White House Delays Decision on Imported Auto Tariffs

Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

The White House said on Friday that President Donald Trump is delaying a decision by up to six months on whether to impose tariffs on imported cars and parts to allow for more time for trade talks with the European Union and Japan.

It said, however, Trump agreed with findings that imported vehicles and parts can threaten U.S. national security.

Trump faced a Saturday deadline to make a decision on recommendations by the Commerce Department to protect the U.S. auto industry from imports on national security grounds.

Trump directed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to pursue negotiations and report back within 180 days and said if no deal is reached Trump will decide by then “whether and what further action needs to be taken.”

In a proclamation released Friday, Trump said he agreed with a Commerce Department study that found some imported cars and trucks are “weakening our internal economy” and threaten to harm national security.

The auto tariffs face strong opposition in Congress, including from many prominent Republicans.

Reuters and other new outlets reported earlier this week that Trump was expected to delay the decision.

Automakers have strongly opposed the tariffs, saying they would hike prices and threaten thousands of U.S. jobs.

Trump’s proclamation said “domestic conditions of competition must be improved by reducing imports” and said a strong U.S. auto sector is vital to U.S. military superiority.

The reported cited statistics that U.S.-owned companies’ share of the U.S. automobile market has declined from 67 percent, or 10.5 million units produced and sold in the United States, in 1985 to 22 percent, 3.7 million units produced and sold in the United States, in 2017.

At the same time, the reports said imports nearly doubled, from 4.6 million units to 8.3 million units.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Trump that “successful negotiations could allow American-owned automobile producers to achieve long-term economic viability and increase R&D spending to develop cutting-edge technologies that are critical to the defense industry.”

Trump had threatened to impose tariffs of up to 25 percent on imported cars and trucks.

Automakers warned the tariffs cost hundreds of thousands of auto jobs, dramatically raise prices on vehicles and threaten industry spending on self-driving cars.

General Motors Co last year warned that import tariffs could cost jobs and lead to a “a smaller GM” while isolating U.S. businesses from the global market.

Toyota Motor Corp has said the tariffs “threaten U.S. manufacturing, jobs, exports, and economic prosperity.”

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Nick Zieminski)

What do you think?

11 pledges
Upvote Downvote
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Otis
Member

GM does not pay federal taxes. Is that fair? I have a GM and a Toyota, btw. American automakers were once great and better get their ‘stuff’ together and make themselves great again.

Phoenix
Member

Interesting – Democrats have been quite loud about making corporations pay their fair share in taxes for as long as i know. Republicans have disagreed vehemently. Are they no longer in need of lower taxes because they are employers or you just following the lead of the president no matter what now?

Tariffs used to be a huge no for Republicans too. My how things have changed!

Phoenix
Member

Gasp! – i havent been able to post for months. I’d been blocked as spam unfortunately with no means of support to say otherwise. I’m surprised that went through.

General Confusion
Member

Thank goodness you returned to the IJR cauldron, Phoenix! Welcome back!

We won’t always agree (which two people can?) and we may still confuse each other, from time to time, but at least you are sane.

You just made my day.

Phoenix
Member

If you could help, reach out to the moderator and see if they can unblock me or at least respond back to my emails and explain why I’ve been blocked. I literally cannot login to my account.

General Confusion
Member

Interesting. When you replied here, your ID was missing.

IJR has made a number of changes which cut communication or make it more difficult between members and with IJR. I can try mediating, but can’t make any promises.

If you can’t login, how are you able to post?

Phoenix
Member

With their latest update, there is a new “Join the Discussion” button. This allows you to enter a name and your email right on the article page. I used my email and username and it worked. I was surprised it pulled up my user icon. I try posting and logging in periodically just to see and i happen to get lucky today. Though earlier today i got flagged again and couldn’t post for a few hours. I suspect someone is flagging my posts to be jerks, but who knows. Its a bummer – i really like the community here and… Read more »

General Confusion
Member

“i really like the community here”

You ARE bear for punishment. 😀

I probably won’t get a response from IJR until the work week starts. We also used to be able to directly contact Alex, but I don’t know if we still can.

Phoenix
Member

Lol no no, honestly folks here actually very kind and just up for a good discussion. Try other sites and you will understand why i find this one most preferable.

Don’t go too crazy taking up your time, but i definitely appreciate your help!

Phoenix
Member

Not sure what you did, but i can log in! Woooo!

General Confusion
Member

Maybe I confused them.

Chick-fil-A Exec Tells Critics: We Have a ‘Higher Calling’ in Charitable Donations Than ‘Cultural War’

Trump, Pelosi, Barr

Trump Says ‘Good Chance’ Democrats Will Back Immigration, Border Plan