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The Long View - We Are Essential

A message from MEMA President and CEO Bill Long

Date: January 12, 2021

As we welcome a new administration in the White House and see the start of the 117th Congress, we will stick to our guiding principles: 1) educate, 2) promote collaboration, and 3) voice opposition to policies that negatively impact vehicle suppliers. We play a vital role in communities across the country. The important work of ensuring that the new administration and incoming policymakers know who we are has already begun.

Our message on your behalf is clear:

We are vehicle suppliers. We are innovators. We conceive, design and manufacture the original equipment systems and technologies that make up two-thirds of the value in every vehicle. We supply the aftermarket with the automotive and commercial vehicle parts that keep millions of vehicles on the road. We are jobs, directly employing more people than any other manufacturing sector in the United States. And all of our work is done with a focus on public safety and the environment.”

Indeed, we are essential. This has been true throughout MEMA’s 116-year history and never more evident than in 2020. Many adapted manufacturing capabilities to address the urgent need for personal protective equipment. With the help of suppliers, front-line workers and medical professionals were able to combat the coronavirus and its ripple effects, knowing the availability of vehicle components for maintenance and repair was a top priority.

As we enter 2021, we know uncertainties remain: the speed of vaccine distribution; tariffs and trade policies; federal and state regulations impacting the adoption of electric and autonomous vehicles; economic recovery; and our healing as a nation.

A few things, however, are certain. We are a high-tech industry, driving the transformation of vehicle safety and sustainability. We create opportunity for workers, both in the trades and advanced technologies. As the largest sector of manufacturing jobs in the United States, we are vital to our nation’s economy.

As we have in the past, we are prepared to tackle the issues. We will advocate for rapid federal initiatives to address our workforce shortage, strengthen U.S. manufacturing competitiveness globally, and pass a new Transportation Reauthorization Bill that enables supplier-developed innovations for electrification, autonomy, and safety.

Throughout our industry’s rich history, suppliers have been visionary, innovative, and resilient—all essential to our nation’s future. At the core of our success is leadership. Let the new year be a time for the supplier community, at every level, to stand together and provide the leadership to create the future we envision—a growing, prosperous and diverse community of vehicle suppliers. We are essential!      

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