WASHINGTON, DC – The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) praised Reps. Sander Levin (D-Mich.), John Dingell (D-Mich.), and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) for leading the effort to introduce H.R. 4629, the Manufacturing Modernization and Diversification Act. The bill was introduced on Feb. 22 with the following co-sponsors: Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Dennis Moore (D-Kan.), Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.), Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), Dale Kildee (D-Mich.), Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.), Michael Doyle (D-Pa.), Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.), G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.), and Tim Ryan (D-Ohio.)

“This is the right bill at the right time for motor vehicle parts suppliers, and all manufacturing industries,” says Bob McKenna, MEMA’s president and chief executive officer. “For the last year and a half, our members have struggled with the downturn in the economy, historic low vehicle production, and an inability to access credit. Passage of this bill would be a significant step in improving access to capital which is critical for our members to remain in business.”

The legislation would allow states to purchase up to 49.9% of a loan from a commercial bank and then defer interest and principal payments for up to three years, lowering the payments for manufacturers. States could also provide up to 49.9% of the collateral needed for loans. As the loans are repaid, the money would be returned to the treasury.

“MEMA is very grateful to Reps. Levin, Dingell, and Peters for their role in introducing this important bill,” McKenna says. “We look forward to working together to help move this bill through the House.”

MEMA represents motor vehicle parts suppliers, the nation’s largest manufacturing sector, employing nearly 686,000 people across the country. Suppliers are also the largest manufacturing employer in eight states. These jobs contribute to 3.29 million private sector jobs across the country. Suppliers manufacture the parts and technology used in domestic production of new cars and trucks produced each year, and the aftermarket products necessary to repair and maintain more than 248 million vehicles on the road today.

MEMA supports its members through its three affiliate associations, Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA), and Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA). MEMA represents more than 650 member companies with global motor vehicle parts sales exceeding $600 billion and 65 percent of North American automotive supplier sales.