MEMA Trade Resources

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Tariffs:

Section 232 Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum

Section 232 Tariffs on Automobiles and Automotive Parts

China Section 301 Investigation 

Trade Agreements:

United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) - formerly the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement

U.S.-European Union Agreement

U.S.-United Kingdom Agreement

How You Can Get Involved

MEMA Trade FAQs

Section 232 Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum


​​MEMA Staff Contacts: Ann Wilson and Catherine Boland

Take Action: Contact your members of Congress and urge for changes in the exclusions process on steel and aluminum tariffs

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BACKGROUND

In 2017, the Secretary of Commerce, under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act, initiated investigations to determine the effects of steel and aluminum imports on America’s national security.  The President can use his statutory authority under Section 232 to “adjust the imports” as necessary, through means such as tariffs or quotas.

In January 2018, Secretary Ross concluded that imported steel and aluminum “threaten to impair the national security.”

Effective March 23, 2018, President Trump imposed a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports. 

  • March 8 Presidential Proclamations:  Aluminum (HTS codes); Steel (HTS codes)

  • March 22 Presidential Proclamations: Suspends tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, the European Union and South Korea until May 1, 2018. 

  • March 28 Exemption for South Korea: USTR announces permanent exemption for South Korea from steel tariffs, effective May 1. Tariffs are still in effect for aluminum imports

  • ​April 30 Presidential Proclamations: Extends suspension of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union until June 1, 2018.  Australia, Argentina, and Brazil reached agreements in principle.

  • May 31 Presidential Proclamations: Imposes a 25 percent tariff on steel (full annex) imports and 10 percent tariff on aluminum (full annex) imports from Canada, Mexico, and the EU effective June 1, 2018.  MEMA's statement on the Canada, EU, and Mexican tariffs can be viewed here.

  • August 29 Presidential Proclamations: Allows Commerce to provide targeted relief from quotas on steel from South Korea, Argentina, and Brazil, and aluminum from Argentina.  Companies can apply for product exclusions based on insufficient quantity or quality available from U.S. steel or aluminum producers.  Extends retroactive relief for all granted product exclusion requests back to the date of filing.

STATUS

Effective March 23, 2018, President Trump imposed a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports. 

As of June 1, steel and aluminum imports from all countries are subject to the tariffs, except for Argentina, Australia Brazil and South Korea, which have quotas in place. Click on U.S. Customs & Border Protection box to read more on the quotas. 

Quotas are broken down into calendar quarters. Once a quota is reached no more imports will be allowed (8/29/18 update: product exclusion requests allowed for countries with quotas) . Options will include warehouse, foreign trade zone, exportation, or destruction. No drawback shall be available with respect to the Section 232 duties imposed on any aluminum or steel article.

On June 20, 2018, the Department of Commerce announced it had begun granting product exclusion requests.

On August 29, 2018, President Trump signed a proclamation allowing Commerce to provide targeted relief from quotas on steel from South Korea, Argentina, and Brazil, and aluminum from Argentina.  Companies can apply for product exclusions based on insufficient quantity or quality available from U.S. steel or aluminum producers.  Proclamation also extends retroactive relief for all granted product exclusion requests back to the date of filing. 

9/11/18: The BIS published an interim final rule (IFR) on Revisions to Requirements for Submissions of Exclusion Requests and Objections to Submitted Requests for Steel and Aluminum in the Federal Register

FILING FOR PRODUCT EXCLUSIONS

Companies can file for product exclusions from the tariffs through the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). 

Decisions from the BIS will be made on a case-by-case basis generally in 90 days from date of application. U.S. parties have 30 days after the submission to file objections.  Commerce then has approximately 60 days to review the submission and any objections.  All exclusion requests will be made public. Exclusions, if granted, are only good for 1 year and are eligible for a retroactive refund. Granted product exclusions are retroactive to the date the request for exclusion was filed (this was updated in the August 29 Presidential Proclamation). Please note that there are separate federal dockets to which you upload your applications.

