by Joe Marion, ASCDI-NATD
Last year at this time, I wasn’t sure that our Industry would be around today, at least here in the USA. Seriously. At the start of 2013, the US Supreme Court was planning to rule on whether or not manufacturers could prohibit the resale of their products which were manufactured outside of the US. We spent a great deal of money and time on that fight and we WON! Not only that, but we were cited by the US Supreme Court in their decision. What an honor for our association!
Next we set our sights on the right to import products into the EU for resale. Just this past month I testified before the United States Trade Commission arguing that if the United States is to enter into a trade agreement with Europe, Europe would have to allow our members to import trademarked goods without restriction, something the manufacturers have successfully used against our members in the past. Next week, I go back to Washington, DC and meet with the Trade Representative on the same issue. We are in the process of forming partnerships and contacts in Europe to pursue this matter from that side of the pond as well and we have a meeting scheduled for Brussels in June of 2014 to bring even more focus on that issue.
- We have met with members of the US Congress and will testify before the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee in 2014 to argue that once a product which has embedded software is sold, we should be permitted to resell those products inclusive of the software without restriction. In short, if it came in the original box, we should be free to resell it.
- We are involved with a group called the Digital Right to Repair which is preparing present legislation in several states requiring manufacturers to make parts and diagnostics available to independent maintainers.
- We have met and continue to speak with US Homeland Security/Customs to make sure that our members who are importing authentic goods do not have their goods seized at the border just because they might not be an authorized distributor of those goods
- We are working with a congressmen who has put forward a bill which would focused on government reform with regard to IT acquisitions, making sure that resellers get their fair share of government business.
- We are working with a congressmen who put forward a bill which will guaranty our rights to move parts from one system to another without restriction, due to microcode.
- We began our first formal Industry survey to get a statistical handle on what we all our selling, where we are selling it and what challenges we face. The next step for the survey will be an on-line focus group and then we will publish the results.
- Our Ethics Committee is as busy as ever, handling several complaints a week and getting most of them settled to the satisfaction of the complainants.
- We have a meeting in January in Thailand, March in Puerto Rico and June in Brussels. Our meetings are without a doubt, the best investments you can make in growing your business.
- Our new Chairman, Frank Llaca and our dedicated Board of Directors continue to remain focused on doing what we need to do to secure the rights of resellers around the world, making sure that our members continue to be the vendor of choice when it comes to IT and Telecom equipment and making sure that we do our part to maintain a safe and efficient marketplace for our members and their customers.
I continue to be humbled and honored when I think of the trust you have placed in allowing me to represent our Industry. I pledge to continue to do everything I can to live up to that awesome responsibility and I thank you for your continued support of our association and industry. On behalf of the ASCDI Staff and Board of Directors, I would like to wish you, your families and your co-workers have a very peaceful holiday season and the best of New Years.