Trump looks at new tariffs on auto imports

  • Trump looks at new tariffs on auto imports

Trump looks at new tariffs on auto imports

The new tariffs would be imposed under a legal provision known as Section 232, which allows the president to impose trade barriers if it is determined that imports pose a threat to national security.

In a statement, Trump said he instructed Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to "consider initiating a Section 232 investigation into imports of automobiles, including trucks, and automotive parts to determine their effects on America's national security".

The Trump administration confirmed on Wednesday that it may slap tariffs on imported vehicles and automotive parts, pending the outcome of an investigation by the Department of Commerce.

Both countries are part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), which the Trump administrations wants to renegotiate in a bid to boost the U.S. manufacturing sector.

President Trump is weighing new protections for domestic automakers, saying American auto workers have "waited long enough".

The talks have been underway for more than nine months and now appear likely to continue into 2019, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said earlier this week.

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

Trump administration officials have begun to discuss the possibility of auto tariffs with industry executives, according to the Journal, and the tariffs could be as high as 25%. During a meeting with auto executives earlier this month, Trump said he would push for an increase in the production of vehicles built at USA plants.

The probe rests on 1960s legislation which lets the president restrict imports if they threaten national security.

A person familiar with the discussions said the president has suggested seeking new tariffs of 20 to 25 percent on automobile imports.

Initially, many saw this as referring to China's announcement Tuesday that it would make big reductions in its tariffs on imported cars.

"I think your autoworkers and your auto companies in this country are going to be very happy with what's going to happen", Trump told reporters when asked about the tweet later in the day.

Negotiators for the United States, Mexico, and Canada remain deadlocked over rules for granting duty-free status to vehicles under a new North American trade deal.