Trade

Trump said to push for tariff action on foreign cars ahead of midterms

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump wants his staff to push forward with plans to slap 25 percent tariffs on foreign cars before the midterm elections in a bid to score points with his political base, according to administration and auto industry officials.

The president believes a promise to tax cars, trucks and auto parts coming from U.S. competitors like Europe and Japan would allow him to present a concrete win to workers, the officials said.

“Trump sees the auto tariffs as part of his midterm strategy, a way to position Republicans and the White House as pro-worker,” said one senior administration official. “He views it as part of the broader story about to helping to revitalize the American-based economy.”

Raising the price of foreign cars would be the latest in a series of aggressive trade moves by Trump, who is betting that his supporters will be more focused on the protection of local jobs than on the increased costs for consumers, or the potential loss of jobs in U.S. factories that make parts for foreign cars. It would come on top of new penalties hes already imposed on steel and aluminum imports and his tough rhetoric about trade deficits with U.S. allies.

But before he can impose the penalties under U.S. law, Trump must first get the Commerce Department to declare vehicles like Toyotas and Audis a security threat. The agency has taken the first step by launching an investigation into whether the $228 billion worth of auto and auto part imports in 2017 pose a risk, perhaps by undermining economic well-being. And now, the sources said, Trump is pressing the agency to deliver the results before voters go to the polls in November.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A Commerce Department spokesman denied that the investigation, which can take up to 270 days under the law, is being expedited for political reasons. But three industry sources said there is an obvious push to have something on the presidents desk well before the November elections as he seeks leverage in his efforts to wrest concessions from trading partners.

“He wants first to add this to the mix to strengthen his leverage with Canada and Mexico on NAFTA, and its going to be useful for him to use against the EU vis-à-vis their auto tariffs or Japan to try to get them to the table on a bilateral [trade deal],” said one industry source. “He wants the leverage as soon as possible.”

Still, there are questions on how the new tariff threat will actually help Republicans hold on to congressional seats.

“It doesnt seem like a very successful midterm strategy to use the tariffs if Republicans in Congress are leading the fight against them,” said Lori Wallach, the director of Public Citizens Global Trade Watch. Wallach has largely been supportive of Trumps trade policies as they relate to workers.

Trumps tariffs on steel and aluminum, which were imposed under the same national security authority he wants to use for autos, have drawn strong rebukes from Republican lawmakers. Some have even mobilized to push legislation that would check his trade powers, although recent efforts to do that seem to be faltering.

Possible tariffs on autos and auto parts have also drawn mixed reaction from labor unions, a key constituency for Trumps trade policies. The United Steelworkers, which represents workers in industries that supply auto manufacturers and auto parts-makers, has been the only major labor group to publicly support the investigation.

The United Automobile Workers, which has slightly more than 430,000 active members across the United States, still has not taken a position on the investigation.

“Were looking at everything,” new UAW President Gary Jones told reporters at the groups convention in Detroit on Thursday, just hours after being elected. “I havent studied it enough and been briefed on it enough to learn about.”

Automakers are equally conflicted. Domestic auto producers like Ford, GM and Chrysler, represented by their lobbying arm in Washington, the American Automotive Policy Council, took no position on the investigation. Foreign automakers with extensive production in the U.S. have been more strongly opposed to the action and warned that tariffs would “undermine the health and competitiveness of the U.S. auto industry.”

Politically, the action “may have the short-term impact theyre seeking, and long term be much more detrimental,” said Kristin Dziczek, vice president of industry, labor and economics at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

A tariff action could be “incredibly unpopular once its in place and it plays out for a while,” she said.

The U.S. auto industry, composed of both U.S.-based and foreign-based automakers, is already operating at about 80 percent capacity and produced around 11 million vehicles last year. That production filled about two-thirds of the U.S. auto market, which had total sales of about 17.3 million vehicles in 2017.

If the goal is to bolster U.S. manufacturers in the short term, “theres not a lot of places that they can get more production out,” Dziczek said.

Theres also the question of time and resources.

One senior administration official cautioned that Commerce is overburdened by requests from Trump and may not issue the report as quickly as the president wants.

The division within the department that is handling the investigation, the Bureau of Industry and Security, is already stretched to the limit.

The department is still reeling from the aftermath of the similar investigation that resulted in tariffs on steel and aluminum. Staff there are in the midst of processing thousands of requests from companies asking for certain products to be excluded from those tariffs.

“I know that they are very burdened by their existing work,” said one former senior Commerce official.

Ross had promised the investigation into steel and aluminum would be completed in a little over two months after it was launched on April 20, 2017. However, the final investigation wasnt completed until January 11, 2018, and only after considerable scrutiny by the Defense Department and other agencies.

The deadline for public feedback on the auto investigation is coming up on June 22, and a public hearing will be held July 19-20.

“The report writers are already pretty frantically trying to find the data they need to support a case,” said Dziczek.

Doug Palmer and Andrew Restuccia contributed reporting.

