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Here for America Hosts DC ‘Drive-In’
The impact of tariffs on U.S. Auto Manufacturing. Our jobs, our plants, our future. #DontTaxMyRide
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 19, 2018 – Today, international auto employees from across the country led a ‘Drive-In’ in Washington, D.C., to voice concerns over the proposed Section 232 tariffs on auto and auto parts imports.
More than one hundred international auto employees pulled up to the U.S. Capitol in a caravan of American made vehicles and were joined by Members of Congress from high auto-production states: Congressman Drew Ferguson (R- GA), Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) and Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (R-IN).
“The broad U.S. auto industry is flourishing and highly competitive, employing almost ten million Americans. We do not need and did not ask for these tariff protections,” said John Bozzella, President and CEO of Global Automakers and spokesperson for Here For America. “There is no national security justification for taxing imports of vehicles and parts or discriminating between global companies headquartered here or in allied countries. If the Commerce Department’s investigation leads to tariffs, retaliation against U.S. exports is inevitable.”
Of the nearly 2,400 public comment submitted to the Commerce Department, less than a handful supported the Administration’s action.
“Alabama’s booming automotive industry supports 57,000 jobs and is responsible for $11 billion in exports annually,” said Senator Doug Jones (D-AL). “If enacted, the proposed tariffs could not only stifle one of our fastest growing industries, but they could threaten the livelihood of millions of Americans who depend on this industry to provide for themselves and their families.”
“Global automakers in the U.S. create American jobs for American workers, including many people I represent in Georgia’s Third District,” said Congressman Drew Ferguson (R-GA). “I will continue to fight for these American workers at every opportunity.”
Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (R-IN) said, “The auto industry plays a critical role in growing our economy and creating good jobs, including in my home state of Indiana. While we need to ensure a level playing field with America’s trading partners, imposing costly tariffs on this vital industry would threaten our economic momentum and put manufacturing jobs at risk. I stand with our job creators and will work with my colleagues and the Administration to support American workers, maintain American competitiveness, and continue building our 21st century economy.”
The U.S. auto industry is a major driver of the U.S. economy, accounting for three percent of the nation’s GDP. Any tariffs imposed will have a negative impact on the U.S. auto industry.
“My message is simple, I’m an American auto worker and these tariffs will hurt Toyota,” said Jennifer Adair, Team Leader in Quality, Toyota Indiana. “Every day, I go to work at Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Indiana and ensure the vehicles we build are ready for our consumers. We produce vehicles that are built here, sold here and exported all over the world.”
“Subaru of Indiana Automotive is dedicated to the people of Indiana, and to building high quality vehicles for the North American market. I have been with Subaru for over twenty-five years and I can assure you there is simply no basis for these proposed tariffs,” said Tom Easterday, Senior EVP, Subaru of Indiana Automotive. “For nearly thirty years, we have proudly built vehicles for Americans, by Americans here in Lafayette, Indiana.”
“Thanks to Kia, West Point, Georgia is thriving. Our factory helps us represent 14,000 American jobs that has been created in our community since 2008,” said Stuart Countess, Chief Administrative Officer, Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia. “While we recognize free trade makes the United States competitive, broad restrictions such as tariffs on auto and auto part imports will raise costs for our customers and their families. We don’t want to risk losing all of the gains our community and our team members have achieved, that is why we echo the plea, Don’t Tax My Ride.”
“For almost 14 years, Hyundai has provided for my livelihood, and not just mine, but thousands of others all across our state and nation,” said John Hall, Engine Maintenance Team Member Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama. “I’m proud to see my Alabama neighbors driving cars powered by engines I’ve helped to build, and I’m proud to work for Hyundai. I’ve seen first-hand how Hyundai’s investments have transformed my community and the whole Alabama economy. Imposing tariffs on Hyundai vehicles or auto parts could jeopardize our livelihood today and future jobs for the next generation of Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama Team Members.”
“At Honda, we are concerned about the negative impact of tariffs on autos and auto parts, on our associates, on the communities where we work and live, and on our customers. We urge that the U.S. maintain a policy of welcoming investment, free trade and global commerce, and that these harmful tariffs not be imposed,” said Tim Reisinger, Manufacturing Division Manager at Honda Manufacturing of Indiana.
*Vehicles are made in the United States using domestic and globally sourced parts.
Here For America tells the story of international automakers and dealers, their ever-growing impact on the U.S. economy, and the benefits they provide to local communities. The contributions of international automakers and dealers are integral to the success of today’s U.S. auto industry, directly employing 1.29 million Americans in the auto industry and an additional 7 million indirect workers. Here for America is an initiative of the Association of Global Automakers to increase public education about the importance of international automakers to American job creation, economic growth, technological innovation and strong communities. Visit www.hereforamerica.com and follow Here For America on Twitter and Facebook.