SEMA States Concern for ‘Harmful Tariffs’

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) has joined forces with other U.S. manufacturers warning President Donald Trump and the U.S. Congress that newly-enacted tariffs have the potential to harm American companies, workers, and consumers.

SEMA member companies are concerned over higher prices for steel and aluminum because of tariffs imposed globally, according to the association.

“The specialty auto parts industry employs more than a million American workers who will be affected by the proposed tariffs,” said Wade Kawasaki, SEMA chairman of the board. “These U.S. workers produce products to personalize and enhance vehicle performance-from wheels and exhausts to engines and grilles-and many of these parts contain metals that are now subject to tariffs that will harm the industry.”

Price hikes began to show up in recent months under the threat of potential tariffs, according to SEMA. Fear of supply chain disruption beyond the metal market is now real as other nations consider retaliatory trade measures.

“We urge the president and lawmakers to use trade laws strategically so that unfair trade practices are addressed without harming U.S. businesses,” said Christopher J. Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “SEMA has joined forces with other domestic manufacturer associations to express concerns with the current approach and the potential downstream damage to domestic industries and American consumers.”

Although the steel and aluminum tariffs are only now going into effect, there is marketplace confusion surrounding their potential impact, according to SEMA. Government officials were caught off guard when the metal tariffs were imposed on a global scale and at higher levels than anticipated. This has resulted in a scramble to create an exclusion program for certain countries and companies and the exclusions are still uncertain.

SEMA is closely monitoring this matter, according to the association, and will keep members informed as developments unfold.

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