The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the industry's chief lobbying group in Washington, said this week that a 25% import tariff would increase the average price of an imported vehicle by $5,800, "a tax of almost $45 billion" on US consumers. President Trump has ordered that department to investigate imported cars and auto parts as a national security threat, which could lead to new tariffs.
In a stern warning to the US government, General Motors said Friday it would have to slash jobs if the Trump administration expands USA tariffs on imported vehicles. "Even the Toyota Camry, the best-selling vehicle in America, made in Georgetown, Kentucky, would face $1,800 in increased costs".
"Imported vehicles do not threaten the United States national security", JAMA said. The administration is said to be considering auto tariffs of as much as 25 per cent.
The new European Union tariffs came in retaliation to U.S. taxes on imported steel and aluminum, enacted earlier this year.
Some aides have said that Trump is pursuing the national security probe to put pressure on Canada and Mexico to agree to concessions in talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. It argued that raising tariffs on imported autos and auto parts is "not the right approach" to balance trade and cautioning that it could hurt investment and jobs at a time when auto sales are flattening. It buys tens of billions of dollars' worth of parts from US suppliers every year, and has invested over 22 billion dollars in USA manufacturing operations since 2009. The company added that global automakers assembling vehicles in the United States are based in countries that are U.S. allies, including Japan, Germany, and South Korea.
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Navarro added that Trump, having passed a tax cut that helps companies like GM and Harley, "felt betrayed" when they then threatened to move production jobs outside the USA in response to the retaliatory actions of foreign countries to Trump's tariffs.
"New tariffs on autos and parts, especially on top of the already-damaging steel and aluminum tariffs, will drastically raise production costs for our auto companies, who will have to pass those costs on to consumers", he continued.
Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One as he traveled from Washington to New Jersey, Trump also said the United States has been treated very badly by the WTO, but he is not considering withdrawing from it at this point. GM plans to combine "proprietary battery technology, a low-priced, flexible vehicle design and high-volume production mainly in China", Reuters reports, citing six current and former GM and supplier executives and six industry experts.
GM operates 47 USA manufacturing facilities and employs about 110,000 people in the country. "Based on historical experience, if cost is passed on to the consumer via higher vehicle prices, demand for new vehicles could be impacted".
The deadline to submit comments was Friday. "Harley is an American bike" and "they should build them in this country", he said.