The U.S. auto industry urged President Donald Trump’s administration on Monday not to saddle imported cars and auto parts with steep tariffs, after the U.S. Commerce Department sent a confidential report to the White House late on Sunday with its recommendations for how to proceed.
Some trade organizations also blasted the Commerce Department for keeping the details of its “Section 232” national security report shrouded in secrecy, which will make it much harder for the industry to react during the next 90 days Trump will have to review it.
“Secrecy around the report only increases the uncertainty and concern across the industry created by the threat of tariffs,” the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association said in a statement, adding that it was “alarmed and dismayed.”
“It is critical that our industry have the opportunity to review the recommendations and advise the White House on how proposed tariffs, if they are recommended, will put jobs at risk, impact consumers, and trigger a reduction in U.S. investments that could set us back decades.”
Representatives from the White House and the Commerce Department could not immediately be reached.
The industry has warned that possible tariffs of up to 25 percent on millions of imported cars and parts would add thousands of dollars to vehicle costs and potentially devastate the U.S economy by slashing jobs.
Administration officials have said tariff threats on autos are a way to win concessions from Japan and the EU. Last year, Trump agreed not to impose tariffs as long as talks with the two trading partners were proceeding in a productive manner.
“We believe the imposition of higher import tariffs on automotive products under Section 232 and the likely retaliatory tariffs against U.S. auto exports would undermine – and not help – the economic and employment contributions that FCA, US, Ford Motor Company and General Motors make to the U.S. economy,” said former Missouri Governor Matt Blunt, the president of the American Automotive Policy Council.
Some Republican lawmakers have also said they share the industry’s concerns.
In a statement issued on Monday, Republican Congresswoman Jackie Walorski said she fears the Commerce Department’s report 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 axe,” she added.
Reporting by David Shepardson and David Lawder; Writing by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Dan Grebler
‘Trump literally just confessed to the crime’: Pennsylvania Democrat
Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA) believes President Donald Trump confessed to bribing or extorting Ukraine in an effort to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.
The president told reporters Monday morning at the United Nations that he had withheld foreign aid from Ukraine as he discussed alleged corruption involving Biden, the Democratic presidential frontrunner.
"It's very important to talk about corruption," Trump. "If you don't talk about corruption, why would you give money to a country that you think is corrupt?...It's very important that on occasion you speak to somebody about corruption."
GOP mass exodus: ‘staggering’ number of House Republicans leaving – one way or another – since Trump became president
The ongoing GOP mass exodus is even larger than many may have realized. Nearly four out of every ten Republican Representatives who were in office the day Donald Trump was sworn in as president no longer are or have announced they no longer will be U.S. Congressmen or Congresswomen.
The Washington Post reports that in the almost three years since Trump took office, due to resignations, retirements, and election losses "nearly 40 percent of the 241 Republicans who were in office in January 2017 are gone or leaving."
Trump’s jumbled response to Ukraine scandal is a strong signal of what’s to come: columnist
On Monday, President Donald Trump denied allegations that he extorted the president of Ukraine for information about Joe Biden. “It’s a ridiculous story,” Trump said during an appearance at the United Nations.
The controversy emerged after an anonymous whistleblower in the intelligence community logged a complaint with their agency about improper behavior by the president on a phone call with a foreign leader. “It’s a partisan whistleblower,” the president added.
Previously, the president's lawyer Rudy Giuliani had traveled to Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. Critics worry that during a conversation with the president of Ukraine about rooting out corruption in his country, Trump suggested he offer information about Biden in exchange for funding.