Trump considers 25% tariff on imported cars
President Donald Trump has instructed the Department of Commerce “to consider initiating an investigation” to determine whether automotive imports “threaten to impair the national security” of the United States, the White House said in a statement last night. Such probe could result in 25% tariffs on imported vehicles.
The new U.S. probe will be carried out under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, a law that authorizes the secretary of Commerce to determine “the effects of imports of any article on the national security of the United States.”
A source with knowledge of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s strategic thinking told DailyMail that steel, not the global automobile trade, is at the center of the controversy. German and Japanese automakers use ‘tons of steel from China,’ the source said, because they lack their own foundry capacity.
According to the report, Trump is using the threat of tariffs to persuade the companies to use more American steel.
This is the second investigation the Trump administration launches based on Section 232, last year a similar measure resulted in a 25% tariff on imported steel and a 10% tariff on imported aluminum, although in most cases those tariffs have been suspended while the U.S. negotiates with exporting countries.
After the announcement, shares of Japanese and Korean automakers fell in Asian markets during the early hours of the trading session.