WASHINGTON — Top officials of the major U.S. tire, auto aftermarket and auto service trade associations are anticipating more turmoil in politics this year, following the Democrats' regaining control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the November midterm elections.
How much of an effect, and in what ways, on the issues of interest to the tire and aftermarket industries has yet to be seen, they said, although they added that 2019 will not be peaceful.
"We can count on a lot more turmoil in Washington," said Anne Forristall Luke, president and CEO of the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA).
"Democrats have the gavel in the House and a lot of new authority," Ms. Luke said. "That affects every issue, from the president's personal tax returns to trade to the rollback of environmental regulations."
The House Democrats' new subpoena power will keep the White House occupied, according to Ms. Luke. "The president has already thrown down the gauntlet," she said.
For Roy Littlefield III, CEO of the Tire Industry Association (TIA), election results are always a matter of pragmatism.
"You have to deal with what you've got," Mr. Littlefield said. "On some issues, we will be in better shape. On others, not as good."
Chris Kersting, president and CEO of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), concurred, as did Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association (ACA).
"Our government affairs department works to gain support on both sides of the aisle," Mr. Kersting said. "Whatever the complexion of Congress, we still have the same job to do."
"This is an opportunity to build our message with new members of Congress," Mr. Hanvey said. "I think it's great, continuing our legislative efforts to gain as much support as possible."
Robert L. Redding, Washington representative for the Automotive Service Association (ASA), said the election results could have a significant impact on most issues, including those affecting auto service.