WASHINGTON—The Auto Care Association and the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association have selected Steve Hughes to serve on the newly created Federal Maritime Commission's National Shipper Advisory Committee.
The move, MEMA and ACA said in a news release, ensures the view of automotive and commercial vehicle suppliers are represented as the committee advises the commission on matters related to competitiveness, reliability, integrity and fairness of the international ocean freight delivery system.
Auto suppliers represented by the two associations rely heavily on ocean transport, according to Bill Long, MEMA president and CEO, and Bill Hanvey, ACA president and CEO. Combined, the associations' member companies imported $76.4 billion worth of cargo in 2019 and exported $21 billion worth of parts that same year.
"The ability of our ports to function is essential to our nation's economy," Long and Hanvey said in a joint statement. "Mr. Hughes' representation on this committee is vital to our industry and the future of manufacturing in the U.S."
Hughes, who founded HCS International in 1987 and serves as the company's president and CEO, brings more than 45 years of professional supply chain and ocean shipping experience to the commission. The auto industry, MEMA and ACA said, recognizes him as a "leading authority on international ocean freight."
In 2006, Hughes took a senior management position at Centric Parts, where he served as vice president of supplier development, governmental affairs and logistics and vice president of supply chain. He returned to HCS in 2017.
Hughes has been a central figure in helping the industry navigate governmental regulations and has served as a leading industry voice in this area. In addition to working with the ACA and MEMA, he has organized and led several industry coalitions in Washington D.C. to provide input on antidumping investigations and provided testimony before the International Trade Commission.
In 2015, Hughes was appointed to the Department of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative Industry Trade Advisory Committee (ITAC 2) for the automotive industry. That year and the year prior, he helped the monitor labor negotiations and port disruptions at West Coast ports, helping to analyze the impact slowdowns at the ports had on auto industry.
Since then, he has worked with the Federal Maritime Commission to discuss industry concerns and has served on the Executive Board of Directors of the Foreign Trade Association.
Formed in 1904, MEMA represents companies that design and manufacture original equipment systems and technologies as well as those supplying the industry with aftermarket parts.
The ACA represents 534,000 businesses serving the U.S. auto care industry, including independent auto aftermarket parts manufacturers, distributors, repair ships, retailers and service providers.