The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) testified on behalf of motor vehicle suppliers this week at a US Department of Commerce hearing regarding the potential Section 232 tariffs on motor vehicles and auto parts.
“The importation of motor vehicle parts is not a risk to our national security,” said Ann Wilson, MEMA senior vice president of government affairs, during the testimony. “However, the imposition of tariffs is a risk to our economic security, jeopardizing supplier jobs and investments in the United States.
“To put it bluntly, if we lose the opportunity to develop and manufacture new technologies in the US, we will have little opportunity to recoup these losses for a decade.”
Wilson was among 45 representatives of global and US companies, labor and other organizations scheduled to speak at the hearing. The Section 232 investigation into motor vehicles and auto parts was ordered by the Trump administration in May. These tariffs, if they take effect, could seriously impact the motor vehicle parts supplier industry. This week’s hearing is part of the administration’s investigation of whether imported automobiles and automotive parts pose national security risks.
In her testimony, Wilson cited MEMA’s recent survey of its supplier members, calling the results “deeply troubling.” She noted, “Almost 80 percent of the respondents said that a 20 percent tariff on imported automotive parts would have a net negative impact on their businesses.”
MEMA survey respondents indicated they would cut US jobs, cut or delay US R&D investment, shift production outside of the US and/or modify sourcing, Wilson said.
“MEMA does support other alternatives to re-shore jobs into the US, including actively engaging with our trading partners to reduce tariffs and focusing significant resources towards workforce training to fill existing manufacturing and engineering jobs,” Wilson said. “The imposition of tariffs will have a negative impact on US vehicle parts suppliers.
“This will impact employment and, in turn, weaken the US economy.”
Wilson’s full testimony is available here.