MEMA Calls for USTR to Not Impose Section. 301 Increase to 30 Percent on Auto Goods from China

Date: October 1, 2019

In a letter sent on Sept. 20 to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer, MEMA urged the ambassador to not to impose an increase in Section 301 tariffs on China for goods imperative to the U.S. auto industry. The five percent tariff increase went into effect today.

“The increase in the Section 301 tariffs to 30 percent ad valorem pursuant to the Section 301 Proposed Modification on automotive vehicle materials, subcomponents, and parts will disproportionately harm U.S. businesses, including the vehicle components and systems manufacturers MEMA represents.,” MEMA said in the letter. “Though MEMA applauds the administration’s efforts to protect intellectual property rights (“IPR”), MEMA respectfully requests that the product classification included in Attachment 1 be exempt and be removed from USTR’s proposed list of products subject to the increase to 30 percent ad valorem duties pursuant to the Section 301 Proposed Modification. Ultimately, inclusion of these products will further hurt domestic manufacturers and consumers that have already been experienced as a result to the 25 percent ad valorem duties.”

The products that are included in “Attachment 1,” which MEMA provided to the USTR, are imported by the organization’s members. The products are manufactured further before being sold to aftermarket distribution and retail or used to support downstream manufacturing in the original equipment vehicle industry.

“Additional five percent tariffs on these parts will only exacerbate uncertainty, price increases, and potential delays across the vehicle manufacturing supply chain,” MEMA stated. “Consumers who rely on affordable service parts to properly maintain the millions of vehicles on our nation’s roadways will be negatively impacted by increased prices as well.”

MEMA also called on the USTR to remove some products in Tranche Four that were exempted in Tranches One and Two, as well as “reverse tariffs for many of the tariff lines under Tranche 3.”

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