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MEMA calls for trade talks, not tariffs on goods from China

The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association is again urging the White House to reconsider its trade strategy in the wake of Thursday’s announcement of a new 10% tariff on $300 billion in Chinese imports. The duty is set to take effect Sept. 1.

MEMA, the trade association for motor vehicle suppliers and parts manufacturers, has repeatedly called for China and the United States to work together to reach a trade agreement that works for both countries.

“It was our hope that on-going talks would lead to an agreement and allow the Trump administration to lift existing tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese inputs,” the association says in response to the latest tariff plan. “Today’s announcement by President Trump that he will impose tariffs on the remaining imports from China on dashes this hope.”

China serves as an important resource for materials and parts needed to build motor vehicle parts in the United States, according to MEMA. These tariffs will negatively impact the U.S. economy and will serve as “a thorn in the side of a global marketplace already under stress.”

“But most of all, these tariffs will hurt American consumers who rely on access to goods made in China. These tariffs are a tax on the American public,” the MEMA statement continues. “Consumers will pay more for the products they need to run their households, provide for their children, and purchase and maintain their vehicles. A 10% increase at the check-out counter will hurt America’s most vulnerable families.”

While MEMA opposes the wide application of tariffs, the organization says it does support the Trump administration’s efforts to end China’s practice of “intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer, and other well-known market distortions.” The theft of intellectual property 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, MEMA argues. 

Counterfeit goods from China are an ongoing challenge for motor vehicle parts manufacturers, the association notes. 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. 

​MEMA says it will continue to work closely with the administration and Congress on the protection of intellectual property and supports alternatives to imposing tariffs to achieve the administration’s goals.

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