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NATIONAL GRANGE IN OPPOSITION TO DESIGN PROTECTION BILL

 NATIONAL GRANGE IN OPPOSITION TO DESIGN PROTECTION BILL
 WASHINGTON, April 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The Coalition for Auto Repair Equality issued the following:
 The National Grange, a general farm and rural organization with over 320,000 members nationwide, over 3,500 in Illinois, has announced its opposition to H.R. 1790, the Design Innovation and Technology Act. Proponents of this bill, namely Caterpillar, claim the bill will save American jobs from foreign parts manufacturers, while in fact, a vast majority of Caterpillar replacement parts are manufactured overseas. Currently, House Minority Leader Bob Michel (R-Ill.), who represents the 18th congressional district in Illinois, is a co-sponsor of this anti-competitive, anti-consumer, anti-choice, pro-monopoly bill.
 In a letter dated April 2, 1992, to Rep William Hughes (D-N.J.), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property and Judicial Administration, Robert E. Barrow, master of the National Grange, stated: "Based on the harmful effects that such legislation could have on the aftermarket automotive and equipment parts industries, we believe the bill would have a negative effect on farmers and ranchers. ... The National Grange strongly opposes H.R. 1790, the Design Innovation and Technology Act."
 "... H.R. 1790 could lead to the elimination of competition in the aftermarket parts industry. Such legislation could damage agriculture's financial situation by forcing farmers and ranchers to pay monopolistic prices to manufacturers for repairs to cars, pickups, trucks, tractors, engines or any piece of farm machinery," continued Barrow.
 David Parde, president of the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE), stated: "On behalf of our members, I commend America's first agricultural fraternity, the National Grange, on their position to oppose H.R. 1790. I sincerely hope that the U.S. Congress listens to broad-based organizations, such as the National Grange, the American Farm Bureau Federation and the NFIB, and realizes that support for this bill will seriously damage small businesses and jobs throughout the U.S."
 Recently, the American Farm Bureau Federation and National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) have written similar letters this year to Hughes. "We believe H.R. 1790 is simply poor public policy -- a thinly veiled attempt by large manufacturers to close out the independent product market, rather than compete with it on a fair basis," stated John J. Motley III, executive vice president of the NFIB, in his Feb. 4 letter to Hughes. "If enacted ... small firms will be unable to compete, and jobs will be lost," Motley continued.
 If passed, H.R. 1790 would give domestic, as well as foreign, car, light and heavy duty truck, and off road vehicle manufacturers a government-imposed monopoly over the production, sale, and distribution of vehicle replacement parts for the first 10 years of the vehicle's "life."
 The American Independent Automotive Aftermarket is defined as manufacturers, distributors, rebuilders, jobbers, and retailers for parts and service of "Motor Vehicles" which include: automobiles, light and heavy duty trucks, motorcycles, recreation vehicles and off road vehicles such as agricultural and construction equipment, marine engines, small and stationary engines and all-terrain vehicles.
 CARE was formed in April 1991 to protect the jobs and consumers of the independent motor vehicle/automotive aftermarket, which is the market for parts and accessories used in the repair, maintenance, or enhancement of a product, to fight H.R. 1790. This national coalition is comprised of well-known and respected automotive aftermarket groups, such as AutoZone, Automotive Parts and Accessories Association, NAPA, CARQUEST, Trak Auto, Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA), Council of Fleet Specialists, Pronto, Northern, Auto Sure, Midas, Echlin, Independent Distributors Association, the Federation of Qualified Technicians, National Tire Dealers and Retreaders Association, et. al.
 Proposed Amendment of H.R. 1790
 Amend Section 1002:
 Replace Paragraph (9) with the following language:
 motor-vehicle parts including rebuilt parts, windshields and side and rear vision glass.
 Delete Section 1003.
 -0- 4/9/92
 /CONTACT: Lady Parker or Tony Betros for the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality, 202-223-5380 or 800-229-5380/ CO: Coalition for Auto Repair Equality ST: Illinois IN: AUT SU:


TW-DC -- DC037 -- 6935 04/09/92 16:33 EDT
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