Industry Seeks National Approach Defining Essential Businesses

Industry Seeks National Approach Defining Essential Workers

Associations say inconsistent state rules are hampering the supply of critical goods and services.

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), in partnership with eight other automotive trade associations, urged the National Governors Association and Governors of all 50 states to standardize the definition of essential businesses and workers. The groups recommend adoption of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) March 28 directive, “Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce: Ensuring Community and National Resilience in COVID-19 Response,” which identifies essential workers and business operations throughout the economy. DHS guidance clarifies that automotive repair, maintenance and transportation equipment manufacturing and distribution facilities are “essential services” that are critical to ensuring the safe and ongoing operations of our nation’s transportation and logistics sector.

The organizations sending the letter represent companies that manufacture parts and supply services to help maintain the nation’s fleet of public and private vehicles during COVID-19 — from cars, trucks and buses to police and emergency vehicles. The letter notes that Governors and local authorities have been making difficult decisions balancing “essential” commercial activities with “Shelter-in-Place” directives. It is important that states adopt the DHS Guidance, which provides a uniform national approach for protecting the country’s critical transportation and manufacturing needs. 

The letter was signed by the Auto Care Association, Automotive Oil Change Association, Automotive Service Association, California Automotive Business Coalition, Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association, Specialty Equipment Market Association, Tire Industry Association, Service Station Dealers of America and Allied Trades, U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association. 

A copy of the letter can be found here.

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