MEMA warns BAT could hurt U.S. competitiveness and put 45,000 jobs at risk
Washington D.C.—In detailed comments submitted May 24, to the House Ways and Means Committee, MEMA expressed support for tax reform that promotes U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, job growth, and productivity, but warned the Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) as currently outlined in the House Republican tax reform blueprint, will not help the U.S. achieve those objectives.
According to a study MEMA recently commissioned by The Boston Consulting Group to quantify the impact a BAT would have on the motor vehicle supplier industry, the negative effects of a BAT could be immediate and cause a ripple effect throughout the U.S. economy.
Among the most alarming effects would be a significant loss in U.S. manufacturing jobs. Reduced consumer spending power would force vehicle manufactures and their dealers to work to decrease prices by forcing costs downward on suppliers. As a result, vehicles would be “de-contented” with fewer parts, including advanced safety features and driver-assist technologies such as lane keeping functions and emergency braking systems. Supplier content per vehicle would drop 3 percent, impacting supplier volume and placing up to 45,000 manufacturing jobs at risk.
“The President has said that he wants to increase jobs in America and put forward tax reform that is in the best interest of American businesses, consumers, and workers,” MEMA President and CEO Steve Handschuh said. “We believe reforming tax rates, combined with workforce, trade, infrastructure, and technology initiatives will promote U.S. growth and innovation in the supplier industry and across the U.S. economy. But this data shows that the BAT would put a large number of jobs at immediate risk.”
The study also shows that the imposition of a BAT would increase costs for suppliers and vehicle manufacturers and result in higher vehicle prices for consumers with an average of $1,800 per vehicle-leading to a decline in vehicle sales.