Auto Industry Braces Itself for Likely High US Tariffs
The United States Commerce Department has sent its recommendations as a confidential report to the White House on the tariffs for auto parts. Meanwhile, the auto industry in the US is appealing to President Trump not to impose high tariffs on imported cars.
Also, many trade organizations are extremely unhappy with the Commerce department’s secrecy over the information of its security report. These trade bodies say it has become harder for the industry to proceed with the next 90 days as it is crucial for them with Trump reviewing the ‘Section 232’ report. The Motor Equipment Manufacturers Association in a statement said that they were ‘alarmed and dismayed. The secrecy around the report only increases the uncertainty and concern across the industry created by the threat of tariffs’.
The statement further read, ‘It is critical that our industry has the opportunity to review the recommendations and advice of the White House on how the proposed tariffs if they are recommended, will put jobs at risk, impact consumers and trigger a reduction in US investments that could set us back decades.’
Trump had last year agreed not to impose taxes on the trading partners EU and Japan as long as the talks were being productive, but administration officials said that the threat to impose taxes was to get concessions on autos from both trading partners. The US auto industry had earlier said that if the tariffs were indeed hiked, then it would greatly impact the consumers as it would cost thousands of dollars more on vehicles as there will be a rise of up to 25% more on parts and imported cars. They also believe that it could impact the jobs and wreck the US economy.
Many Republicans also have the same concerns as trade organizations. Jackie Walorski who is a Republican said that the report presented by the Commerce Department could ‘set the stage for costly tariffs on cars and auto parts. President Trump is right to seek a level playing field for American businesses and workers, but the best way to do that is with a scalpel, not an ax’.
Former Governor of Missouri and the current president of the American Automotive Policy Council said ‘we believe the imposition of higher tariffs on automotive products under Section 232 and the likely retaliatory tariffs against US auto exports would undermine and not help the economy and employment contributions that FCA, Ford Motor Company and General Motors make to the US economy.