August 24, 2018—Auto Care Association (ACA) president and CEO Bill Hanvey testified earlier today before the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in Washington, D.C. on the latest proposed tariff list on imports from China. Hanvey warned the administration that the cost of an additional tariff would cause severe economic harm to the U.S. automotive industry and U.S. consumers.
The tariffs are part of USTR’s Section 301 investigation to address unfair acts, policies and practices by China that are related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation. Two tariff lists on imports from China have already been finalized and duties have gone into effect.
“The greatest impact from this action will be on U.S. consumers who will experience higher repair costs, likely leading to the delay of critical vehicle maintenance procedures that may result in serious highway safety concerns,” Hanvey said in his testimony. Hanvey shared the example of brake rotors, which are no longer manufactured in the U.S. despite increased demand due to the number of vehicles on the road.
“Considering that there are over 2,600 different part numbers in the brake rotor sector, there is no viable option to meet the demand, nor any source of the parts in the U.S. market for every year, make and model vehicle on the road,” Hanvey said. “Therefore, regardless of any tariff imposed, brake rotors will continue to be imported, the vast majority from China.”
Hanvey explained that imposing tariffs would raise prices for consumers and delay repair of critical vehicle wear items that need to be replaced to ensure passenger and pedestrian safety.
ACA urges the Trump administration to continue engaging in dialogue with China to protect U.S. investments and promote free, fair and reciprocal trade. The association does not believe the imposition of tariffs would eliminate China’s unfair trade practices, but would raise prices for U.S. consumers, and cause U.S. companies to be less competitive in the U.S. and in global markets.