Talk of the Town: MEMA Update on NAFTA

Date: February 14, 2017

The first weeks of the Trump administration have brought several executive orders and communications that could affect suppliers, including those regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  MEMA and its divisions are well positioned to represent the industry as these changes take shape. We have already taken several critical steps to advance and protect our members’ business interests, as noted below.

  • MEMA sent an initial letter to the Trump Transition Team within days of his election in November. This letter sought to educate new administration officials about the impact MEMA and its members have on the U.S. economy and began to outline our position on issues raised during the election, including modernizing NAFTA.

  • MEMA met with its legal team to define presidential powers regarding NAFTA renegotiations and conducted in-depth outreach to our members by offering a high-level webinar on trade issues and conducted a member survey to gather meaningful data to inform our position on Trump administration policies. 

  • MEMA formed a Trade Working Group. Initial meetings have allowed MEMA to take a leadership role in drafting an industry position on NAFTA reform.

  • MEMA is reaching out to Commerce Secretary nominee Wilbur Ross requesting the opportunity to meet face-to-face.   

For many motor vehicle suppliers, a renegotiation of NAFTA provides both an opportunity and a challenge. While it opens the door to modernizing an agreement that could be improved, it also requires that we focus on key issues for suppliers and their customers to ensure the continued viability of a strong North American market. 

MEMA expects speculation and uncertainly to continue regarding the U.S. tax and trade environment. We have strengthened our advocacy activities on behalf of our members and will work to represent the business interests of motor vehicle suppliers during this time of transition. 

To read a letter from MEMA President & CEO Steve Handschuh on NAFTA to MEMA and its division members, please click here.

For more information on trade issues, please contact Ann Wilson or Tom Lehner