Proposed Car Tariffs Could Drive Up Prices Of American Cars

Opposition Grows Against Trump's Auto Tariff Plan

More than 40 delegates from foreign governments, auto industry groups, and other entities spoke at the session held by the Commerce Department on Thursday.

If the Trump administration hits Seoul with tariffs as a result of its Section 232 autos investigation, the amended U.S. -Korea Free Trade Agreement "becomes meaningless", Korea's minister of trade, industry and energy said on Thursday.

Tariffs on auto part imports would have an immediate effect on American carmakers, whose supply chains stretch around the world.

The talk of auto tariffs comes at a time when the next-door neighbours are already engaged in an unprecedented trade dispute.

Trump also invoked the national security justification to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, angering key allies.

But the vehicle study found USA auto production can't quickly increase, taking at least a year to convert an under-utilized plant and on average two years to build a new assembly facility.

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Kirsten Hillman, Ottawa's envoy to Washington, insisted Canada will strike back again, if necessary.

Kirsten Hillman is Canada's deputy ambassador to the US and she says Canada will be "forced to respond in a proportional manner" if the USA imposes auto levies.

A coalition of seven major auto trade groups representing automakers, dealers, parts companies and retailers issued a joint statement urging the administration to reverse course.

WASHINGTON-A wide spectrum of auto interests, armed with the latest impact studies, will warn at a Commerce Department hearing July 19 that raising auto tariffs would severely harm the industry and consumers.

Trump has proposed tariffs of 25 per cent in a decision he insists would help American workers.

"There's a lot of Canadian and Mexican content in domestically built vehicles and there's a lot of US content in vehicles built in Canada and Mexico", she said. US national security relies on its economic performance, Mattes said.

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We're hoping the committee says do whatever you have to do to these other countries to solve your difference, but don't touch this really valuable world-class relationship you have with Canada and Ontario with respect to autos and auto parts. Not tanks. Not battleships.

"Motor vehicle theft rates could well rise, as many stolen vehicles are sold for their parts", the groups added. "Canada could not conceivably represent any risk to USA national security", she said. "There is none and there's no basis for finding one". It got an earful at an all-day hearing Thursday. The province, which relies heavily on the auto sector, would suffer a big blow from US levies. And as early as September, we're told, he may or may not decide to impose tariffs.

"New tariffs or quotas would also reduce competition and consumer choice, increase the cost of used vehicles and raise the cost of getting vehicles serviced and repaired", said Peter Welch, president of the National Automobile Dealers Association, which commissioned the study. If the investigation finds that is the case, it would allow President Trump to impose tariffs. Doug Jones, D-Ala., joins Americans who work for worldwide auto companies to demonstrate against trade tariffs they say will negatively impact USA auto manufacturing, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday.

"The opposition to this investigation is widespread and deep because the damaging consequences are alarming". She said tariffs would make cars more expensive for consumers, decrease sales and put American jobs at risk.

Auto firms say the tariffs, which could be as high as 25%, would cause the price of a vehicle imported into the USA to increase by an average of nearly $6,000, and a US-made one to go up by about $2,000.

Administration officials and congressional aides say the tariff probe is in part created to win concessions during ongoing NAFTA renegotiation talks, but note that Trump has told aides he wants to impose tariffs before the congressional elections in November. "That doesn't mean we should do nothing".

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