WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) applauds the administration’s continued focus to protect intellectual property. However, the organization opposes using tariffs to curb intellectual property theft. MEMA believes that retaliatory tariffs could negate the Trump administration’s recent successful work on behalf of American companies, such as tax reform.
The tariffs are taxes that hurt U.S. companies, put jobs at risk and negatively impact consumers, the group stated. In May, MEMA testified before the United States Trade Representative (USTR) against these tariffs. During its testimony, MEMA highlighted that IP theft protections are critical but argued tariffs on motor vehicle parts manufacturers will be ineffective in obtaining these goals. To the contrary, such prohibitively high tariffs on these products will disproportionately harm U.S. businesses, including the motor parts and equipment manufacturers MEMA represents.
Motor vehicle parts manufacturers conduct almost one‐third of the annual $18 billion investment by the automotive industry in research and development, and for decades MEMA has advocated for strong global protections of IP investments. Given this investment in innovation, intellectual property rights protection is critical to the sustained success of the motor vehicle parts manufacturing industry. Motor vehicle parts are particularly vulnerable to counterfeiting and IP theft activities. Strong IPR protections are needed to encourage companies to support important research and development investment and to foster innovation as IPR owners are provided certainty that their inventions and technological advancements will be safe from infringers.
Tariffs are not the solution to this substantial and growing problem, the group states. Instead, MEMA supports stronger bi-lateral engagement where China and the U.S. work together to protect the valuable IP of our members, or the U.S. leveraging the powerful relationships we have with other trading partners to pressure China to enforce their own IP laws and comply with international IP laws and regulations.
The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) and its four specialized divisions comprise a leading international trade association in the fast-changing mobility industry. Representing vehicle suppliers that manufacture and remanufacture components, technologies, and systems for use in passenger cars and heavy trucks, MEMA serves as a critical bridge between high-tech capabilities in new vehicles –such as autonomous vehicles and vehicle connectivity—and the “nuts and bolts” of vehicle manufacturing. MEMA works at state, federal, and international levels to ensure that the marketplace and public policy support the development of advanced, transformative technologies that enable safer, smarter, and more efficient vehicles. MEMA’s members are represented through four divisions: Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA), Motor & Equipment Remanufacturers Association (MERA), and Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA). For more information on how MEMA is leading transformation in the mobility industry, visit www.mema.org.
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