NAMM’s Import Export Task Force, comprised of NAMM members wanting to stay informed and involved in regulatory issues, met with regulators and representatives of Congress in Washington D.C. from November 2 to 3, 2011. Congressman Jim Cooper (D-TN) was present to discuss the Retailers and Entertainers Lacey Implementation and Enforcement Fairness (RELIEF) Act that he introduced in October. The legislation clarified a broad federal law so that musical instrument manufacturers, retailers and resellers—among many others, including musicians—would not be subject to penalties for unknowingly possessing illegal woods. NAMM is among 20 national environmental and business organizations that support the RELIEF Act.
Representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service were on hand to offer insight into current import/export issues and federal regulations.
Briefing day guest speakers included Brent J. McClendon, CAE, Executive Vice President of the International Wood Products Association, and Krissa Barclay, Counsel to Congressman Jim Cooper. The Task Force participated in advocacy briefing sessions from NAMM’s legislative advisors, Leo Coco of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP, and Jim Goldberg of Goldberg & Associates.
The 2011 Import Export Task Force was composed of David Berkowitz, Berkowitz Guitars; Christie Carter, Gruhn Guitars; Leo Coco, Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough LLP; Chuck Erikson, Duke of Pearl, LLC; David Eynck, PRS Guitars; Gulab Gidwani, Exotic Woods Company, Inc.; Jim Goldberg, Goldberg & Associates; George Gruhn, Gruhn Guitars; Jack Higginbotham, PRS Guitars; Tim Kletti, Music Go Round, Winmark Corporation; Hap Kuffner, Kuffner International; Mary Luehrsen, NAMM; Brian Majeski, The Music Trades; Steve McCreary, Collings Guitars; Cindy McAllister, C. F. Martin & Co., Inc.; Gregory Paul, C. F. Martin & Co., Inc.; Howard Paul, Benedetto Guitars; Charles Redden, Taylor Guitars; Hugh Reitz, PRS Guitars; Tom Ribbecke, Ribbecke Guitars; Bob Taylor, Taylor-Listug, Inc.; and Kathy Wingert, Wingert Guitars.