The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) is continuing its efforts to help legislators and the Trump administration understand the negative impacts that tariffs will have on the motor vehicle supplier industry.
MEMA went before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means in testimony earlier in mid-April.
The hearing was focused on the effects of tariff increases on the U.S. economy and jobs. In Washington, several automotive companies spoke to the committee to explain their outlook on tariffs.
MEMA wants the committee to work with the Trump administration to reset discussions with trading partners to pursue joint goals of free and fair trade and work to approve timely country exemptions prior to May 1. The group also wants congress to carefully monitor the impact any quota requirements have on consuming industries, the Department of Commerce to simplify the process of applying for product exclusions and work with the administration to exercise restraint before additional tariffs are imposed and to reset discussions with trading partners.
“MEMA supports the administration’s agenda to assure free, fair, and reciprocal trade and a level playing field for all Americans. Our industry counts on a strong domestic steel and aluminum industry and has long supported aggressive policies to protect intellectual property rights (IPR) and enforce IPR laws here in the U.S. and around the globe – including in China. However, MEMA is very concerned about the adverse impact on manufacturing jobs resulting from the sections 232 and 301 tariffs,” said Ann Wilson, MEMA senior vice president of government affairs, during the hearing.
“Our industry buys the vast majority of its steel and aluminum domestically but imports specialty materials as well as finished parts,” she added “Often, these imports are manufactured further and made into other parts, subcomponents or systems by U.S. workers at facilities all over the country. This allows the U.S. supply chain, as part of the global economy, to be competitive and prosperous, creating hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs.”
In a written letter, MEMA wrote that tariffs could negatively impact motor vehicle parts suppliers.
“MEMA supports the administration’s efforts to strengthen our nation’s economy. However, MEMA is very concerned about the adverse impact on manufacturing jobs resulting from the Sections 232 and 301 tariffs. The combined impact of these tariffs has thrown many of our member companies close to a financial crisis and has made some of them question their future investments in the U.S. Tariffs will have a negative impact on these manufacturers, the jobs they create, and ultimately the American consumer.”
MEMA also discussed tariffs on steel/aluminum and tariffs on China. MEMA submitted comments to the administration (May 31, 2017, June 20, 2017, February 13, 2018) noting that disruptions to supply chains or increases in production costs will not contribute to the national security of the United States and will have a negative impact on the ability of suppliers to continue domestic investments in developing new products, facilities, and jobs.
The formal testimony is just the start in trying to limit the impacts of tariffs on MEMA members.