By Spencer Pederson, Vice President of Public Affairs, NEMA
On Wednesday, March 30, the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on the Biden Administration’s 2022 Trade Policy Agenda.
While the electroindustry shares with the Administration the fundamental goal of creating well-paying American jobs and shoring up our domestic supply chains, NEMA submitted a statement for the record to the committee outlining three key areas of focus as the Committee considers trade policy:
U.S. Leadership in International Standards-Setting Organizations
First, as U.S. Trade Representative continues its work to engage with key trading partners and multilateral institutions, NEMA urges the Administration to address growing concerns about declining U.S. involvement and influence in multilateral standards-setting organizations. Participation in development processes and technical standards-setting bodies are crucial to preserving and expanding international market access for U.S. companies.
Access to Materials Needed to Secure the Electric Grid and Support Electrical Infrastructure
NEMA believes any effort to bolster national security must not disrupt the very supply chain that ensures our ability to produce reliable, resilient, and affordable energy, including electrical transformers in the U.S. for the grid, as well as for industrial, commercial, and residential buildings. The supply chain for transformer cores and laminations is facing unprecedented challenges to meet demand.
As the Administration receives requests to impose policies that would reduce U.S. imports of downstream GOES products from Canada and Mexico, we urge the Administration to consider the current state of the supply chain, the high demand for this material, and the potential detrimental impacts on U.S. citizens, our domestic base, and the infrastructure goals of the nation.
Section 301 Tariff Relief
NEMA member companies continue to experience supply chain disruptions and labor shortages. The results are inflationary pressures, which have disrupted domestic production, reduced sales, increased consumer costs, and delayed delivery of critical products. If these concerns are not addressed, they will have a negative impact on implementation of the IIJA. These supply chain issues require both near-term and long-term solutions and Congress and the Administration can help with both.
In the immediate term, the Biden Administration should use the looming expiration of List 1 of the Trump Administration’s Section 301 tariffs on Chinese imports as an opportunity to conduct a robust, thorough, and transparent review of the effectiveness of the full list of tariffs put in place in achieving their objectives and their impact on U.S. importers and consumers of electrical goods. And while USTR recently announced its decision to reinstate certain previously granted and extended product exclusions pursuant to the China Section 301 investigation, NEMA urges the Administration to fully restart and reform the Section 301 tariff exclusions process in a way that has clear eligibility standards for applicants, is transparent, and fair to all who apply.
You can read NEMA’s full statement here: NEMA Statement for the Record 2022 Trade Policy Agenda Hearing.