MEMA has repeatedly called for China and the United States to work together to reach a trade agreement that works for both countries. It was our hope that on-going talks would lead to an agreement and allow the Trump administration to lift existing tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese inputs. Today’s announcement by President Trump that he will impose 10 percent tariffs on the remaining $300 billion worth of imports from China on September 1 dashes this hope.
China serves as an important resource for materials and parts needed to build motor vehicle parts in the United States. These tariffs will negatively impact the U.S. economy and will serve as a thorn in the side of a global marketplace already under stress.
But most of all, these tariffs will hurt American consumers who rely on access to goods made in China. These tariffs are a tax on the American public. Consumers will pay more for the products they need to run their households, provide for their children, and purchase and maintain their vehicles. A ten percent increase at the check-out counter will hurt America’s most vulnerable families.
While MEMA opposes the wide application of tariffs, it does support the Trump administration’s efforts to end China’s practice of intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer, and other well-known market distortions. The theft of intellectual property leads to significant costs to suppliers, including lost sales, damages to brand reputation and significant legal and investigation expenditures. Furthermore, the continued proliferation, importation, and dissemination of counterfeit parts pose a risk to public health and safety.
Counterfeit goods from China are an ongoing challenge for motor vehicle parts manufacturers. China is a manufacturing hub that acts as an important source of imports, with many MEMA member companies maintaining a presence in China and working with Chinese government agencies to coordinate efforts to fight counterfeit goods.
MEMA will continue to work closely with the administration and Congress on the protection of intellectual property and supports alternatives to imposing tariffs to achieve the administration’s goals.