ARA sent a letter to President Trump urging consideration of automotive recyclers as essential businesses. Specifically, ARA stated “We urge you to include automotive recycling facilities in any national initiatives, Executive Orders or other legislative/regulatory vehicles that deem certain industries and businesses as “essential." Automotive recyclers are primarily small businesses and important to their communities. While we wish to keep them safe throughout this process, they stand ready to manipulate their employee schedules, exposure and facilities to accommodate this basic function of providing Americans with safe and reliable transportation.”
The letter was also copied to Vice President Pence, 5 Cabinet Secretaries, House and Senate leadership and all 50 Governors. ARA has already heard from the Department of Transportation that this will be brought to Secretary Chao’s attention and provided ARA with the most recent document from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regarding what is considered critical infrastructure. The sectors are only broadly-based and do not go to the level of automotive manufacturing, parts supply and repair in this federally based, evolving document.
A similar joint letter was sent by the Alliance for Automotive Innovation and the National Automobile Dealers Association.
Click here to see full ARA letter.
California’s 40 million residents have been ordered by the Governor to “stay at home.” The Executive Order N-33-20 exempts a broad range of services such as food, medical care, police and law enforcement, gas stations, pharmacies and banks. The Executive Order refers to the above-mentioned DHS guidelines and more details about specific business exemptions has only been addressed on the state and local level at this point in time.
Another example of local, versus federal, activity is in Bergen County, New Jersey where the County Executive revoked a previous order closing business including body shops. A new order is being developed after push back by the industry.
The U.S. Congress is trying to quickly craft a third economic stimulus package with the hopes of finishing this work by the beginning of next week. The most recent proposed trillion package by Senate Republicans includes a direct payment of $1,200 for those who make $99,000 or less. Married couples could get $2,400. Families with children could get $500 per child. Small business would be eligible for $300 billion in federally guaranteed loans and pushes the tax filing deadline to July 15 (approved this morning) amongst other financial support provisions. Senate Democrats have a $750 billion plan that expands paid sick and family leave as well as unemployment insurance. Their plan also includes as much as $2,000 per month for adults and further relief for small businesses. More details about ongoing negotiation are forthcoming.
Automakers continue to shutter production facilities around the globe. While they are investigating turning these manufacturing plants into production of ventilators and other medical equipment, the task is complex and lengthy. Canadian auto parts manufacturers are likewise running exercises to examine how medical device production might be accomplished.
This week the President invoked the Defense Production Act in case it is needed. The 1950 law allows the federal government “to compel the private sector to accelerate the development of critical medical equipment.”
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