With the debate under way about the continued relevance of the American International Automobile Dealers Association, I offer my perspective as a dealer who worked closely with the trade association for many years on some of our industry's most important victories.
Working with outside lawyers and lobbyists, AIADA successfully defended the industry before the U.S. International Trade Commission when Detroit sought to limit sales of Japanese imports drastically. It blocked enactment of the potentially ruinous Gephardt Amendment to the 1988 trade bill that arbitrarily would have forced significant cutbacks in the sales of vehicles from Japan.
It persuaded the Treasury Department to allow the most popular SUVs to enter the country as cars subject to a 2.5 percent tariff instead of as trucks subject to a 25 percent tariff, and it fought off other protectionist efforts to hurt the industry.
In short, AIADA worked in many ways that assured that import dealers could develop their businesses without the heavy hand of government tilting the scales in favor of domestic manufacturers.