Automakers are blasting Trump's idea to impose tariffs on imported cars and trucks

trump car wave

  • President Donald Trump is considering tariffs on imports cars and trucks.
  • Automakers including Ford, GM, BMW, Hyundai, Kia, Toyota, and more have warned the administration against enacting the tariffs.
  • Here’s a rundown of all of the automakers concerns with the potential tariffs.

President Donald Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on imported cars and trucks is being met with an outcry from the automotive industry.

Trump has directed the Department of Commerce to begin an investigation into imported autos under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act, which could result in a tariff of up to 25%. Section 232 is designed to give the president power to restrict imports of goods if there is a compelling national security reason.

Tariffs on autos would be a massive escalation of Trump’s trade battles with countries such as Germany, Canada, and Mexico. The move would also likely result in retaliation from those countries.

Foreign and domestic automakers are using the public comment period during the investigation to blast the national security justification that would prompt the tariffs, as well as warn about major economic fallout.

According to studies, auto tariffs would put American jobs at risk and hurt the US economy. Automakers like Toyota and General Motors said any tariffs would significantly increase the price of cars sold in the US and depress sales.

Here’s a rundown of all the major comments submitted by automakers.

Honda: “Employing Section 232 here could cause ‘a weakening of our national economy.'”

In its statement to the Commerce Department, Honda said that tariffs on auto imports would harm the US economy and lead to layoffs in the industry.

“Conversely, should tariffs be applied to imported vehicles and auto parts it will have a depressing effect on the auto industry,” Honda said in a statement. “Doing so would increase prices for consumers, both of imported and domestically built cars, which would likely lead to decreased sales and could ultimately negatively impact auto industry jobs, from production to suppliers to dealers.”

Honda also disputed the citation of national security as a reason for the tariffs.

“Imported vehicles and automotive parts are not a national or economic security threat. In fact, employing Section 232 here could cause ‘a weakening of our national economy,’ just what the Department is instructed to prevent in applying section 232,” the company said.

BMW: Auto tariffs would lead to “negative effects on investment and employment in the United States.”

BMW also disputed the potential national security justification and urged the administration to lower trade barriers rather than increase them.

The company also said that the move could lead to layoffs at its plant in South Carolina and other US facilities.

“All off these factors would substantially increase the costs of exporting passenger cars to these markets from the United States and deteriorate the market access for BMW in these jurisdictions, potentially leading to strongly reduced export volumes and negative effects on investment and employment in the United States,” BMW’s statement said. “Given the very high export share of our US production, this negative impact could also overcompensate any positive effect of forced deeper localization of products supplying the US domestic market.”

General Motors: Auto tariffs risk “isolating US businesses like GM from the global market that helps to preserve and grow our strength here at home.”

Even though GM is a US-based company, it said the tariffs would still push up costs and hurt business.

“GM suggests prioritizing work with our adjacent trading partners to strengthen US manufacturing and advance implementation of modernized NAFTA and KORUS agreements,” GM said. “The overbroad and steep application of import tariffs on our trading partners risks isolating US businesses like GM from the global market that helps to preserve and grow our strength here at home.”

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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