COVID-19 pandemic: Motor Equipment Manufacturers Association in US seeks government aid
The trade group for US auto parts makers has asked the government for emergency grants and tariff relief to help combat the adverse economic impact due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Reuters reported on 20 March.
The Motor Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) has requested the US congress for a manufacturing emergency assistance grant to "keep the doors open, preserve jobs, and prevent bankruptcies in the vital manufacturing sector." The association also called for subsidies to relocate operations to the country. Tariff relief on Chinese products and imported steel is the top priority for MEMA.
Significance: The COVID-19 outbreak has badly hurt the manufacturing industries. While China is showing signs of recovery, Europe and United States are recording a dramatic increase in the number of cases daily. The auto industry in Europe has been suspending operations while the supply chain is also taking a beating with demand dropping sharply. Some companies have temporarily laid off employees.
General Motors and Ford have suspended their operations in North America until March 30. Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) announced that it was suspending production after a worker tested positive for COVID-19. Goodyear Tire & Rubber announced plans to suspend its manufacturing operations in the Americas through 3 April or until further notice in response to the sudden decline in market demand due to the outbreak.
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