The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association is warning that retaliatory tariffs with China will cause harm to the automotive industry.
After more tariffs were placed on Chinese products, the MEMA believes core issues, like intellectual property rights protections, could fall by the wayside, in addition to any gains from tax reforms introduced by the U.S. government.
“The protection of intellectual property is a critical issue for MEMA and its members, and for decades MEMA has advocated for strong global protections of IP investments,” the group said in a statement. “However, MEMA fears that escalating this back-and-forth with a major trade partner will not resolve the issue at hand: intellectual property rights (IPR) protection is critical to the sustained success of the motor vehicle parts manufacturing industry, the largest sector of manufacturing jobs in the United States.”
About $6 billion is spent on research and development by auto parts manufacturers, according to the MEMA. Parts are “particularly vulnerable” to intellectual property theft and counterfeits.
“Strong intellectual property rights (IPR) protections are needed to encourage companies to support important research and development investment and to foster innovation as IPR owners are provided certainty that their inventions and technological advancements will be safe from infringers,” the association said.
Tariffs are doing great damage, the MEMA warned. Consumers are the ones being hurt the most at the end of the day, it added in its statement.
“Instead, MEMA supports stronger bi-lateral engagement where China and the U.S. work together to protect the valuable IP of our members or leveraging the powerful relationships the U.S. has with other trading partners to pressure China to enforce their own IP laws and comply with international IP laws and regulations.”