9/11/18: The BIS published an interim final rule (IFR) on Revisions to Requirements for Submissions of Exclusion Requests and Objections to Submitted Requests for Steel and Aluminum in the Federal Register. ​ A number of changes were included:

  • Rebuttal and surrebuttal process - The rebuttal and surrebuttal periods each last seven days and will only start after all objections (or rebuttals) have been posted to regulations.gov. BIS will post a daily list of rebuttal and surrebuttal period openings on https://www.commerce.gov/page/section-232-investigations. If you have a pending exclusion request with objections, check this list often. 

    • The rebuttal process is only 7 calendar days, so check regularly. Please note that the rebuttal form can only be filed by the company that originally filed the Exclusion Request. Commerce posted the forms and a guide on regulations.gov:

  • Tightened requirements for objections, including a more detailed timeline for production of the article

  • Process for exclusions from quotas

  • Codify procedures for protecting and submitting confidential business information. Commerce is now allowing a separate email to be submitted with CBI. 

On November 26, 2018, Commerce released a FRN regarding the participation in testing the new Commerce 232 exclusion process portal. Public testing was held on December 6th and 7th. A new 232 exclusion portal for steel and aluminum tariffs is expected early 2019.

MEMBERS ONLY: Learn more about trade tools for duty minimization and mitigation with our webinar featuring Arent Fox.

U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION

As of June 1, South Korea, Argentina, and Brazil have quotas in place with the U.S. and are exempted from the Sec. 232 steel and aluminum tariffs.  

Once the quotas are reached (on a quarterly basis), no more imports will be allowed (8/29/18 update: product exclusion requests allowed for countries with quotas).  Options will include warehouse, foreign trade zone, exportation, or destruction. No drawback shall be available with respect to the Section 232 duties imposed on any aluminum or steel article.

U.S. CBP Entry Summary - U.S. Customs and Border Protection posted under its “Administration” section of its website an "Entry Summary" page. Entry summary refers to the documentation necessary to enable them to assess duties, collect statistics, and determine compliance with the law.

Main Page: https://www.cbp.gov/trade/programs-administration/entry-summary 

Duty on Imports of Steel and Aluminum Articles under Section 232: Includes filing instructions and other information.

Quota Bulletins 

ACTIONS MEMA HAS TAKEN ON YOUR BEHALF

 

  • May 31, 2017 -  MEMA comments to Commerce advocating against blanket tariffs and quotas on steel

  • June 20, 2017 - MEMA comments to Commerce advocating against blanket tariffs and quotas on aluminum

  • February 13, 2018 - MEMA letter to President Trump urging against blanket tariffs and quotas on steel and aluminum

  • April 12, 2018 - Ann Wilson, MEMA’s Vice President of Government Affairs, testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee on the negative impact of both the Section 232 and 301 tariffs 

  • May 1, 2018 - MEMA responds to Trump administration extension of tariff exemptions

  • May 18, 2018 - MEMA comments to Commerce on interim final rule on requirements for submissions requesting exclusions from steel and aluminum tariffs 

  • May 31, 2018 - MEMA responds to Trump administration announcement of steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, the European Union, and Mexico

  • June 19, 2018 - MEMA joins with business associations to call for greater congressional oversight of U.S. trade policy

  • August 7, 2018 -MEMA statement for the hearing record to the House Ways and Means Committee on Section 232 steel and aluminum exclusion process

  • August 30, 2018 - MEMA’s Concerns about Section 232 Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum Heard: Product Exclusions now Available for Countries with Quotas, Retroactive Relief Changed to Date of Filing

  • November 13, 2018 - MEMA comments to Department of Commerce on Section 232 steel and aluminum interim final rule on exclusion requests and objections

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

 

  • MEMA Trade One-Pager

  • ​Arent Fox memos on proclamations and exclusions: MEMA members, please contact Melanie Weiland for a copy of the memos

  • MEMA member webinar on Section 232 exclusions: MEMA members, please contact Melanie Weiland for the webinar recording.

