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MEMA Joins with Business Associations to Call for Greater Congressional Oversight of U.S. Trade Policy

Date: June 19, 2018

MEMA has joined more than 55 trade associations to raise alarm bells over the Trump administration’s new trade policies and to call for the restoration of balance between Congress and the Executive Branch on imposing new global trade policies.

The letter, which was sent to the Senate Committee on Finance leadership, Senators Orrin Hatch and Ron Wyden, and House Ways and Means Committee leadership, Representatives Kevin Brady and Richard Neal, raises particular concern over the use of tariffs to solve trade disputes with American allies. 

“We see the growing willingness of the current Administration to use tariffs (and the related use of absolute import quotas) as a major policy tool in an increasing number of trade disputes with our allies as a trend that needs to be addressed by Congress. There are valid reasons for Congress to have delegated significant authority to the President in order to address unfair trade practices and liberalize world trade. However, this extensive unilateral use of tariffs by the Executive Branch is upsetting the historic balance between Congressional and Executive powers, which has worked effectively for many decades to strengthen our economy and grow export opportunities for American manufacturers, service providers, ranchers and farmers, and needs to be reassessed,” the letter says.

“The longstanding balance between Congress and the Executive Branch in managing U.S. trade policy is crucial to our economic well-being. When this balance is upset, as has happened only occasionally throughout our long and successful history as a trading nation, our broader national economic interests inevitably suffer. It is therefore critical to reassert that balance and ensure that it works effectively to maintain America’s much needed success and leadership in the 21st century global economy,” the letter concludes.

Joining in the public outcry over new trade policies is just one step MEMA has taken recently to educate the Trump administration and Congressional leaders about the unintended consequences of tariffs on U.S. auto parts manufacturers, who are facing trade challenges and uncertainties on several fronts now - including North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations, Section 232 investigations into automobiles and automotive parts, Section 301 tariffs on Chinese imports, and the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum.

MEMA members could face having to pay double tariffs on some materials necessary to manufacture parts in the U.S. Industries like motor vehicle parts manufacturing, which require long-term investments in facilities and employees, depend on regulatory and market stability. There is little doubt that the uncertainty and added costs the administration is creating will put U.S. investments and jobs at risk.

MEMA has worked closely with the Trump administration to expand jobs and to increase U.S. competitiveness. MEMA supports the Trump administration’s agenda to assure fair and reciprocal trade. MEMA concurs that national security depends on the economic security of the country, and motor vehicle parts manufacturers are a critical element of this agenda.

For more information, please visit MEMA’s Trade Resources Page.

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