- capital report: dec. 10, 2019
capital report: dec. 10, 2019
Congress Reaches Deal on USMCA
Congress and the White House have come to an agreement on the
United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), all but ensuring the President’s
free trade pact will be finalized. The agreement, which was initially negotiated
by the three North American nations more than a year ago, will now include stronger
labor and environmental enforcement provisions, at the request of House Speaker
Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Democrats.
Representatives from the U.S., Mexico and Canada have
traveled to Mexico City to sign the compromise agreement, which will then be
voted on by each country’s legislature. Speaker Pelosi has informed her
colleagues that she expects to schedule a vote in the House for some time next
The changes pertaining to autos and auto parts remain intact.
Seventy five percent of a new vehicle’s content must come from North America in
order to receive duty-free treatment, up from the current 62.5% under NAFTA.
Further, as of 2020, 30% of auto manufacturing must be completed by workers in
the U.S., Canada and Mexico earning a wage of at least $16 per hour.
The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) reported
earlier this year that despite an expected drop in new vehicle sales due to the
new rules of origin, the USMCA is expected to increase U.S. GDP by 0.35% and
create 176,000 jobs in the long run.
Questions? Contact Brielle Hopkins.
Right to Repair 2.0 Headed to 2020 Ballot in Massachusetts
On Dec. 4, the Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition
announced the collection and submission of 102,000 signatures, which are required
for new Right to Repair language to appear on the 2020 ballot. This new
language will ensure that real-time diagnostic and repair information transmitted
wirelessly will be made available to car owners, who then may grant access any repair
shop, dealer or automaker of their choosing.
The coalition had been pushing for bipartisan legislation
filed this year in both state chambers and co-sponsored by 55 legislators;
however, due to a lack of progress, the coalition had decided to once again
bring the issue before Massachusetts voters. In 2012, the coalition passed compromise
Right to Repair legislation and achieved 86% support for the issue at the
Questions? Contact Aaron
Read the release: https://www.aftermarketnews.com/updated-massachusetts-right-to-repair-law-headed-to-ballot/?oly_enc_id=2915F8517689E1V
Trump vs. California: Auto Emissions Lawsuit Heats Ups as Administration
Asks Court to Throw Out Lawsuit
In court papers made public on Dec. 3, the Trump
administration’s lawyers called for a U.S. District Court judge to toss out a
lawsuit brought by California and 22 other states over auto emissions rules
that would force automakers to adopt higher fuel economy standards for their
vehicles. While California was granted the ability by the Obama administration in
2009 to set stricter emissions regulations, last year, Trump revoked that
authority, prompting a lawsuit brought in federal court by the states along
with Washington, D.C., New York City and Los Angeles.
Political reasons notwithstanding, the administration’s
legal rationale for revoking California’s authority relies on the notion that
by setting stricter emissions regulations for vehicles, the state is thereby
imposing stricter fuel economy rules, which are supposed to set nationally by
the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). California and the
other parties to the lawsuit obviously disagree, claiming that they have always
had the right to regulate air quality within their borders.
An additional component to the administration’s argument
relates to whether this case belongs in the U.S. Court of Appeals as opposed to
trial-level District Court.
Automakers are split on the White House’s strategy. Some, including
General Motors and Fiat Chrysler, have endorsed the president’s decision to
revoke California’s authority, while others, including Ford, Volkswagen, Honda
and BMW, have reached an agreement with California to voluntarily adhere to
stricter emissions and fuel economy standards.
Questions? Contact Aaron
Trump Announces Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum from Brazil and Argentina
Last week, President Trump announced via Twitter that Section
232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Brazil and Argentina would take
effect immediately, reversing course from the administration’s June 2018
decision to impose quotas on these two countries instead of tariffs. Understandably,
there is much concern from the steel market over this news, as there are shipments
awaiting delivery to the U.S. and orders have already been placed for early
2020. However, as of today, this action had not yet been made official as there
has been no formal announcement from the White House, adding even more
This announcement comes shortly after a court ruled that the
president could not increase Section 232 tariffs at any time and instead must
follow the timeline put in place by the Section 232 statute. The president had
attempted to double Turkey’s steel tariff from 25% to 50%, but because he did
so outside of the 90-day window following the Section 232 report, the U.S.
Court of International Trade ruled that he did not have to power to increase the
Questions? Contact Brielle Hopkins.
ACPAC Wrapping Up 2019 with Strong Support at AAPEX
At this year’s AAPEX in Las Vegas, Nev., the Auto Care
Political Action Committee (ACPAC) thanked its members for their generosity in
2019 with exclusive events and perks, while also raising nearly $30,000 leading
up to and on-site at the event. ACPAC hosted the AWDA crowd with a margarita
reception and further thanked its members at AAPEX with daily to-go lunches in
the ACPAC Lounge. Also, Presidents Club donors were able to meet with and obtain
an exclusive photo with former president George W. Bush, the featured speaker
at the Opening Session. ACPAC’s main focus is to support our allies on Capitol Hill,
but it is important that we recognize the significant investment members of the
Auto Care Association continue to make year after year.
The more than $280,000 raised by ACPAC in 2019 is a
reflection of the auto care industry’s commitment to its future. However, it is
important to remember that 2020 is an important election year and our allies
will need dollars early in the year to ward off opponents and be able to get
their message on the airwaves. ACPAC dollars support the campaigns of members
of Congress who support and understand our issues. These funds also provide
unique opportunities for our lobbyists to get in front of new lawmakers and
explain how issues like tariffs and vehicle data affect aftermarket businesses.
As demonstrated by the increased tariffs on auto parts and the growing concern
over access to in-vehicle data, it is important that our industry not sit on
the sidelines as decisions are made in Washington. Our lobbying efforts,
coupled with a strong political action committee, help us be heard in
Washington. ACPAC speaks for the
industry with one loud voice and together, we will be heard.
Contact Hailey Ray
to learn more.
Get the Latest Coverage of the 2020 Elections
Thanks to support from the Auto Care Political Action
Committee (ACPAC), we are pleased
to bring Capital Report readers the latest Inside Elections with Nathan
Gonzalez, a bi-monthly nonpartisan analysis of U.S. elections.
Read the latest issue: https://www.autocare.org/Government-Affairs/Capital-Report/Election-Updates/inside-elections-9-27-19/