MEMA Testifies at Commerce Dept. Tariff Hearing

"The imposition of tariffs is a risk to our economic security, jeopardizing supplier jobs and investments in the United States,” said Ann Wilson, MEMA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs.

Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA)

MEMA testified on behalf of motor vehicle suppliers at a U.S. 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 U.S., we will have little opportunity to recoup these losses for a decade,” she stated.

Wilson was among 45 representatives of global and U.S. 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. The 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% of the respondents said that a 20% tariff on imported automotive parts would have a net negative impact on their businesses.” MEMA survey respondents indicated that they would cut U.S. jobs, cut or delay U.S. R&D investment, shift production outside of the U.S., and/or modify sourcing, Wilson said.

“MEMA does support other alternatives to re-shore jobs into the U.S., 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 U.S. vehicle parts suppliers. This will impact employment and, in turn, weaken the U.S. economy,” she stated in her concluding comments. Wilson’s full testimony is available online.

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