Related Articles

55 Comments

  1. Good – I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your site. I had no trouble navigating through all tabs as well as related info ended up being truly easy to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Quite unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, website theme . a tones way for your client to communicate. Excellent task..

  2. Hi there would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re utilizing? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different web browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you recommend a good internet hosting provider at a honest price? Thanks, I appreciate it!

  3. wonderful put up, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector do not understand this. You should proceed your writing. I’m confident, you have a huge readers’ base already!

  4. Wow! This can be one particular of the most useful blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Excellent. I am also a specialist in this topic so I can understand your hard work.

  5. You could definitely see your skills in the paintings you write. The sector hopes for even more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. Always follow your heart. “He never is alone that is accompanied with noble thoughts.” by Fletcher.

  6. A person essentially help to make seriously articles I would state. This is the very first time I frequented your website page and thus far? I surprised with the research you made to create this particular publish extraordinary. Wonderful job!

  7. Hey would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re working with? I’m going to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a difficult time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique. P.S My apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!

  8. Superb blog you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any discussion boards that cover the same topics discussed here? I’d really like to be a part of online community where I can get feedback from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Thanks!

  9. Hi there very cool web site!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your web site and take the feeds additionally?KI am glad to search out so many useful info right here in the submit, we want develop extra techniques on this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  10. Hiya, I’m really glad I’ve found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish only about gossips and web and this is actually irritating. A good website with exciting content, that is what I need. Thank you for keeping this web site, I will be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Cant find it.

  11. Thanx for the effort, keep up the good work Great work, I am going to start a small Blog Engine course work using your site I hope you enjoy blogging with the popular BlogEngine.net.Thethoughts you express are really awesome. Hope you will right some more posts.

  12. I cling on to listening to the newscast talk about receiving boundless online grant applications so I have been looking around for the most excellent site to get one. Could you advise me please, where could i get some?

  13. Thank you, I have recently been looking for information about this subject for ages and yours is the greatest I’ve found out so far. But, what in regards to the bottom line? Are you sure in regards to the supply?

  14. The very core of your writing whilst sounding agreeable in the beginning, did not work very well with me personally after some time. Somewhere throughout the sentences you actually managed to make me a believer unfortunately only for a very short while. I however have got a problem with your jumps in logic and you might do well to help fill in all those gaps. If you can accomplish that, I would certainly end up being fascinated.

  15. Hey there would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with? I’m going to start my own blog soon but I’m having a hard time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique. P.S My apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!

  16. Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

  17. I and my friends appeared to be following the good guides on your site while at once I had a horrible suspicion I had not expressed respect to the blog owner for them. All of the young men ended up so happy to learn them and already have absolutely been tapping into them. Appreciation for indeed being quite kind as well as for getting varieties of marvelous guides millions of individuals are really desperate to understand about. Our own sincere apologies for not expressing gratitude to sooner.

  18. Throughout the great scheme of things you receive an A+ for effort and hard work. Exactly where you misplaced us was on your specifics. As it is said, details make or break the argument.. And that couldn’t be more correct right here. Having said that, permit me inform you precisely what did give good results. The text is certainly quite persuasive which is probably why I am making an effort in order to comment. I do not really make it a regular habit of doing that. Next, even though I can notice the leaps in reason you come up with, I am not really certain of how you appear to unite your points which produce your conclusion. For now I will subscribe to your point however trust in the near future you actually connect your facts better.

  19. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed! Extremely useful information specially the last part 🙂 I care for such information a lot. I was looking for this certain information for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

  20. Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is important and all. But think of if you added some great photos or videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and clips, this website could undeniably be one of the most beneficial in its field. Amazing blog!

  21. Hello there, You have done an incredible job. I’ll definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I am confident they’ll be benefited from this web site.

  22. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is great blog. A fantastic read. I will certainly be back.

  23. Hey! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so I came to give it a look. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Fantastic blog and excellent design and style.

  24. This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!

  25. hey there and thank you for your info – I have certainly picked up anything new from right here. I did however expertise some technical points using this website, since I experienced to reload the website a lot of times previous to I could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your web host is OK? Not that I am complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will very frequently affect your placement in google and could damage your quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I’m adding this RSS to my e-mail and can look out for much more of your respective intriguing content. Ensure that you update this again very soon..

  26. Undeniably imagine that that you said. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the internet the easiest factor to take into account of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed at the same time as people consider issues that they just don’t realize about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as smartly as outlined out the entire thing without having side effect , other people could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  27. I like what you guys are up too. Such smart work and reporting! Carry on the excellent works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it’ll improve the value of my web site :).

  28. We are a bunch of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community. Your website offered us with useful information to paintings on. You’ve done a formidable job and our entire neighborhood will likely be thankful to you.

  29. I’ve been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this blog. Thanks, I will try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your website?

  30. Добрый день. Кто знает: кто
    делал спины на вебсайте онлайн казино https://iaido.tv/??
    Просто нашел в поисковике рв казино официальный сайт зеркало
    и стало интересно.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button