On June 18, Auto Care Association President and CEO Bill Hanvey testified before the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in Washington, D.C., on the latest proposed fourth Section 301 tariff list on imports from China.
Hanvey voiced the association’s support for the Trump administration’s efforts to address China’s unfair trade policies but warned the administration of the negative impact tariffs are having on the industry’s supply chain.
Hanvey testified that Auto Care Association members are experiencing many challenges as a result of the Section 301 tariffs, including heavy financial strain from absorbing tariff-related costs, decrease in demand for products, margin pressure and negative cash flow.
“As prices increase, not only are American jobs lost, but safety-critical maintenance is deferred, thus making American roads less safe,” Hanvey said in his testimony.
Hanvey went on to explain that the impact of tariffs extends far beyond just the cost of the tariff.
“One unintended consequence that every member is facing is the burden tariffs are having on company resources,” Hanvey said in his testimony. “According to a member, ‘Understanding the impact has consumed resources in purchasing, product management, sales and customer service functions that otherwise would be devoted to growing the business.’”
Earlier this week, the Auto Care Association submitted comments to the USTR regarding the impact of the proposed Section 301 tariffs on the aftermarket’s competitivenes. The Auto Care Association also joined 660 other trade associations and companies in a multi-industry, nationwide campaign letter urging the administration to avoid additional tariffs and reach a resolution with China.
The tariffs are part of the USTR’s Section 301 investigation to address unfair acts, policies and practices by China that are related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation. Three tariff lists on imports from China already have been finalized and duties have gone into effect.