Trump looks at tariffs on vehicle imports

Trump Considering New Tariffs on Imported Cars and Trucks			The Associated Press		23 May 2018

Trump Considering New Tariffs on Imported Cars and Trucks The Associated Press 23 May 2018

Applying the tariffs under Section 232, meanwhile, would require a lengthy investigation and report from the U.S. Commerce Department.

What Happened: Citing national security reasons, U.S. President Donald Trump's administration is considering new tariffs of up to 25 percent on imported vehicles, The Wall Street Journal reported May 23.

Of the cars imported, 2.4 million come from Mexico and 1.8 million from Canada.

Trump, who has pledged to revive American manufacturing, has launched a series of trade actions, demanding China import more American goods, starting talks to renegotiate NAFTA and imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Asked if the measures would hit Mexico and Canada, a Mexican source close to the NAFTA talks said: "That probably is going to be the next battle". Trump's remarks damped expectations that the two sides may have reached a truce, after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the USA had put its tariff plans "on hold".

One of Trump's campaign promises was to secure a new North American Free Trade Agreement that was more favorable to the U.S. The three countries - Canada, Mexico and the U.S. - have been in talks for almost a year now. Rules for regional content in cars have been one of the thorniest issues in the discussions.

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It was not clear, however, whether Trump's tweet was referring to a possible breakthrough in the talks. "After many decades of losing your jobs to other countries, you have waited long enough!"

In a tweet Wednesday, Trump teased "big news coming soon forour great American Autoworkers".

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced he initiated a so-called Section 232 investigation on auto trade - which would provide the legal basis to impose tariffs, if his department finds imports threaten United States national security - after speaking with Donald Trump on the matter. It has been used sparingly by previous administrations.

Three auto industry sources also told Reuters news agency that Trump had said he was planning 20 or 25 percent tariffs on some imported vehicles during a May 11 meeting with industry leaders at the White House.

The White House could opt to negotiate with individual countries about whether auto tariffs take effect. He also suggested that imports should have to achieve tougher emissions standards than vehicles assembled in the US, the person said.

"This has been discussed for some time, which makes me suspect that this is being leaked to put pressure on Mexico during NAFTA and on other parties seeking steel and aluminum exemptions", said lawyer Dan Ujczo of Dickinson Wright.

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