  • USTR Fact Sheet on Outcomes from Discussions with Korea impacting Sec. 232 Quotas on Korean imports (as well as the KORUS FTA and Currency)​

  • CBP Instructions on Korea Steel Quota

  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection Section 232 FAQs

  • March 8, 2018 letter from Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, raising concerns about the administration's tariffs on steel and aluminum and requesting information about the analysis and models that led to making the decision to enact tariffs

  • May 3, 2018 letter from the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee reiterating their earlier request for data and information about the Trump administration's decision to impose tariffs on aluminum and steel

  • May 7, 2018 letter signed by 39 members of Congress to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross urging the Secretary to make changes to the product exclusion process for Section 232 aluminum and steel tariffs that would allow the process to move more quickly 

 

MEMA MEDIA COVERAGE
FAQS

 

Basic Information

What is the difference between exemptions and exclusions? Exemptions apply to countries, whereas exclusions apply to products.

What products are subject to the tariff? Are finished goods, like vehicle parts, included? The scope of the proclamations is quite extensive and includes a wide array of imported milled and semi-finished articles of steel and aluminum. All products covered by the proclamations are listed by “HTS” codes (Harmonized Tariff Schedule). Per the proclamation, all products under the codes (including headings, subheadings) are in the scope of the action. 

The HTS codes subject to the action fall under the following chapters:

  • Chapter 72 Iron and steel;

  • Chapter 73 Articles of iron or steel; and,

  • Chapter 76 Aluminum and articles thereof.

Finished goods are not covered in the proclamations, such as auto parts found under Chapter 87.

Are these measures applicable only to country of origin? Yes. The Section 232 measures are based on the country of origin, not the country of export.

When do the tariffs expire? There is no sunset date for the Sec. 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum. The administration can cancel the tariffs by proclamation.

Exclusions Process

Who can file for exclusions? The company filing for the exclusion should be the company purchasing the steel/aluminum from overseas. If you purchase imported steel/aluminum from a distributor who purchases imports from overseas, then your distributor should file the exclusion request. 

Individuals and organizations using steel or aluminum in business activities in the United States may submit exclusion requests. Note that the completion of the form requires “importer of record” information. Trade associations are not eligible to request exclusions.

Who is granted the exclusion? The approval is granted to companies involved in the importing of steel and aluminum.

Where can I find the application forms?

US individuals or organizations that wish to submit requests for a product already approved for an exclusion may submit a supplemental request, but each request will be adjudicated independently (that is, one entity’s request may be granted while another entity’s request may be denied.)

Can the application be for multiple products? No. Every individual size, diameter, chemical composition requires an individual exclusion request form.

Will business protected information (BPI) or confidential business information (CBI)? No. The instructions from the Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security indicate that companies should not include BPI or CBI in their application because all applications are submitted to a public docket. 

How long will my exclusion last? A product exclusion is good for one year from the date the exclusion was granted. You will need to reapply for any exclusions for future years. 

Will duty drawback be available? According to the US Customs and Border Protection administrative instructions on steel and aluminum “No drawback shall be available with respect to the Section 232 duties imposed on any aluminum or steel article.”

When did the exemption for South Korea go into effect and how long is the quota period? The President announced an absolute quota for steel mill articles from South Korea, effective for goods entered for consumption, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after 12:01 a.m. ET on May 1, 2018. The quota period is Jan. 1, 2018, through Dec. 31, 2018, and subsequent annual periods.

What happens once the South Korea quota is reached? Each quarter has a limit of 30 percent of the annual aggregate. No more imports will be allowed once the quota limit is reached. Options include warehouse, foreign trade zone, exportation, or destruction.  Update 8/29/18: the President has signed a proclamation allowing for product exclusions for quota countries. View more in U.S. Customs and Border Protection tab.

What is the status of exemptions for the EU, Canada and Mexico? As of June 1, the exemptions for the EU, Canada and Mexico have expired. Importers can apply for exclusions for products from these countries.

