Auto industry unites to oppose Trump's tariffs

21 July, 2018, 21:58 | Author: Wade Massey
  • At Thursday's hearing on the matter Mexican Ambassador Geronimo Gutierrez Fernandez argued imports from his country did not threaten national security

Vehicle estimates the average cost of imports sold in the United States would rise by US$3,980 if a 25 per cent tariff is applied only to non-NAFTA countries and by US$1,345 if a 10 per cent tariff is levied on only non-NAFTA imports.

Imposing a 25 percent tariff on auto imports would raise the price of the typical new vehicle sold in the United States (now about $35,000) by $4,400 - $2,270 for US -built cars and $6,875 for imported cars and trucks, according to a study released Thursday by the Center for Automotive Research.

The Trump administration has invoked Section 232 of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act to launch an investigation into the potential threat of foreign auto imports to national security.

A group representing major automakers told Commerce on Thursday that imposing tariffs of 25 percent on imported cars and parts would raise the price of US vehicles by $83 billion annually and cost hundreds of thousands of jobs.

The average price of imported vehicles sold in the United States could jump by thousands of dollars if the Trump administration imposes tariffs under a worst-case scenario provided by the Center for Automotive Research.

Economists warn that step, coming on top of a host of other tariffs and retaliation from USA trading partners, could harm the global economy.

Despite overwhelming opposition to the auto duties, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the administration was not obliged to heed such views.

The Department of Commerce has received almost 2,400 comments from individuals and companies that can be found here. The head of one major carmakers' trade group said only three substantive comments supported tariffs.

"It is too early now to say if this investigation will ultimately result in Section 232 recommendations on national security grounds".

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Not everyone, however, believes Canada should hit back at the USA with retaliatory tariffs.

That's probably little consolation to the auto workers whose jobs could be on the line if Trump presses forward with the tariffs. In recent weeks, investors have been focused on the potential impact of USA tariffs on Chinese imports.

At Thursday's hearing on the matter, Mexican Ambassador Geronimo Gutierrez Fernandez said imports from his country did not threaten national security.

The White House says imports eroded America's domestic auto industry. "They truly have taken advantage of the USA, but not for long!"

He also stressed contributions by Japanese auto and auto-related companies in creating more than 1.5 million U.S.jobs and spurring the growth of the USA manufacturing base through investment totaling $48 billion.

"We caution that any rash actions could have unforeseen consequences, including mass layoffs for American workers, but that does not mean we should do nothing", she said, suggesting "targeted measures".

Korean-made autos are now exempt from US duties under the KORUS trade deal, which went into effect in 2012.

He said he's respectfully asking that the president reconsider his trade policy, drop the tariffs as a tool for reaching his goals and find better ways to persuade other countries to do for us what we do for them. The president is scheduled to meet European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker next week as Europe pushes for a global deal to cut auto tariffs. It would also raise the price of the typical new auto sold in the United States (now about $35,000) by $4,400 - $2,270 for USA -built cars and $6,875 for imported cars and trucks. In recent weeks, investors have been focused on the potential impact of U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports.

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