The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), which represents more than 1,000 companies that manufacture motor vehicle parts and components in the United States, has issued a statement strongly opposing the tariffs on steel and aluminum announced on March 1 by the Trump administration.
“The tariffs announced today will be detrimental to the motor vehicle parts supplier industry and the 871,000 U.S. jobs it directly creates,” said MEMA President and CEO Steve Handschuh. “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 has strongly 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 Donald 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.”
The motor vehicle supplier industry, which is the largest sector of manufacturing jobs in the United States, currently anticipates continued job growth for workers such as engineers, technicians and skilled trades – a magnitude of job growth that President Trump has made a priority. However, this growth assumes no adjustments to steel imports. Putting American jobs at risk runs counter to the Trump administration’s efforts to bring jobs back to the U.S.