German carmakers denounce Trump's new imports threat

Trump administration launches vehicle import probe

Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross promised a "thorough, fair and transparent investigation", but said foreign imports may have "eroded" the power of U.S. carmakers.

President Donald Trump's tweet that "big news" is on the way for US auto workers Wednesday refers to China announcing plans to slash tariffs on imported passenger cars, according to an aide.

The proposal may see opposition from foreign trading partners to domestic auto dealers of imported vehicles, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier.

"There is evidence suggesting that, for decades, ..."

Last year, 13 domestic and global automakers made almost 12 million vehicles in the United States, it said, and " the sector remains the leading exporter of manufactured goods in our country".

Tariffs that hurt Canada will hurt the competitiveness of the US auto industry as well, Trudeau said, adding some automobile pieces cross the border six times before they end up in an assembled vehicle.

GOP Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyWH backpedals on Trump's "due process" remark on guns Top GOP candidate drops out of Ohio Senate race Newly declassified memos detail extent of improper Obama-era NSA spying MORE (Pa.), a consistent Trump ally, added that the tariffs are a "bad idea" and that "doing it under the false pretense of national security-Section 232-is an even worse idea, as it invites retaliation and weakens our credibility on actual trade disputes".

Any imposed tariffs would nearly certainly stunt demand for those imported vehicles. To stand up to legal scrutiny, the Trump administration would, at least, have to go through the motions of conducting an internal review on the impact of auto imports on national security.

Initial reaction to the idea of an import tax on cars based on national security needswas unfriendly, with one veteran trade lawyer saying it would prompt "pant-wetting laughter - followed by retaliation" among US trading partners.

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"I will tell you in the end, we win". This could also lead to less choice.

In a Twitter message on Wednesday, he said, "There will be big news coming soon for our great American Autoworkers". Around half of the imports came from Canada and Mexico.

Almost half of the vehicles sold in the US are imported, with many coming from assembly plants in Mexico and Canada. Trump has previously described China's unusually high import tariff as "stupid trade" and threatened to raise tariffs on European Union-imported cars. German automakers stand to gain from this, as a third of the cars imported by China a year ago were built in Germany, according to the Financial Times. Until then, the United States had pursued only two such investigations since joining the World Trade Organization in 1995. "He is clearly abusing this national security law simply to get his tariff fix".

Canada and Mexico are already locked in tortuous negotiations with the Trump administration to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement that links the three countries.

U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch said possible auto tariffs are "deeply misguided", and urged the administration "to remain focused on addressing China's trade practices".

In a separate statement released by the White House, Trump said he had "instructed" Ross to "consider" kicking off the probe.

Not so welcome: More than 27,000 asylum seekers have walked across the Canada-U.S. border since Trump took office, but Trudeau warned: 'Crossing the border irregularly isn't a short cut into Canada'.

Although a large portion of the US's most popular vehicle models, including those from foreign brands (such as the upcoming BMW X7), are already manufactured within its borders, many are imported from other countries.

Not a one-way road: The US auto industry exported almost 2 million vehicles worldwide worth $US57 billion.

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