The Rubber and Plastics Footwear Manufacturers Association, RPFMA, announced that the association’s management and advocacy operations are now performed by SMI, Inc., a Washington, D.C. based federal marketing and government affairs firm. Bill McCann, COO of SMI, is the new Executive Director of RPFMA.
“There are a host of pressing trade issues that face our industry. It is a dynamic and shifting playing field. RPFMA is committed to protecting the domestic rubber footwear industry’s interests and viability,” stat4s John Larsen, chairman of RPFMA and president emeritus of New Balance Athletics. “It is with this singular goal in mind that the board selected SMI. The association will remain laser focused on protecting our categories of footwear from imports.”
Since the 1930’s RPFMA and its earlier affiliation with the Rubber Manufacturers Association, has effectively protected the remaining U.S. rubber footwear industry against imports by maintaining the existing duty rates on categories of rubber (nonleather) footwear still manufactured in the U.S.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to work for and with the RPFMA members. These companies are committed to making footwear in America,” states said McCann. “In order to ensure that domestic footwear manufacturing is sustainable and indeed able to grow, our nation needs to commit to fair trade policies and investments in advanced manufacturing technologies and workers. RPFMA will continue to the be the voice of all domestic footwear manufacturers and will look to lead on fair trade policy and other issues of importance to this industry.”
As Executive Director, McCann will act on RPFMA’s behalf in Washington. He will lead advocacy efforts with federal agencies and the U.S. Congress. McCann is a principal at SMI and previously served as a Chief of Staff on Capitol Hill. He has both advocacy and management experience. McCann is well known for his lobbying efforts to require the Department of Defense to comply with the Berry Amendment with respect to athletic shoes issued to enlisted recruits. Patrick Malloy will work with McCann on trade advocacy. Malloy is a former senior Congressional trade staffer. The SMI team will also provide event planning, website maintenance, communications, financial operations and membership services. RPFMA’s official address is now 1020 19th Street, NW Suite 375, Washington, D.C.