SEMA eNews Vol. 21, No. 39, September 27, 2018

Senate Finance Committee Holds Hearing on Potential Tariffs on Imported Automobiles and Auto Parts

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

The U.S. Senate Finance Committee held a September 26 hearing on the impact of tariffs on the U.S. automotive industry. The hearing addressed an ongoing U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) investigation into whether tariffs should be imposed on imported automobiles and auto parts if it is found that they pose a threat to America’s national security (manufacturing base). The DOC will issue its findings and recommendations for presidential actions, if any. President Trump requested the investigation and has stated that he is considering global tariffs of 20% to 25%. The investigation applies to all types of cars and parts, including new cars, classic cars, OEM parts and specialty auto parts.

In their hearing statements, Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) made clear that concerns about the impact of auto tariffs are bipartisan. Chairman Hatch cautioned tariffs, “will have a negative impact on the U.S. auto industry and our economy.” Sen. Wyden echoed that tariffs would have the effect of “stifling investment, likely costing jobs in the long-run and raising costs for American consumers.”

The “Driving American Jobs” Coalition has been formed to oppose the tariffs. The Coalition includes SEMA and represents the broad scope of the auto industry, from automakers and dealers to parts manufacturers, distributors, retailers and service providers. The Coalition is united in opposing the referenced tariffs as being counterproductive and threatening American companies, workers and consumers. The message to the president and lawmakers has been to pursue trade infringements in a fashion that does not inflict unintended economic harm.

For more information about the auto tariffs or any other tariff issues, contact Stuart Gosswein at stuartg@sema.org.

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