As AIAG’s Global Customs and Trade and logistics program managers roll out the new year, AIAG members can take a sneak peek at what’s in store for ’24. Myriam Cronk, a seasoned AIAG leader, and Tonya Swix, a newer member of the team, weigh in on their unique perspectives.
Q: What do each of you see as AIAG’s unique role in serving the industry?
Cronk: Leadership. Every day, AIAG is working to cascade, push out, and share with the industry on all relevant topics. In the supply chain area, we give members the heads up on any news pertaining to hot topics like forced labor and customs and trade compliance practices such as cargo security, export controls, USMCA, and more. Our Supply Chain Department at AIAG is united to lead the industry forward through whatever challenges come up in supply chain and logistics.
Swix: Before coming to AIAG almost a year ago, I was aware of AIAG and the great things the organization was doing. But now, getting to be a part of providing industry-wide solutions has given me an ever deeper understanding of the impactful role AIAG plays in the industry.
Q: Are there any new initiatives your team is working on for this year?
Cronk: Absolutely! We recently had our Forced Labor Human Rights launch. As the mobility industry continues to evolve and expand — and supply chains grow increasingly complex and multifaceted — it’s more critical than ever for companies to establish comprehensive human rights due diligence. I encourage everyone to visit our website where you can identify and address forced labor compliance risks in your own supply chain by using AIAG’s unique tools and resources.
Q: Are there any new learning opportunities this year?
Cronk: Yes, there’s training as well! Our Supply Chain Department is revamping our training to bring to you better worth, shared knowledge, and personal gain as well as professional. We have MMOG/LE, USMCA as well as TEC (in Spanish), Harmonized Tariffs, Essentials of Supply Chain and more to come. There will be offerings in person, hybrid, in English, and in Spanish. We will be rolling out more efficient training by offering more of an equal spread of relevant topics for audience members who carry different roles within their respective organizations, such as buyers, OEMs, or Tier level.
AIAG’s Supply Chain team will be rolling out more webinars to cover all of the industry’s leading topics. Our first one is free and scheduled on the new Canadian legislation (Bill S-211) Fight Against Forced Labor and Child Labor in Supply Chains on February 28, 2024.
Our successful Supply Chain Security Program (CTPAT/AEO) is the first common industry CTPAT risk assessment along with associated corrective actions. AIAG has a strong working relationship with CBP, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and this allows us to discuss more deeply with importers on the important topics of cargo security, enhanced compliance with trade, and security measures based on CBP’s security criteria including forced labor.
Q: What are the biggest challenges facing the industry this year? Where does the AIAG membership need to take action? Is there anything coming up that should be on everyone’s radar?
Cronk: Ongoing legislation, supply chain disruptions, and changes. There’s constant movement, and we have to be prepared and organized to face this rapid mobility occurring on a global scale.
Swix: A focus for me this year will be EV transportation safety. As we see industry move from ICE to ACE, there are many questions regarding safely transporting EV batteries, both inbound and outbound. We want to be sure we are accessing our subject matter experts to provide the industry with timely updates as new processes, policies, and procedures evolve.
Q: In what areas do you need more volunteer involvement? Are there any new project teams/work groups?
Cronk: Supply Chain Security (CTPAT/AEO) is an important one. As a majority of companies share a number of the same supply chain business partners, applying only one risk assessment on an annual basis is a streamlined, positive step to more efficiently meet trade compliance. We are open to both members and non-members, importers across all tier levels, and global companies. Our USMCA Workgroup — where we are working on electric vehicle tariff classification — is a great opportunity to donate your thought leadership and volunteer support.
Q: What are some of the biggest benefits that you see volunteers gain when they participate?
Cronk: Deeper engagement in the industry, new accomplishments for their work experience, plus high-value connections to subject matter experts from all sectors of the mobility industry. AIAG offers a uniquely collaborative environment where all key stakeholders engage in an open, neutral, legal forum focused on addressing emerging threats to the sustainable growth of the entire industry. Members not only hear about new regulations, standards, and requirements here first — they also help to shape them.
Q: What is No. 1 on your list for 2024?
Cronk: My goal is for AIAG’s Supply Chain department be the go-to leader and resource for all things mobility.