Congressman Royce Meets with Yamaha

by MMR • in
  • Supplier Scene
• Created: March 9, 2015

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U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) met with Yamaha Corporation of America (YCA) senior management on a number of common-interest topics, including west coast port labor negotiations and the re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, better known as No Child Left Behind.

Yamaha representatives first met with the 12-term congressman last year as part of the National Association of Music Merchant’s (NAMM) annual music education advocacy Fly-In held in Washington, DC.

Following a tour last week of the music product company’s campus in Buena Park, Rep. Royce sat down with YCA President Hitoshi Fukutome and Senior VPs Tom Sumner, Rick Young and Brian Jemelian to discuss important topics that are affecting all musical instrument manufacturers, retailers and consumers.

Topping the agenda was the West Coast port strike, which has led to a massive slowdown of U.S. imports, including many products manufactured by musical instrument companies nationwide. According to Rep. Royce, the two ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach handle 40 percent of U.S. imports and employ thousands of Californians, which prompted him to urge a resolution to West Coast port labor negotiations earlier this month in an effort to stem economic harm both locally and nationally. A tentative agreement was reached Friday night between dockworkers and their employers.

Another topic in the discussion was the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, commonly known as No Child Left Behind, which is the largest federal law governing K-12 education policy, and is being considered for reauthorization by Congress this year. Rep. Royce reiterated his belief in the “STEM to STEAM” education initiative (which adds Arts to the core curriculum of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and that Congress must maintain the definition of “core academic subjects,” including music and the arts, to assure access to federal resources.

As Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Royce had much to say about the reauthorization of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), which strives to promote economic growth in the developing world by providing a preferential tariff system for up to 5,000 products when imported from one of 127 countries.

“Yamaha is very grateful to Rep. Royce for taking the time to visit with us at our company’s headquarters here in Orange County,” said Hitoshi Fukutome, president of Yamaha Corporation of America. “We share similar concerns regarding economic trade and education, and we’re glad to know that he is working hard for our district by pushing these important issues forward.”

Following the meeting, Rep. Royce said, “Yamaha is creating jobs and economic activity right here at home and I enjoyed the opportunity to tour its facility in Buena Park. In addition to discussing the challenges the company faces as it attempts to expand and hire more workers, I also spoke with company representatives about how we can all work together to promote music education in our schools.”

Rep. Royce represents California’s 39th Congressional District, which encompasses parts of Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino counties. He is Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee.

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