MEMA submitted identical comments yesterday to the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance for their hearings on the “2020 Trade Policy Agenda.” The letters coincided with the testimony of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who served as the sole witness at both hearings to give insight into the Trump administration’s approach to trade for the year.
After outlining the contribution that motor vehicle parts suppliers were able to make during the COVID-19 pandemic and highlighting that MEMA member companies and their employees were able to quickly pivot from normal operations to manufacturing critically needed personal protective equipment (PPE), MEMA wrote. “MEMA members need additional COVID-19 assistance now to assure the viability of our sector.”
MEMA suggested several changes that would help restore growth to both the industry and to manufacturing as a whole. These include avoiding the implementation of new tariffs and permanently phasing out existing tariffs against the U.S.’s trading allies; negotiating North American Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) standards for the U.S., Canada, and Mexico; building on the success of the U.S.-China Phase One Agreement to re-orientate China to market-based policies; and reshoring U.S. manufacturing jobs by establishing new measures like a federal Automotive Component Technology (ACT) grant program.
MEMA expressed its gratitude to the committees, the Michigan delegation, and the bicameral Congressional leadership for assisting the motor vehicle parts industry while the coronavirus pandemic shakes the economy.
“MEMA applauds the bipartisan actions of Congress and Trump Administration to address the national health and economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 global pandemic. While we deeply appreciate the nearly $3 trillion in relief for the national economic rapidly passed on a bipartisan basis, many motor vehicle parts manufacturers are still struggling. Recently, almost 20 percent of our members reported a severe liquidity crisis that could lead to bankruptcy in the next eight weeks. These manufacturers are primarily mid-size suppliers. If their operations close or slow production, the entire supply base is jeopardized,” the letters said.