- capital report: july 31, 2018
capital report: july 31, 2018
Auto Care Industry of Refrigerant Sales Restrictions
On July 23, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
issued a letter addressed to the Auto Care Association to remind the industry
of new rules extending sales restrictions for ozone-depleting refrigerants to
include approved non-ozone depleting substitutes, primarily R-134a and
HFO-1234yf. Under the rules, which went into effect on Jan. 1, 2018, refrigerant
vendors must verify that the purchaser of a substitute refrigerant, supplied in
a two-pound container or larger, is either a certified technician or a shop
that employs at least one certified technician.
The letter states that, “While the sales restriction is new
as it relates to the sale of substitute refrigerant, there is a long-standing
requirement under Section 609 that technicians must be certified to service
motor vehicle air conditioners (MVACs) for consideration (e.g., payment or
bartering) regardless of the refrigerant used.”
The EPA letter further reminds refrigerant vendors that for
all containers two pounds and over, they must maintain invoices that indicate
the name of the purchaser, date of sale and quality of refrigerant purchased. Further,
if somebody other than the certified technician purchases the refrigerant, the
seller must maintain documentation provided by the buyer demonstrating that the
buyer employs at least one certified technician.
According to the letter, “Selling refrigerant to someone who
is not a certified technician or the technician’s employer could result in
enforcement action against the refrigerant vendor.”
It should be noted that these restrictions do not apply to
sales to do-it-yourselfers of refrigerant in under two-pound containers. However,
any small cans produced after Jan. 1, 2018 must be equipped with a self-sealing
valve that meets EPA requirements.
Questions? Contact Aaron
Read EPA’s letter: https://www.autocare.org/Government-Affairs/Issues/Links/epa-refrigerant-letter-072318/
Update: New Lists and Legislation
Section 301 Imports
A group of 20 Republicans on the House Ways and Means
Committee in a letter last week urged President Trump to meet directly with
President Xi of China to begin negotiations and develop solutions to ease the
trade war between the two countries.
Earlier this week, the Office of the U.S. Trade
Representatives held a hearing regarding a second proposed 25 percent tariff
C) on approximately $16 billion worth of products imported from China.
proposed 10 percent tariff list on approximately $200 billion worth of
products is also under investigation with comments due Aug. 17, 2018. There are
a number of vehicles and vehicle parts included on the list.
The first tariff list (Annex A
and B) went into effect on July 6, 2018. China has retaliated by imposing
tariffs on an equivalent amount of U.S. goods. Parties can submit
requests for product exclusions by Oct. 9, 2018 using www.regulations.gov. Exclusion requests
are granted on an HTS-product basis. Therefore, a particular exclusion will be
granted to all imports of a product, regardless of whether the importer filed
the request, which is different from the exclusion request process for steel
Section 232 Auto
Last Wednesday, July 25, Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and
Doug Jones, D-Ala., introduced
bipartisan legislation to delay the proposed 25 percent tariff on imported
autos and auto parts until the U.S. International Trade Commission conducts an
investigation and presents a report to Congress on the effects the tariff would
have on jobs in the U.S. automotive industry. Last month, the senators sent a letter
to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, urging him to reconsider the tariffs.
On July 19, the Auto Care Association testified
before the Department of Commerce’s hearing regarding the Section 232 National
Security Investigation of Imports of Automobiles and Auto Parts. Commerce has
270 days to present its findings to the president and recommend actions.
The Auto Care Association joined a coalition with major auto
industry groups in an open
letter to President Trump opposing the tariffs, and submitted
comments to Commerce last month as part of the public comment process.
According to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ testimony at a
hearing last month, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) has received more
than 20,000 steel and aluminum requests, but has only made final determinations
on fewer than 100.
Argentina, Australia, Brazil and South Korea were able to
finalize agreements with the U.S., but tariffs went into effect for all
remaining countries, including Canada, Mexico and members of the EU, on March
23, 2018. A number of countries have retaliated with tariffs on imports
from the U.S.
Commerce has set up a process for parties to submit steel
exclusion requests or objections. There is no deadline to submit exclusion
Unlike the Section 301 imports from China exclusion
requests, the Section 232 steel and aluminum exclusion requests are product and
company-specific. A company may request an exclusion for a product that was
denied to another company. A company may also be denied an exclusion for a
product that was granted an exclusion to another company.
Questions? Contact Angela Chiang.
Visit Auto Care’s trade resources: www.autocare.org/trade
Passes Bipartisan Vocational Training and Education Bill
On July 25, 2018, Congress passed H.R. 2353,
the “Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act.”
The bill reauthorizes the “Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act”
and allocates $1.2 billion in state grants to fund vocational training at most
schooling levels. With strong support
from the Trump administration, the association expects that the president will
sign this important legislation.
Under the legislation, high schools, colleges and training
centers may apply for these grants in order to train teachers or fund specific
training programs for students. Previously, these efforts were managed on the
federal level by the Secretary of Education. This bill moves much of the
decision-making and implementation to the local level to ensure that the funds
are more effectively used, and that the training meets the needs of companies
that are located near the schools and training centers. A state must track
performance around core indicators, such as graduation rate, and make
“meaningful progress” within a two-year period in order to continue to receive
Read Auto Care’s press release: https://www.autocare.org/Auto_Care_Association_Applauds_Congress_for_Passing_Bipartisan_Vocational_Training_and_Education_Bill.aspx
Association Establishes New Partnership with American Council of Young
The Auto Care Association kicked off its new
partnership with the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL) by hosting a seven-person delegation
of rising political leaders from Australia in Washington, D.C. on July 23. Auto
Care Association President and CEO Bill Hanvey hosted a dinner for the
delegation, also attended by Auto Care Association Senior Vice President,
Regulatory and Government Affairs, Aaron Lowe, and department staff.
The Australian delegation represented multiple parties from
Down Under, with several members currently serving in government positions.
Topics discussed were international commerce, tariffs and trade, as well as the
future of the global automotive supply chain. The ACYPL is a 50-year-old
organization based in Washington, D.C. with a focus on fostering exchanges
abroad and in the U.S. so that political figures and policymakers can engage
Questions? Contact Matt
Read Auto Care’s press release: https://www.autocare.org/Auto_Care_Association_Establishes_New_Partnership_with_ACYPL.aspx
Latest Coverage of the 2018 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-071918/