AFIT-PAC: Automotive Free International Trade PAC
P: 800.234.8748
F: 703.684.8920
Issues: Inform. Educate. Represent.

Trade Promotion Authority

Trade Promotion Authority is legislation passed by Congress that provides the President the authority to negotiate international trade agreements. TPA also allows Congress to pass trade agreements under the fast track process - requiring an "up or down" vote for passage that is not open to amendment. Free trade advocates saw a major victory this year when the House and Senate successfully passed the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2015 (TPA-2015). Although the Senate passed TPA by a significant margin (60-38), the House passed TPA by a razor-thin margin (218-206), once again demonstrating how politically difficult it is for Congress to support free trade. It was critical for Congress to pass TPA in order for the Administration to move forward in the trade negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), as well at the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

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Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

The TPP is a trade negotiation between 12 Pacific Rim countries (including Japan) and the United States. On October 4, 2015, the participating countries announced they had concluded the negotiations on the free trade agreement. This announcement followed years of negotiations to reduce trade barriers in what represents 40% of all world trade. Issues included in the agreement are the phase down and elimination of the 2.5% car tariff and the 25% light-duty truck tariff which have been in effect for over 50 years. This will allow the international nameplate auto industry to be more competitive in the U.S. automotive marketplace. Once the Administration submits TPP to the House and Senate for their review and passage, Congress will have a minimum of 90 days to review the trade agreement.

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Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

The TTIP is a free trade negotiation between the United States and the European Union. The TTIP is still in the early rounds of negotiations, but it represents a tremendous opportunity to further reduce trade barriers between some of the most economically developed countries in the world. In addition to addressing traditional trade barriers such as tariffs and quotas, issues like the harmonization of standards are also on the negotiation agenda. This could provide the automobile industry increased efficiencies and cost savings.

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Beyond trade, international nameplate auto dealers are affected by a broad range of issues that have a big impact on their business. Two of the most important are:

  • Federal Death Tax Repeal - Many automobile dealers run family-owned businesses. The federal death tax directly threatens the ability of automobile dealers to pass their business on to future generations of their family. Dealers support full, permanent repeal of the federal death tax due to the negative effect it can have on economic activity and the distress it places on family-owned dealerships.

  • Consumer Finance Protection Board (CFPB) - In 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued guidance that threatens to eliminate a dealer's flexibility to discount auto loans in the showroom. All dealers oppose any action by the CFPB to regulate in this area.

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Industry Resources

American International Automobile Dealers
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National Automobile Dealers Association
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Association of International Automobile Manufacturers
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Automotive News
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Political Resources

National Republican Senatorial Committee
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Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
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National Republican Congressional Committee
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Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
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For more information about the PAC, or to request a candidate contribution,
please contact AFIT PAC's Executive Director, Mary Hanagan at 1-800-234-8748.
In the Washington area, the local number is 703-684-8880.