What is the status of exemptions for Australia, Argentina and Brazil? As of May 1, agreements in principle have been reached with Australia, Argentina and Brazil. Specific details are yet to be released.

 

 

 

Section 232 Tariffs on Automobiles and Automotive Parts


MEMA Staff Contacts: Ann Wilson and Catherine Boland

Take Action: Contact your members of Congress today and urge them to voice their opposition of potential tariffs on autos and auto parts to the administration

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BACKGROUND

On May 23, the Commerce Department announced it is launching a Section 232 investigation on passenger vehicles and automotive parts and looking at “whether such imports are weakening our internal economy and may impair the national security.”

STATUS

On May 23, the Department of Commerce initiated the investigation to determine the effects on the national security of imports of automobiles and automotive parts.  You can view the Federal Register notice here (extension of comment period here). Once the investigation is initiated, Commerce has 270 days to issue its report on the investigation and recommendations to the President.  The President then has 90 days to determine whether he agrees with Commerce and impose any tariffs.

February 17, 2019: Hours before the 90 day deadline, Commerce announced they submitted the Section 232 report on Automobiles and Automobile Parts to the President. The report has not been made public yet. MEMA's comments on the subject matter can be found here.

ACTIONS MEMA HAS TAKEN ON YOUR BEHALF
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

 

 

 

China Section 301 Investigation and Actions to Address Intellectual Property Violations


MEMA Staff Contacts: Ann WilsonCatherine Boland, and Leigh Merino

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BACKGROUND

 

On March 22, President Donald Trump announced actions against China to impose tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of imports (USTR Press Release). These tariffs are based on findings of IP theft and technology transfer in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) Section 301 investigation report. These tariffs are one of a set of various planned remedies.

On March 23, the USTR also launched a new WTO challenge against China.

Additionally, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin was directed to deliver a list of restrictions on Chinese investment, including state-sponsored investment funds, acquiring American companies to gain access to their technology.

STATUS

 

To date, there are 3 tranches of tariffs on Chinese imports

  • 25 percent tariffs went into effect on $34 billion worth of imports on July 6, 2018

    • On December 28, 2018, USTR issued a notice of product exclusions will apply as of the July 6 effective date and will extend for one year after the publication of the notice. U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued instructions on entry guidance and implementation. 


  • 25 percent tariffs went into effect on $16 billion worth of imports on August 23, 2018. 


  • 10 percent tariffs went into effect on roughly $200 billion worth of imports on September 24, 2018. These tariffs increase to 25 percent on January 1, 2019.  

    • The USTR planned a tariff increase on January 1, 2019 from 10 to 25 percent. However, that increase was temporatily postponed to increase 12:01 a.m. March 2, 2019 while the U.S. and China conduct negotiations.

    • Following a round of talks in late February, President Trump informally announced he would continue the delay beyond March 2. The Federal Register Notice of the delay can be found here.

    • On May 5th, 2019, President Trump tweeted that the tariff would increase to 25% on Friday, May 10th stating the negoation between the U.S. and China were moving too slowly. The Federal Register Notice of the increase can be found here.

      MEMA will notify members when an exclusion process for the third tranche is put in place.

View MEMA's Section 301 tariffs timeline here.

USTR Section 301 Investigations web page here.

Note: Importers should be aware that additional tariffs imposed under Section 232 and 301 are included in the calculation for continuous bond sufficiency limits. As a result, companies paying Section 232 and 301 tariffs may be getting notices from U.S. CBP in the coming months requiring importers to raise the amount/coverage on their customs bond.

1ST TARIFF LIST - $34 BILLION

25 percent tariffs went into effect on July 6, 2018 on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports

  • View list here – Annex A/B

  • China concurrently announced 25 percent retaliatory tariffs on 545 American items.

  • U.S. Customs posted guidance about the Sec. 301 25 percent tariffs on its website.

