Law & Order

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New Law Supports Lending, Tax Breaks for SEMA-Member Companies

SEMA applauded the signing into law of the “Small Business Jobs and Credit Act” (H.R. 5297), including $12 billion in tax incentives for small businesses and creating a $30 billion resource to activate greater lending to small businesses by community banks.

California Adopts Goals for Reducing Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted goals to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and other greenhouse gases from cars and light trucks in 18 urban areas around the state. While the goals are nonbinding, local jurisdictions will need to demonstrate a likelihood of success in order to take advantage of other incentives, such as streamlined permitting for development projects.

Cast Your Vote for SEMA PAC

This year’s mid-term elections are the most anticipated in recent memory. Last week, SEMA provided a complete list of voter registration/absentee ballot forms for all 50 states (click here to find your state and to vote early). We also encourage SEMA members to become engaged by supporting SEMA Political Action Committee (PAC). This election stands to be one of the most important in many years with the potential to deliver historic results. The balance of power in Washington is currently in question, and without the active participation of SEMA members, our industry will miss the opportunity to raise our voice and make a noticeable impact.

New York Joins List of States Banning Lead Wheel Weights

As of April 1, 2011, it will be illegal to sell or install a wheel weight in New York that contains lead. The state joins several others that have enacted laws banning the manufacture, sale and use of lead weights. California’s law went into effect on January 1, 2010. Illinois, Maine, Vermont and Washington also ban the products while Iowa, Maryland, Rhode Island and Wisconsin have considered a ban.

Help Stop the EPA From Raising Ethanol Content in Gasoline

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is under pressure from some ethanol producers to raise the ethanol content in gasoline from 10% (E10) to 15% (E15). The EPA is expected to issue a decision later this month on allowing the use of E15 in late-model cars. It could permit the use in other cars at a later date. SEMA opposes the initiative due to concerns that the additional content will harm automobiles of all ages, including special-interest collector and historic vehicles.

Hearing Scheduled on Wisconsin Proposal to Restrict Imported Collector Car Registrations

A hearing to consider the Wisconsin-proposed regulation, Chapter Trans 123, to prohibit the registration of certain imported vehicles has been scheduled for Wednesday, September 22.

Eight Members of Congress Join Bipartisan Coalition Supporting the Industry and Hobby

More members of Congress than ever are aligning themselves with the Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus, a bipartisan group of federal lawmakers on Capitol Hill established to raise awareness of the economic importance of the automotive specialty-equipment industry.

Government Proposes New Fuel Economy Labels for New Cars

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) intend to expand the mileage rating information contained on a new-car window label. The regulators want to make this information more evident by including graphics, increasing type size and providing CO2 emissions information. In this fashion, buyers may focus more attention on these issues when considering a new-car purchase.

Wisconsin Proposes to Restrict Registration of Imported Collector Cars

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has proposed a new regulation (Chapter Trans 123) to prohibit the registration of imported vehicles manufactured after 1967 that do not meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). U.S. law specifically exempts imported vehicles that are 25 years old and older from these safety standards. Trans 123 offers no such reasonable exemption.

Federal Government Pursues Unfair Trade Practices

The U.S. Department of Commerce unveiled 14 proposals to strengthen the enforcement of U.S. trade laws. The measures would focus on illegal import practices from non-market economies by tightening U.S. rules governing antidumping (AD) and countervailing duties (CVD). “Dumping” is when a manufacturer(s) in one country exports a product to another country at a price that is below its production costs or the price charged in its home market.  “Countervailing duties” are imposed when an investigation finds that a foreign country is subsidizing its exports and injuring the importing country’s domestic producers. The Commerce Department initiated 34 AD/CVD investigations in 2009 compared to 19 the previous year.
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