SEMA eNews Vol. 22, No. 8, February 21, 2019

Commerce Department Sends Import Automobile/Auto Parts Report to President Trump

By Washington, D.C., Staff

The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) sent its report to President Trump on whether imported automobiles and auto parts pose a threat to U.S. national security. The report was not made public and the president now has until mid-May to decide on whether to impose tariffs. If he pursues tariffs, President Trump has many options, from imposing global tariffs of as much as 20% to 25% to targeting the tariffs on certain countries and products.  The DOC investigation applied to all types of cars and parts, including new cars, classic cars, OEM parts and specialty auto parts.   

Last year eight major trade associations formed the “Driving American Jobs” Coalition to oppose the potential tariffs.  The group includes SEMA and represents the broad scope of the auto industry, from automakers and dealers to parts manufacturers, distributors, retailers and service providers.  The Coalition has sought to convince the Trump Administration not to pursue tariffs.  The Coalition issued the following statement as the DOC report was transmitted to President Trump on February 17:

Statement: Auto tariffs are a tax on American workers and consumers. A massive 25% tariff will raise the price of cars and motor vehicle parts, strain family budgets and reduce car sales and vehicle repairs. Decreased sales will mean fewer American jobs with wide-ranging effects across our economy that could prove catastrophic. Driving American Jobs will continue to fight for the 10 million Americans whose livelihoods depend on the U.S. auto industry. We strongly urge the Trump Administration to find that the auto industry is not a national security threat.

For more information, contact Stuart Gosswein at stuartg@sema.org.

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