The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) has written a letter to President Donald Trump stating its opposition to tariffs on steel and aluminum announced by the White House on Thursday, March 1.
MEMA represents more than 1,000 companies that manufacture motor vehicle parts and components in the U.S.
“The tariffs announced today will be detrimental to the motor vehicle parts supplier industry and the 871,000 US jobs it directly creates,” said Steve Handschuh, MEMA president and CEO. “We have voiced repeatedly that while we support the administration’s focus on strong domestic steel and aluminum markets, tariffs limit access to necessary specialty products, raise the cost of motor vehicles to consumers, and impair the industry’s ability to compete in the global marketplace. This is not a step in the right direction.”
MEMA also argued that tariffs on steel and aluminum would hurt the largest sector of manufacturing jobs in the U.S., putting American jobs and the nation’s economic security at risk.
“Many specialty materials and components imported by motor vehicle suppliers are used by hundreds of vehicle parts manufacturers. Suppliers’ access to these specialized products is critical to the industry and our national economy,” Handschuh said in a letter to President Trump. “MEMA member companies operate in an integrated global supply chain with both suppliers and customers inside and outside of the United States. This model has allowed for continued growth in motor vehicle production as well as U.S. employment in our sector-¦ [D]isruptions to supply chains or increases in production costs will not contribute to the national security of the United States.”
Motor vehicle suppliers currently anticipate continued job growth for workers such as engineers, technicians and skilled trades. This magnitude of job growth, however, assumes no adjustments to steel imports, according to MEMA.
“Putting American jobs at risk,” MEMA stated in a news release, “runs counter to the Trump administration’s efforts to bring jobs back to the U.S.”