Eric Sills, CEO and president of Standard Motor Products Inc. (SMP) and incoming board chairman of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), testified yesterday, Thursday, Oct. 14, before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection & Commerce on supply chain concerns in the automotive aftermarket chaired by Chairwoman Schakowsky.
During the hearing titled, “Investing in American Jobs Legislation to Strengthen Manufacturing and Competitiveness,” Sills spoke to strengthening supply chain resiliency and considering actions to address both the short- and long-term crises we face.
Representing SMP and its 2,500 U.S. employees in eight States, Sills was one of only four witnesses invited to testify to discuss investing in domestic manufacturing and American competitiveness. “The impacts from COVID-19 followed by the increased consumer and industry demand in 2021 have exposed the vulnerabilities of this 21st century supply chain,” commented Mr. Sills. “A combination of time, tailored trade policy, and vigorous domestic measures are necessary for the U.S. to restore and reinvigorate our supply chain.”
He focused on three areas of concern:
- Fundamental supply chain challenges
- Workforce challenges that exacerbate domestic and global competitiveness
- Steps to improve supply chain resiliency
Regarding what steps should be taken, Sills advocated for a targeted approach to re-shoring of manufacturing, stating that “[SMP] will continue to focus on U.S. manufacturing of high-value-added complex technologies that enhance our market share leadership. This approach will strengthen our overall national competitive position while keeping manufacturing and consumer costs down. Again, we do strongly believe in the benefits of USMCA, which provide the opportunity for cost optimization within the region and thus global competitiveness, with a reduced reliance on China and transoceanic freight, while also benefitting our trade allies.” In addition, Mr. Sills highlighted SMP’s focus of supplying consumers with high-quality replacement parts to keep America’s 280 million vehicles operating on the roads safely and efficiently and emphasized the legislature’s role in supporting American competitiveness and a robust supply chain for any products critical to the country’s infrastructure. Mr. Sills stated, “We must focus on policies and initiatives that aid in securing reliable and cost-effective access to [consumers’] parts needs.”
Read Sills’ full testimony HERE.
Additional witnesses at the hearing included:
- Caolionn O’Connell, Ph.D, Senior Physical Scientist, RAND Corporation
- Scott Paul, President, Alliance for American Manufacturing
- Scott Lincicome, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, CATO Institute
The hearing took place virtually and can be viewed on the Committee webpage here.