Trump considering 25 pct tariffs on vehicle imports

Trump administration launches vehicle import probe

Trump directs government to investigate whether tariffs are needed on imports of autos, trucks

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has since initiated an investigation under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, which grants the president the ability to restrict imports considered a threat to national security.

The investigation "will consider whether the decline of domestic automobile and automotive parts production threatens to weaken the internal economy of the United States", the Commerce Department said.

John Bozzella, chief executive of Global Automakers, a trade group representing Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai and others, said tariffs on imported vehicles would hurt American consumers.

"There is evidence suggesting that, for decades, ..."

While many companies said they were still waiting to see the likely effect of the measure, carmakers, auto parts suppliers and vehicle dealers said it threatened to raise their costs, depress auto sales and jobs in the United States, and make American-made products less competitive worldwide.

Mexico and Canada are two of the three largest exporters of autos to the U.S. Trump has also repeatedly complained about auto imports from Germany and Japan, and has raised the issue in talks with world leaders.

Mercedes-Benz alone exports large numbers of luxury SUVs from the U.S. Mercedes will export roughly 65,000 cars from the U.S.to China this year, according to forecasts from research group IHS.

The Trump administration has framed proposed vehicle tariffs, along with the levies imposed earlier this on steel and aluminum imports, as a means to ensure the vitality of key domestic industries.

'Taking that a step further into autos seems to me to be on even flimsier logical grounds, ' Trudeau said.

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Trump appeared to hint at Wednesday's announcement with earlier tweets, saying: "There will be big news coming soon for our great American autoworkers".

A vehicles tariff also would hurt US automakers with operations in Mexico and Canada.and other places The United States imported $192 billion in passenger vehicles a year ago, with Mexico the leading source, followed by Canada, Japan and Germany.

German automakers reacted with dismay Thursday as the US Commerce Department said tariffs on auto imports could be on the horizon, potentially opening a new front in a burgeoning transatlantic trade conflict.

Trump's recourse to national security arguments for potential tariffs echoes his justification for the metals duties.

Mexico in the past has threatened to retaliate against USA trade actions by curtailing purchases of American farm products. Trump has blamed low wages in Mexico on outsourcing, which has impacted the American job market.

Although a large portion of the US's most popular auto models, including those from foreign brands (such as the upcoming BMW X7), are already manufactured within its borders, many are imported from other countries. But it's also likely that investors are simply learning not to take Trump's threats on trade seriously, after he has backed down from bluffs to withdraw from NAFTA, and declined to impose threatened tariffs on a range of Chinese imports in retaliation for alleged intellectual property theft.

This isn't the first time Trump has called Canada hard.

"They make it impossible for our cars (and more) to sell there".

The value of trade imports into the European Union from the United States amounted to 6.157 billion euros while exports of EU-built cars to the United States amounted to 37.4 billion past year, representing nearly 30 percent of the total EU export value.

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