Boosting Canada-US relations

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Newly-appointed National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) president Adam Keane understands the important link between the Canadian and US trucking industries, and believes that relationship is about to get even stronger.

Keane said work trucks are a vital cog in the North American economy, and though Canada and the US have always been each other’s greatest trading partners, that relationship must continue to grow with what he called ongoing globalization.

“With the globalization of vehicle platforms, there is a need to better align North American regulations so that we have a strong voice as it relates to OEMs and regulatory issues that come from outside of North America,” Keane told Truck West.

Keane, who in addition to his role with the NTEA is executive vice-president of Seattle’s Allied Body Works, said even though the NTEA has long had Canadian-based members, opening an office in Ottawa, Ont. made sense moving forward.

The NTEA head office is located in Farmington Hills, Mich., and it has government relations departments at satellite locations in Washington and Ottawa, with the Canadian branch opening in 2014.

Both the Washington and Ottawa offices are tasked with protecting and advancing NTEA member interests by actively working with the Canadian and US governments.

Keane said the NTEA is currently working with Transport Canada on the Canadian version of rear backup camera regulations, and held an educational session and conformity demonstration of the US variety during the Work Truck Show in March.

The NTEA is also working with Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) on its proposal for Phase 2 of the greenhouse gas regulations for trucks.

“The US version was released in 2016 and contained provisions helpful to the work truck industry, as described by the Environmental Protection Agency at a Green Truck Summit 2017 session,” said Keane. “We hope to include similar opportunities through our efforts with ECCC for Canadian members.”

Keane said the NTEA could not speak to how the relationship between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Donald Trump could impact the industry, but that the association hopes the new administrations in both countries will offer opportunities for trucking.

“Our experience so far in working with both the new Canadian and American administrations is that they have been open to listening to our interests and concerns,” Keane said. “We have found a mutual interest in working together to harmonize regulations.”

Finding ways to reduce fuel consumption is another key focus for the NTEA, which the association addresses during its Green Truck Summit each year, which runs prior to the Work Truck Show.

“(We are) very interested in advancing sustainable technologies in the work truck industry that will reduce fuel use and increase productivity,” said Keane. “We are actively working to engage industry, government and academia in these efforts.

The NTEA will also continue to provide its members with advice on cross-border issues through its Ottawa office, as well as its Cross-Border Compliance Guide, and visit with Canadian members to garner feedback on their specific concerns.

Another focus of the NTEA will be finding qualified employees with a passion for the industry.

“The NTEA is focused on developing resources to help educate people entering the work force regarding career opportunities in the work truck industry,” said Keane.

Keane stepped into the position of NTEA president at the conclusion of the Work Truck Show March 17, taking over for the outgoing Matthew Wilson, who served as the association’s 52nd president.

Adam Keane, president of the NTEA, speaks during the Work Truck Show in Indianapolis March 16.

A university graduate with a degree in English, I have worked in the media and trucking industries as a writer, editor, and now as western bureau chief of Today's Trucking and I have several years of management experience in journalism, as well as hospitality, but am first and foremost a writer, both professionally and in my personal life, having completed two fiction novels.

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