capital report: may 23, 2019

2019 Auto Care Legislative Summit Announced

For the first time, the Auto Care Legislative Summit, a biennial educational and advocacy event in Washington, D.C., will take place Sept. 18-19, 2019 in conjunction with 2019 Auto Care Association Fall Leadership Days. Leadership Days is a three-day event for the association’s top volunteers and engaged members to discuss industry issues and drive association initiatives.

With over 400 attendees expected to attend Fall Leadership Days, the Auto Care Association will play host to the largest-ever contingency of auto care industry advocates who wish to make their voices heard on Capitol Hill.

During the summit, Auto Care Association members from across the country will meet with their members of Congress to educate them on the independent aftermarket and its most critical policy priorities. Attendees are prepped with issue talking points, economic data and training on how to be an effective advocate.

The event takes place over two days, with an issue briefing and reception on Wednesday, Sept. 18, followed by a full day of congressional meetings on Thursday, Sept. 19

Read the full announcement:


Help Our Industry Raise its Voice: Become an Auto Care Ambassador

The Auto Care Association has launched a major new advocacy initiative in 2019 with an eye toward developing strong relationships between our members and policymakers: the Auto Care Ambassadors program.

Our association needs Auto Care Ambassadors to demonstrate to policymakers at the state and federal level that we have constituents in their districts that are politically active and ready to show their support. This effort builds upon established government affairs initiatives including direct lobbying, the Auto Care Political Action Committee (ACPAC), Hometown Summits and the biennial Legislative Summit in Washington, D.C

Auto Care members who perform five advocacy activities each calendar year, such as meeting with Congressional staff members or writing a letter to their legislator, will be eligible to become Auto Care Ambassadors. We will recognize our first class of Auto Care Ambassadors this year at the 2019 Legislative Summit.

A RAP Index Survey sent out in March of 2019 to all members showed that 93% of you are either willing and already performing advocacy on behalf of your business, or are willing but unsure of exactly how to do so. You can become an Ambassador even if you’ve never had any advocacy experience. We are here to help show you how! Telling your own story in your own words to policy makers matters in our modern political environment now more than ever. 

Questions? To learn more, please contact Matt Robbins, director, government relations, at or click the link below to visit our new advocacy “Grassroots 101” website.

Read more:


ACPAC Update

ACPAC had a successful time at Spring Leadership Days not only raising over $35,000 on-site, but also with thank-you events for its members that provided networking opportunities and, more importantly, specialty coffee. ACPAC wants to recognize the investment you make in the industry every year with thoughtful thank-you perks like specialty coffee carts and exclusive receptions. Our fundraising goal this year is to raise $350,000 and we know we can only get there with your help. Another important goal for ACPAC in 2019 is to recognize the personal funds donated by its members that make our PAC successful in promoting the industry.

With $169,241 raised in 2019, we are off to a great start—but we have a long way to go and need the funds to carry our message on tariffs in this vital legislative year. Political fundraisers cost between $1,000 - $2,500 per event to attend, so every dollar counts! There are nearly 100 new members of Congress and they need to be educated on our issues and how what affects the aftermarket will also affect the economy of their districts and states. ACPAC promoted these efforts at Spring Leadership Days with multiple events, informative sessions on involving yourself in your district, and a new advocacy video to help us help you be a part of the process in our American political system. 

Please consider getting involved in our advocacy efforts—this year it is vital to not sit on the sidelines as the decisions are made by your legislators in Washington. They need to hear from members of Auto Care and ACPAC is a way to speak loudly with one voice and be heard.

Questions? Contact Hailey Ray, director, political affairs, at to learn more about getting involved.


Trump Delays 232 Auto Tariff Decision for 180 Days Pending Trade Negotiations

On May 17, President Trump issued a proclamation declaring that automobiles and “certain” automobile parts are being imported into the United States in such quantities and under such circumstances as to threaten to impair the national security of the United States under 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.

The president has directed the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to pursue trade negotiations with the European Union, Japan and any other country the USTR deems appropriate, to address this impairment. The USTR shall update the president on the outcome of the negotiations within 180 days. If agreements are not reached at the conclusion of the 180 days, the president may take other action as deemed necessary, to include imposing tariffs on imported automobiles and automobile parts. No details have been released at this time to clarify which auto parts specifically are implicated by this declaration.

Read the full statement:


USTR Releases New Fourth Tariff List on Imports from China

On May 13, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) released a proposed fourth Section 301 tariff list of approximately $300 billion worth of imports from China that may be subject to additional tariffs.

The notice includes 3,805 product categories that could be subject to an additional tariff of up to 25% ad valorem. This list covers essentially all imports from China that are not currently covered on a previous Section 301 list.

USTR is conducting a full review of the proposed action through a comment and hearing process. After completion of the full review, USTR will issue a final notice on the products subject to the tariffs.

Key dates and deadlines:

  • June 10, 2019 - Due date for filing requests to appear and summary of expected testimony at public hearing
  • June 17, 2019 - Due date for submission of written comments
  • June 17, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. - Public hearing at the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, D.C.

The timing of the comment period would allow President Trump to impose tariffs around the time he attends the G20 leaders' summit with Chinese President Xi.

The proposed action is the fourth round of tariffs released by USTR in response to Section 301 investigation findings on China’s unfair trade practices related to forced technology transfer.

Seeking Member Input

The Auto Care Association is seeking input on how our members would be impacted by the proposed fourth tariff list.

Please contact Angela Chiang if you would like to include information in our submission to USTR regarding any of the products listed in the proposed tariff list.


25% Tariff Hike on Third Tariff List of Imports from China

As a follow up to the U.S. Trade Representative's (USTR) notice earlier this month raising tariffs on the third Section 301 tariff list from 10% to 25%, USTR issued another notice clarifying timing of the additional tariff.

According to the notice, products from China that were exported to the U.S. before May 10, 2019 and enter U.S. Customs for consumption before June 1, 2019 will be covered under 10% tariff. Any products that enter into the U.S. on or after June 1, 2019 are subject to the 25% additional tariff.

Learn more:


United States, Canada and Mexico Announce Deal to Lift Section 232 Steel and Aluminum Retaliatory Tariffs

Today, the United States announced an agreement with Canada and Mexico to remove the Section 232 tariffs for steel and aluminum imports from those countries and for the removal of all retaliatory tariffs imposed on American goods by those countries.

The agreement provides for aggressive monitoring and a mechanism to prevent surges in imports of steel and aluminum. If surges in imports of specific steel and aluminum products occur, the United States may re-impose Section 232 tariffs on those products. Any retaliation by Canada and Mexico would then be limited to steel and aluminum products.

This agreement is great news for American farmers that have been subject to retaliatory tariffs from Canada and Mexico. At the same time, the Agreement will continue to protect America’s steel and aluminum industries. 

Read more from Bloomberg here.

Click the link below to read the full statement from USTR. 

Read the full statement:

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