Product Exclusions Process:

The product exclusion process for the 1st list of tariffs closed on October 9, 2018. 

Responses to a request for exclusion of a particular product are due 14 days after the request is posted in docket number USTR-2018-0025 on www.regulations.gov. Any replies to responses to an exclusion request are due 7 days after the close of the 14 day response period.  USTR is not notifying companies of exclusion request responses, so please remember to check the docket regularly. 

Any exclusion granted will apply retroactively to the July 6 date of the imposition of the duties.  

Exclusion Notices for List 1 ($34 billion) have been published as follows:

December 28, 2018 Federal Register Notice

March 25, 2019 Federal Register Notice

April 18, 2019 Federal Register Notice

2ND TARIFF LIST - $16 BILLION

25 percent tariffs went into effect on August 23, 2018 on $16 billion worth of Chinese imports

Product Exclusions Process:

Companies can file for product exclusions from the second round of China 301 tariffs through the USTR.

USTR must receive requests to exclude a particular product by December 18, 2018 (this will be the only opportunity for members to submit exclusion requests for the second tranche, it's not a rolling submissions process like steel and aluminum).

Responses to a request for exclusion of a particular product are due 14 days after the request is posted in docket number USTR-2018-0032 on www.regulations.gov.  Any replies to responses to an exclusion request are due 7 days after the close of the 14 day response period. 

Any exclusion granted will apply retroactively to the August 23 date of the imposition of the duties.  

3RD TARIFF LIST - $200 BILLION

10 percent tariffs went into effect on September 24, 2018 on roughly $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.  These tariffs will increase to 25 percent on January 1, 2019.

  • View Federal Register notice here;  View list here.  The final list has 5,745 full or partial lines of the original 6,031 tariff lines proposed back in July. The Federal Register notice does not mention an exclusions process.  

  • The President indicated in his announcement of the tariffs that "if China takes retaliatory action … we will immediately pursue phase three, which is tariffs on approximately $267 billion of additional imports."  

  • China has announced 5 / 10 percent tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods on Sept. 24, the same day the third round of Sec. 301 tariffs went into effect.

ACTIONS MEMA HAS TAKEN ON YOUR BEHALF
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

 

MEMA MEDIA COVERAGE
FAQS

What products are subject to the tariff? Are vehicle parts included? The list of products subject to the 25 percent tariff can be found here (Annex A/B).  HTS Subheading 8708, which covers motor vehicle parts, is not included in this list. However, imports under other categories of parts and materials that are purchased by suppliers to make components are included. It is recommended you consult the list to see what is included.

​USTR also announced 25 percent tariffs on $16 billion of additional products, listed in Second Tranche, which went into effect on August 23, 2018 and 10 percent tariffs on an additional list of $200 billion of Chinese imports went into effect on September 24, 2018 (10 percent tariffs will increase to 25 percent on Jan. 1, 2018).

When do the tariffs take effect? Products listed in Annex A/B are subject to a 25 percent tariff effective July 6, 2018.  Products listed in the second tranche are subject to a 25 percent tariff effective August 23, 2018.  Products listed in the third tranche are subject to a 10 percent tariff effective September 24, 2018 (these will increase to 25 percent on January 1, 2019).

When do the tariffs expire? There is no sunset date for the Sec. 301 tariffs on Chinese imports. The administration can cancel the tariffs by proclamation.

Were there new products included in the USTR action? In the President's September 17 announcement on the third tranche of tariffs, he indicated that "if China takes retaliatory action … we will immediately pursue phase three, which is tariffs on approximately $267 billion of additional imports."

Will there be an exclusions process? Yes. Product exclusion requests for Annex A/B were due by October 9, 2018.  Product exclusion requests for the second tranche are due by December 18, 2018. 

 

United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)


MEMA Staff Contacts: Ann Wilson and Leigh Merino

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BACKGROUND

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), implemented on January 1, 1994, is a trade agreement between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. NAFTA has played a critical role in the development and strengthening of various North American supply chains and has been effective for the overall U.S. vehicle industry.

