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MEMA Urges White House to Support Free Trade on Steel and Aluminum Imports

Date: February 13, 2018

The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) has written a timely letter to President Donald J. Trump applauding the administration’s actions to protect our national interests by increasing American production of aluminum and steel, while requesting that there be no blanket quotas or tariffs on these vital materials.

“Many specialty materials and components imported by motor vehicle suppliers are used by hundreds of vehicle parts manufacturers.  Suppliers’ access to these specialized products is critical to the industry and our national economy,” MEMA President and CEO Steve Handschuh says in the letter.

“MEMA member companies operate in an integrated global supply chain with both suppliers and customers inside and outside of the United States. This model has allowed for continued growth in motor vehicle production as well as U.S. employment in our sector… [D]isruptions to supply chains or increases in production costs will not contribute to the national security of the United States,” Handschuh adds.

MEMA has strongly argued that tariffs on steel and aluminum would hurt the largest sector of manufacturing jobs in the U.S., putting American jobs -- and the nation’s economic security -- at risk. Motor vehicle suppliers, which directly employ more than 871,000 Americans, currently anticipate continued job growth for workers such as engineers, technicians and skilled trades and, therefore, expect to contribute heavily to the economic security of the country. However, this growth assumes no adjustments to steel imports. Putting American jobs at risk runs counter to the Trump administration’s efforts to bring jobs back to the U.S.

“Suppliers’ access to these specialized products is critical to the industry and our national economy. If a tariff determination is made, these products should be excluded prior to the tariff going into effect. Individual companies should not have to separately apply for exemptions or exclusion for these specialty products,” Handschuh said.

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