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“The Long View” By MEMA President and CEO Bill Long

Agility is the New Stability

Date: June 18, 2020

MEMA has been working to advance the business interests of motor vehicle parts suppliers for 116 years. In that time, we have leveraged our stability and longevity to your advantage, and we have seen you through remarkable economic and technical changes. It is no different in the wake of the pandemic. Everyone is talking about the “new normal.” In our case, and most likely in yours, the new stability is all about agility.

A clear example of agility is seen in MEMA’s actions to mitigate the negative impacts of the pandemic and its economic fallout – MEMA quickly responded to suppliers’ urgent need for liquidity support. The pandemic came at a time when the industry was already in transition – new vehicle technologies, new business models, new consumer behaviors – in addition to a new North American trade agreement, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

The USMCA enters into force on July 1, 2020, requiring similar agility. USMCA will present many challenges for suppliers, and therefore our goal is to minimize these difficulties and provide a clear roadmap for compliance. Even as USMCA enters into force, the industry is still struggling with brand new certification and regulatory requirements. MEMA has been working with the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials on a daily basis to educate them about our industry and get you the information and analysis you need to effectively navigate and comply.

Yet complying with entry into force has been complicated by the Coronavirus pandemic as facilities in Mexico have been shut down. Many of you have operations and/or partners in Mexico, and you already know the critical importance that we have alignment and coordination with Mexico of essential businesses and health and safety protocols. In response, MEMA quickly formed a Mexico, Canada, U.S. trade association taskforce to drive our success.  

MEMA and its divisions have also demonstrated their individual agility in hosting virtual platforms for industry information and dialogue, be it Town Hall webinars, Teams Meetings, or ZOOM conferences. In times of uncertainty like these, we continue to take the critical steps to pivot and to bring clarity to the broad range of possibilities to help you adjust, prepare...and be agile.

NOTE: The new USMCA agreement is complicated. From rules of origin to labor value content, these issues have been the focus of our government affairs issues-based web programming.  The next web program, USMCA Uniform Regulations: Conversation with U.S. CBP, June 24th is not-to-be-missed. We will help you be prepared for the pending entry into force, bringing you top experts in the field who will explore one of the key implementing documents and the Uniform Regulations, which clarify the rules, terms, phrases, and calculations used in the USMCA. You will hear it straight from the government, through MEMA’s close relationships with representatives from U.S. CBP and Arent Fox LLP. Speak with them directly on June 24 by registering here.

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