Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) were honored as the winners of the first-ever Joseph M. Magliochetti Industry Champion Award, presented by the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) on May 5. The award, which honors the work of legislators in helping to advance the automotive industry, was presented at a special dinner kicking off the first MEMA Legislative and Public Policy Summit in Washington, DC, sponsored by Foley & Lardner.
The award was established in honor of the late Dana Corporation Chairman and CEO Joe Magliochetti, who passed away last September. Along with his 37 years of service to Dana Corporation, Magliochetti played a leadership role in many business and civic initiatives—including serving as a member and former chairman of MEMA.
The award was presented by Magliochetti’s son, Andrew, who was joined by Michael J. Burns, Dana’s new chairman, president and CEO, and Scott Meyer, president and COO of Ken-Tool and MEMA chairman.
“Sen. Alexander and Rep. Knollenberg stepped up at crucial times on behalf of our industry to speak out against the Section 201 steel tariffs. These tariffs were devastating the automotive industry,” said Chris Bates, president and CEO of MEMA. “Thanks to their extraordinary leadership, the tariffs were repealed. Our industry is fortunate to have two such great supporters looking out for our interests in Washington. The supplier industry, as well as other steel consumers, owe Sen. Alexander and Rep. Knollenberg a debt of gratitude for their hard work. They are very worthy recipients of this first- ever honor,” Bates said.
The steel tariffs were imposed by Executive Order signed by President Bush in March 2002 to protect the US steel industry from import competition. The tariffs adversely impacted hundreds of automotive parts manufacturers throughout the United States and jeopardized the industry’s ability to maintain jobs and production facilities in the United States, and particularly in industry-heavy states such as Michigan.
As the first member of Congress to step forward and to take up the cause against the tariffs on behalf of the automotive parts industry, Congressman Knollenberg enabled the manufacturers in his district and around the country to secure a voice in this debate. By calling for an extended investigation by the International Trade Commission, which laid the foundation for a full repeal of the tariffs, Congressman Knollenberg demonstrated true courage and a deep understanding of the day-to-day realities of the suppliers in his district.
Senator Alexander’s campaign in defense of the 900 parts suppliers in the state of Tennessee helped to keep more highly-skilled, well-paying manufacturing jobs in the automotive parts industry in America. Through his leadership, the industry was able to secure the elimination of the steel safeguard tariffs, which helped to put more American-made automotive parts in the millions of cars and trucks that are assembled, maintained and repaired each year in the United States and worldwide.
MEMA convened the inaugural “MEMA Legislative and Public Policy Summit: Advancing American Manufacturing” on May 5. Members of MEMA’s three market segment associations—the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), the Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA) and the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA)—were present to educate legislators and regulators on the diverse automotive suppliers industry. The MEMA Legislative and Public Policy Summit is part of a wider effort by MEMA to enhance communications between Washington and automotive suppliers on key issues such as vehicle safety regulation, energy, health care and pension reform and international trade.