consensus that the two most beneficial provisions were:

(1) the lower corporate tax rate

(2) the favorable expensing provisions for new and used equipment.

When asked if there were any troubling components of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, survey takers uniformly agreed that there were no provisions which they believed were negatively impacting their businesses. It is worth noting that, despite a generally positive perception of the Act, several dealers commented that it was simply “too soon to tell,” if there were any negative components of the new tax law for their businesses.

While dealers and manufacturers are singing the “same tune” with respect to tax cuts, there were substantial differences in their opinions related to the recent trade tariffs imposed by the Trump Administration on steel and aluminum.

One surprising discrepancy was the opinion on how these tariffs would impact the U.S. economy. Although a substantial number of survey takers stated that they believe these tariffs will negatively impact the U.S. economy, it appears that a smaller percentage of dealer participants held this sentiment as compared to manufacturer participants. 

Only 45.5% of dealers said that the tariffs would negatively impact the economy as compared to 61.9% of manufacturers who said the same.

Comments included:

  • “We’re already hearing from customers who will delay or cancel purchase decisions due to higher prices.”
  • “Higher equipment prices will curb sales.”
  • “Already seeing price increases from almost all manufacturers.”

To access additional data and analysis as well as comments from dealers and manufacturers who participated in the survey, click here.

The next EDA/AEM joint survey will be released this summer and cover new and used inventory.