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MEMA Responds to Trump Administration’s Announcement of Trade Restrictions on China

Date: March 22, 2018

Motor vehicle parts manufacturers conduct almost one‐third of the annual $18 billion investment by the automotive industry in research and development. Given this investment in innovation, intellectual property rights (IPR) protection is critical to the sustained success of the motor vehicle parts manufacturing industry. The IPR of a company is among its most valuable assets here in the U.S. and abroad. Strong IPR protections encourage companies to support important research and development investment and to foster innovation as IPR owners are provided certainty that their inventions and technological advancements will be safe from infringers. 

MEMA applauds the administration’s continued focus to protect intellectual property and stop IP abuses in China. Suppliers have long advocated for strong global protections of IP investments. However, we do not support using tariffs to curb intellectual property theft.

Motor vehicle parts are particularly vulnerable to counterfeiting and IP theft activities. But imposing tariffs on motor vehicle parts could simply hurt consumers who need access to affordable motor vehicle parts – not only those buying new cars or companies buying new fleets of trucks, but those Americans repairing and maintaining the millions of vehicles that are currently on the roads today. We strongly recommend that President Trump not include motor vehicle parts in his new tariff policy.

Tariffs are not the solution to this substantial and growing problem. MEMA supports stronger bi-lateral engagement where China and the U.S. work together to protect the valuable IP of our members, or the U.S. leveraging the powerful relationships we have with other trading partners to pressure China to enforce their own IP laws and comply with international IP laws and regulations.

Tariffs raise alarm bells and could send us backwards. MEMA applauds the Trump administration’s recent work on behalf of American companies, especially tax reform, but retaliatory tariffs could negate these successes. 

- MEMA President and CEO Steve Handschuh

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