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Industry Leaders React to Last Week’s PARTS Act Hearing

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Feb. 11, 2016—No decision was made in last week’s hearing by the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet of the House Judiciary Committee on the PARTS Act, sponsored by Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif. Key members on both sides of the issue shared their reactions to the hearing and what they believe will happen moving forward.

Two of the witnesses at the hearing, Pat Felder, co-owner of Felder’s Collision Parts in Baton Rouge, La., and Dan Risley, president of the Automotive Service Association (ASA), shared their reactions with FenderBender.

“We’ve been working on this for so many years, trying to get this bill to move. I’m hoping that there will be enough now for it to move forward,” said Felder, who is strongly in favor of the PARTS Act passing.  

During Felder’s opening statement, she explained the importance of passing the bill for small businesses and the danger in creating a monopoly for parts.

“It’s truly, vitally important that we get this done. It’s not just what is happening to our specific industry. There is not a doubt in my mind that if this continues and we’re not able to get the PARTS Act passed, it’s going to be a proverbial slippery slope into other things.”

Felder also expressed her gratitude toward the congressmen that were taking the time to pay attention to the act, specifically Rep. Issa.

“This bill has been well planned. It has taken years to do so,” she said. “Congressman Issa probably has a better understanding of this than anyone sitting in congress today. We are very grateful to our congressmen paying attention to it. It is majorly important to businesses, and small businesses in particular. We need the help of our government.”  

The Quality Parts Coalition (QPC) also showed support of the act and Rep. Issa in a release sent out shortly after the hearing.

Risley is opposed to the PARTS Act. After the hearing, Risley’s position did not change and he said that the ASA will continue to push against it until it addresses one key component, that it would make all aftermarket parts equal to OEM parts.

“A free and open marketplace does not entail enacting a law that states an aftermarket part is equal to an OEM part,” said Risley. “This should be decided by the party making the purchase.”

In Risley’s opinion, he doesn’t think that the PARTS Act will go anywhere this year and that it’s reached a stalemate for the time being. However, he said he will continue to promote awareness.

To watch the hearing in its entirety, click here.

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