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Press Release: MEMA Joins Dozens of Business Groups Seeking an End to Metals Tariffs

Date: January 23, 2019

The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association joined more than 45 other groups representing a wide range of business sectors calling for an end on tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on steel and aluminum imports from Canada and Mexico.

In a Jan. 23 letter addressed to Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the ad hoc coalition emphasized the importance of lifting steel and aluminum tariffs with North American trade partners in advance of ratification of the new United States, Mexico, Canada Agreement (USMCA). The USMCA could replace the current North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which has been in place for nearly 25 years.

“For many farmers, ranchers and manufacturers, the damage from the reciprocal trade actions in the steel dispute far outweighs any benefit that may accrue to them from the USMCA. The continued application of metal tariffs means ongoing economic hardship for U.S. companies that depend on imported steel and aluminum, but that are not exempted from these tariffs. Producers of agricultural and manufactured products that are highly dependent on the Canadian and Mexican markets are also suffering serious financial losses,” the letter says. “We urge you to take all necessary steps to resolve this matter so that zero-tariff North American trade can resume, and we can turn our attention to working with you to gain prompt Congressional approval of the USMCA.”

The letter is one piece of a multipronged effort on the part of MEMA to encourage the elimination of steel and aluminum tariffs on these and other trade partners.

“The success of our industry and the continued employment of hundreds of thousands of American depends on a strong, functioning North American supply chain,” MEMA said in an official statement in November . “Yet, in order for USMCA to achieve success, the parties must conclude negotiations to exempt Mexican and Canadian imports from Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum. These tariffs are currently costing our industry hundreds of millions of dollars, negating any opportunity to invest in more U.S. manufacturing capacity or workforce development. USMCA will not create the desired opportunities for the United States without addressing steel and aluminum tariffs.”

About MEMA
The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) and its four specialized divisions comprise a leading international trade association in the fast-changing mobility industry. Representing vehicle suppliers that manufacture and remanufacture components, technologies, and systems for use in passenger cars and heavy trucks, MEMA serves as a critical bridge between high-tech capabilities in new vehicles –such as autonomous vehicles and vehicle connectivity—and the “nuts and bolts” of vehicle manufacturing. MEMA works at state, federal and international levels to ensure that the marketplace and public policy support the development of advanced, transformative technologies that enable safer, smarter, and more efficient vehicles. By directly employing more than 871,000 Americans and generating a total employment impact of 4.26 million jobs, MEMA’s member companies are the largest sector of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. MEMA’s members are represented through four divisions: Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA), Motor & Equipment Remanufacturers Association (MERA), and Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA). For more information on how MEMA is leading transformation in the mobility industry, visit

Based in North Carolina, HDMA is the Commercial Vehicle Division of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), a major industry association with a forward looking strategy and a 111 year legacy of advocacy for the motor vehicle supplier industry.
A member driven organization, HDMA provides industry leadership for NAFTA based original equipment and aftermarket suppliers in the on and off-highway commercial vehicle equipment industry. This is accomplished through a range of services to its more than 200 member companies, which represent direct employment of nearly 200,000 in their US facilities.
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