MEMA Testified at Commerce Department Hearing: Tariffs Pose Risk to Economic Security, Jeopardize Supplier Jobs

Date: July 19, 2018
Source: MEMA Industry News
MEMA testified on behalf of motor vehicle suppliers today at a U.S. Department of Commerce hearing regarding the potential Section 232 tariffs on motor vehicles and auto parts.
 
“The importation of motor vehicle parts is not a risk to our national security,” said Ann Wilson, MEMA senior vice president of government affairs during the testimony. “However, the imposition of tariffs is a risk to our economic security, jeopardizing supplier jobs and investments in the United States.”
 
“To put it bluntly, if we lose the opportunity to develop and manufacture new technologies in the U.S., we will have little opportunity to recoup these losses for a decade,” she stated.
 
Wilson was among 45 representatives of global and U.S. companies, labor and other organizations scheduled to speak at the hearing. The Section 232 investigation into motor vehicles and auto parts was ordered by the Trump administration in May. These tariffs, if they take effect, could seriously impact the motor vehicle parts supplier industry. Today’s hearing is part of the administration’s investigation of whether imported automobiles and automotive parts pose national security risks.
 
In her testimony, Wilson cited MEMA’s recent survey of its supplier members, calling the results “deeply troubling.” She noted, “Almost 80 percent of the respondents said that a 20 percent tariff on imported automotive parts would have a net negative impact on their businesses.” MEMA survey respondents indicated that they would cut U.S. jobs, cut or delay U.S. R&D investment, shift production outside of the U.S., and/or modify sourcing, Wilson said.
 
“MEMA does support other alternatives to re-shore jobs into the U.S., including actively engaging with our trading partners to reduce tariffs and focusing significant resources towards workforce training to fill existing manufacturing and engineering jobs,” Wilson said. “The imposition of tariffs will have a negative impact on U.S. vehicle parts suppliers. This will impact employment and, in turn, weaken the U.S. economy,” she stated in her concluding comments. Wilson’s full testimony is available here.
 
The Commerce Department hearing is being live streamed here. The MEMA testimony was scheduled tentatively for 9:25 a.m. EDT today.
 
MEMA’s Virtual Advocacy continues today. All members of AASA, HDMA, MERA and OESA are urged to contact their members of Congress through this Action Alert Link. Let your elected officials know how the Section 232 investigation of autos and auto parts will negatively impact their district, state and the U.S.
 
If you have any questions or would like more information on how you can get involved in MEMA’s advocacy efforts, please contact Briana Huxley at bhuxley@mema.org or 202-312-9242. You also can stay up to date on trade by visiting MEMA’s Trade Resources Page.
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