President's Letter - August 2018

The lighting industry is facing opportunities and challenges at a record pace. The continued LED and smart home revolution is a real win for our members: manufacturers that are producing those products and retail showrooms that are best equipped to lead their customers to make the right decisions on their lighting, control and ceiling fan needs. But, there are significant threats such as tariffs, excessive regulatory actions, and distribution disruption that will and are affecting lighting sales. ALA provides the best opportunity and vehicle to discuss these issues, which are on the agenda for the upcoming ALA Asheville Conference.
ALA Asheville Conference
We hope you are making plans to join us for the ALA Conference at the historic Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, N.C., Sept. 24-26, 2018. In addition to the great speaker lineup, we have organized plenty of networking sessions, including our Industry Networking Roundtable Luncheon where we will discuss important topics affecting the ever-changing lighting industry, including:
  • Whitelisting and Its Effect
  • Showroom Stocking Expectations and Why
  • Drop-shipping and Its Effect
  • Expectations among Showrooms, Manufacturers and Manufacturer Representatives
  • Creating an Experiential Showroom Utilizing Current Technologies
If you have not yet registered or reserved your hotel room, we encourage you to do so now. To register, please click here .
For your hotel reservations at the Omni Grove Park Inn, please call 800-438-5800. Call now to secure your room in the ALA block and for the lowest rates.
We have a few showroom scholarships available.  Let me know if you are interested.
We look forward to seeing you in Asheville.
ALA Fighting Potential Tariffs Impacting the Lighting Industry
This week, the tariff saga continued with the release of the final List 2 . The Section 301 Committee published the list after reviewing the submitted comments and public testimony. Only five codes were removed from the original list of 284 codes of mainly chemical and industrial products. The final List 2 is expected to be worth $16 billion, and is scheduled to take effect Aug. 23.
Also this week, I received confirmation that I will be testifying against the potential tariffs on lighting products at the China 301 Committee hearing in Washington D.C., Aug. 22. Last week, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) issued a press release announcing that President Donald Trump has directed them to consider increasing the proposed tariff rate on $200 billion worth of imported Chinese products from 10 percent to 25 percent. Although ALA agrees that the Administration needs to negotiate with China on intellectual property theft, ALA strongly opposes any proposed tariff that will raise consumer prices; have a negative effect on lighting, controls, and ceiling fan sales; and ultimately, have a severe negative effect on the economy and jobs.
ALA has already submitted to the USTR regarding List 1 of the China 301 tariffs, as well as three additional joint comments through the ad-hoc trade association coalition that ALA joined earlier this year. To view all comments, please click here .
Lastly, ALA will be submitting written comments to the USTR on the proposed tariffs in List 3 prior to the Sept. 6, 2018, deadline. I would also encourage all ALA members to submit company-specific comments on the impacts of the potential tariffs. For additional background material, and information on ALA's actions to fight tariffs, click here .
The SMART Center
The SMART Center grand opening at Lightovation was a huge success. Our partnership with the Dallas Market Center allowed ALA meetings to be in the heart of Lightovation. It enabled both organizations to work together to develop impactful seminars and secure additional partnerships with the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA).
After our earlier Residential Lighting Training Manual (RLTM) course sold out in June, ALA has organized a second RLTM course at The SMART Center in Dallas, Oct. 22-25. The new facility is a perfect location for this training, and gives us the ability to organize tours of our manufacturer members’ showrooms. To register, please click here .
Thank you for your continued support and involvement in ALA.
Eric Jacobson, CAE
President and Chief Executive Officer
American Lighting Association