ABPA Exec: Impact of Tariffs Would be 'Severe'
July 17, 2018—President Trump’s administration appears poised to implement multiple tariffs on imported vehicles and auto parts—a move that could cause reverberations felt throughout the automotive industry.
As a result of proposed tariffs like the potential section 232 tariffs, Fixed Ops Business reached out to multiple industry organizations, like the Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA), to gauge their concerns on the matter.
Below, ABPA executive director Edward T. Salamy explains his organization’s current sentiments regarding such taxes.
Is the ABPA concerned that potential tariffs imposed by the U.S. on imported vehicles and parts might cause an increase in the price of auto parts?
The ABPA is taking the stance that tariffs in general are bad for the automotive industry and not just bad for replacement parts pricing.
What concerns have you heard regarding tariffs from ABPA members?
The ABPA has been discussing the concerns with our members--the aftermarket collision parts distributors--about what the potential 232 Tariffs could mean to them and how it would potentially affect their businesses. As I previously stated, the ABPA is against the tariffs and has submitted our position and concerns with the U.S.Commerce Department last month. … We are also scheduled to speak at the Commerce Department hearing later this week and voice our opinion in regard to the the potential section 232 tariffs.
From a body shop perspective, these tariffs could have a tremendous impact on their business. Higher parts pricing could severely increase the number of totaled vehicles in the marketplace. More totaled vehicles mean less vehicles to repair. In general, these tariffs would be bad for the automotive industry, their employees and for the American consumer.
Overall, how much could the potential tariffs imposed by the U.S. impact the auto parts industry?
In the opinion of the ABPA, parts and related services are the fuel that keeps the repair process in motion and productive. The risk to increasing part cost through tariffs threatens our ability to effectively and economically repair American vehicles. At most risk is annual blue- and white-collar household income and tax revenues.
Also, tariffs will negatively impact the automotive economy and the millions of private sector jobs affected by cars and trucks each day in our country.
In your career, have you ever encountered anything else that inspired similar concern from the auto parts industry?
In my twenty years in the parts industry, I have never seen [a similar] issue that would disrupt the entire industry including vehicle owners, body shops, car companies, the aftermarket and insurers. In the modern age of global trade and sourcing, the impact of these tariffs would be immediate and severe.