MEMA Statement on President Trump’s Section 301 Announcement on China
Intellectual property rights (IPR) protections are a top priority for the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), and counterfeiting vehicle components and parts and stealing trademarks are issues MEMA takes very seriously. The theft of IPR, including through notorious markets and notorious countries, 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.
Intellectual property rights (IPR) protection is critical to the sustained success of motor vehicle parts manufacturers, which are key innovators of the components and technologies that make vehicles safer and more efficient. The IP and brands of a company are among its most valuable assets. At the same time, the value and strength of a brand is also what makes it vulnerable to counterfeiters.
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.
Additionally, online sales of counterfeit parts are a growing problem for suppliers. Historically, online sales have not been a significant means of counterfeit parts entering the domestic or global marketplace. This is changing as China and other countries experience a phenomenal growth in e-commerce, resulting in an increase in counterfeit parts in the international online environment. Today, counterfeit goods, offered as genuine brands, are more readily available online in the local market and globally because of the nature of the internet.
MEMA is highly engaged on issues impacting IPR. MEMA interfaces with its Intellectual Property Council, which is managed by MEMA’s Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) division, to address market challenges impacting patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade dress and intellectual property rights.
MEMA works closely with the administration and Congress on the protection of intellectual property and applauds President Trump’s executive order in recognizing the importance of this issue. The association will work closely with the United States Trade Representative in the investigation process.