The 2018 Industrial Truck Association Meeting: Business Trends and ITA Approaches

The Industrial Truck Association (ITA) will host the 2018 ITA Annual Meeting September 26 through 29, at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club in Ponte Vedra, Florida. The meeting arrives during a time of great disruption, as global trade rules are being rewritten. The ITA leadership chose an appropriate theme for this year’s meeting, considering these changes: Charting the Course.

So how exactly would the ITA chart the course for global lift truck trade? What policy positions can prospective attendees of the 2018 ITA Meeting expect to find in Florida this September? Here’s what we know from previous ITA statements:

  • The ITA opposes tariffs as a matter of policy.

    It is likely that one pillar of the course ITA will be charting at the meeting will be to stand against new rounds of tariffs. According to an ITA public comment document, members prefer opposition to other nations’ tariffs in favor of the introduction of U.S. trade penalties.
    “ITA strongly supports two primary objectives of global trade negotiations,” the comment states. “The first is the elimination of all tariffs immediately, and the second is harmonization of non-tariff issues through a transparent process.”

  • The ITA supports the North American Free Trade Agreement — but not unequivocally.

    A 2018 press release from ITA demonstrates another element of ITA’s vision for the future of global trade that’s sure to arise during the annual meeting. The authors point out that the U.S. forklift industry enjoys duty-free trade with Canada and Mexico worth more annually than $900 million under NAFTA. The U.S. trade surplus on forklifts, they write, surpasses $400 million per year.

    “The Industrial Truck Association (ITA) supports the North American Free Trade Agreement, stating NAFTA’s success of creating American jobs and contributing to the growth of the U.S. economy,” the press release reports. However, ITA also encourages improvements to the existing NAFTA system to dismantle remaining trade barriers in Mexico and Canada.

  • To learn more about how recent business trends are affecting the global lift truck market, there are two events at ITA 2018 you won’t want to miss.

    Experts from ITA will probably address these and other changing market forces during two educational sessions. The first takes place Friday, September 28, at 8 a.m. During the second, which will occur Saturday at 10:30, presenters will discuss the results of a business trend survey that should illuminate the effects of proposed limits on international trade through tariffs.

The ITA is the forklift industry’s leading trade group, representing more than 90 percent of the North American market. The entire industry looks to ITA for their authoritative statistics and analysis of business trends

Earlier in 2018, for instance, ITA reported that the previous year was the third in a row in forklift sales for North America continued to grow. Compared to 2016, the forklift market saw an increase of 9.5 percent in 2017. Industry analysts look to ITA for this sort of statistic.

Given the ITA’s acknowledged expertise and authority, the ITA annual meeting is a major event for every stakeholder in the industrial truck business. Register to attend the 2018 Industrial Truck Association Meeting here.