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In a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this May, Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) President and CEO Stephen Yurek requested the urgent assistance of the Department of State in "convincing the federal, state, and local jurisdictions in Mexico to allow continued manufacturing operations, while our members commit to adhere to strict workplace safety and health standards." Yurek explained that in addition to potentially harming customers in Mexico, "the continued inability of some of our member companies to manufacture products in their Mexican factories will very soon severely impact our ability to supply these essential products to the American market, putting American lives and health at risk."
The products and equipment produced in those factories is vital for the health, safety, and productivity of both countries, particularly with respect to water heating for handwashing, sterilization, cleaning, and disinfecting; air filtration; and refrigeration for food and medical supply preservation.
While AHRI and its industry allies have been very successful in having the HVACR and water heating industry designated as "essential" in nearly every part of the United States, the situation in Mexico has been quite different, which has led to factory closures and reduced manufacturing capacity in that nation.
There currently is no clear federal directive in Mexico designating essential status for HVACR and water heating, and because of that, the situation for equipment and supply chain manufacturers there is dire. Absent such a directive, state and local governments have inconsistently decided the operating status of manufacturing plants, creating great uncertainty and disruption in the supply chain.