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Auto Industry Warns US Tariffs Will Cause Huge Job Losses
Jul 03, 2018

WASHINGTON-Two major auto trade groups on Wednesday warned the Trump administration that imposing up to 25 percent tariffs on imported vehicles would cost hundreds of thousands of auto jobs, dramatically hike prices on vehicles and threaten industry spending on self-driving cars.

The Association of Global Automakers, which represents major foreign automakers including Toyota Motor Corp, Volkswagen AG, BMW AG, and Hyundai Motor Co, said the tariffs would harm automakers and US consumers. The administration in May launched an investigation into whether imported vehicles posed a national security threat and President Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to quickly impose tariffs.

"The greatest threat to the US automotive industry at this time is the possibility the administration will impose duties on imports in connection with this investigation," the Association said.

"Such duties would raise prices for American consumers, limit their choices, and suppress sales and US production of vehicles."

The group added that "rather than creating jobs, these tariffs would result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of American jobs producing and selling cars, SUVs, trucks and auto parts."

On June 22, Trump threatened to impose a 20 percent tariff on all imports of EU-assembled cars. On Tuesday he said the tariffs were coming soon.

"We are finishing our study of tariffs on cars from the EU, in that they have long taken advantage of the US in the form of trade barriers and tariffs," Trump tweeted.

"In the end it will all even out-and it won't take very long!"

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, representing General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co, Daimler AG, Toyota and others, urged the administration in separate comments filed Wednesday not to proceed.

"We believe the resulting impact of tariffs on imported vehicles and vehicle components will ultimately harm US economic security and weaken our national security," the group wrote, calling the tariffs a "mistake" and adding imposing them "could very well set a dangerous precedent that other nations could use to protect their local market from foreign competition"