In August 2017, the parties commenced negotiations to review and revise the current agreement. Several formal negotiating rounds have occurred since then with many intersessional meetings. During negotiations, MEMA supported the administration’s initiatives to modernize the agreement that creates a more competitive U.S. manufacturing environment and concurrently strengthens the North American supply chain.

By August 31, the U.S. and Mexico reached an agreement; by September 30, Canada had joined in on the agreement. When Canada joined, the draft text was made public. By November 30, the final text was signed by President Trump, President Peña Nieto and Prime Minster Trudeau.

STATUS

The United States, Mexico and Canada signed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on November 30, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina during the G20 Summit. View MEMA’s Statement on signing the new trade deal here.

USMCA Resources:

October 12, 2018, the U.S. International Trade Commission initiated an investigation on the economic and industry impacts of the USMCA (Inv. No. TPA-105-003). The US ITC has up to 105 days from the time the agreement is signed to write its report and make it public.

  • November 15, 2018 – US ITC Public Hearing; View MEMA’s testimony here.

  • December 20, 2018 – Deadline for Written Comments. View MEMA's comments here.

ACTIONS MEMA HAS TAKEN ON YOUR BEHALF

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

U.S.-Japan Agreement


MEMA Staff Contacts: Ann Wilson and Leigh Merino

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BACKGROUND

On October 16, 2018, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) notified Congress that the Trump administration intends to enter into negotiations for a trade agreement with Japan. This notification is part of the Trade Promotion Authority process, which requires ongoing consultations with Congress.  You can view the notification here

STATUS
  • October 26, 2018: USTR published a Federal Register notice of public hearing and request for comments on the negotiating objectives for a U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement.

  • November 26, 2018: MEMA submitted written comments

  • December 10, 2018: USTR held Public Hearing (see transcript); MEMA testified (see statement

  • December 21, 2018: USTR published a summary of its Negotiating Objectives

 

U.S.-European Union Agreement


MEMA Staff Contacts: Ann Wilson and Leigh Merino
 

BACKGROUND

On October 16, 2018, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) notified Congress that the Trump administration intends to enter into negotiations for a trade agreement with the E.U. This notification is part of the Trade Promotion Authority process, which requires ongoing consultations with Congress.  You can view the notification here

STATUS

The USTR published in the Federal Register a request for comments on the negotiating objectives for a U.S.-EU Trade Agreement.

  • December 10, 2018: Written comments and requests to testify and statements are due. You can view MEMA's comments here.

  • December 14, 2018: USTR Public Hearing (9:30 a.m. at the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Auditorium)

 

U.S.-United Kingdom Agreement


MEMA Staff Contacts: Ann Wilson and Leigh Merino

BACKGROUND

On October 16, 2018, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) notified Congress that the Trump administration intends to enter into negotiations for a trade agreement with the United Kingdom This notification is part of the Trade Promotion Authority process, which requires ongoing consultations with Congress.  You can view the notification here

  • On February 28, 2019, USTR released the U.S.-UK Negotiating Objectives, which can be found here.

STATUS

The USTR published in the November 16 Federal Register a request for comments on the negotiating objectives for a U.S.-UK Trade Agreement.

  • January 15, 2019: Written comments and requests to testify and statements are due.

  • January 29, 2019: USTR Public Hearing (9:30 a.m. at the U.S. International Trade Commission, Main Hearing Room)

 

How You Can Get Involved


  • Visit the MEMA Action Center to contact the members of Congress representing you and your facilities and educate them on the impact trade policy could have on your business

  • Schedule a meeting with your members of Congress, in D.C. or their local office; or invite them to tour your manufacturing facilities. Find your members of Congress and their contact info here

  • Participate in the MEMA Trade Working Group or the MEMA Government Affairs Committee, which help develop policy and strategy positions, by contacting Melanie Weiland

  • Subscribe to MEMA’s Washington Insider newsletter by contacting Melanie Weiland

 

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