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Economics Minister Wilbur Ross has until February to submit his results to the president. Picture credits: REUTERS

WASHINGTON – The Trump administration is not expected to impose new tariffs on car imports for the time being, as top officials weigh a report on the impact on national security, two persons familiar with the matter said to Bloomberg.

President Donald Trump met with his top trade advisers at the White House Tuesday to discuss a draft report on a Ministry of Commerce investigation into the impact of auto imports. The people who commented on the condition of anonymity because the meeting had not been announced publicly said that the administration was unwilling to comply with the tariffs and that the report would be subject to further changes.

The Commerce investigation, initiated in May under Section 232 of the Expansion Policy Act, covers the import of automobiles, including SUVs, vans and light trucks, as well as auto parts. Economics Minister Wilbur Ross has until February to report his results to the President, who has the final say on the tariffs. Trump has threatened tariffs of up to 25 percent for foreign vehicles.

Companies and governments from Europe to Asia have warned Trump that tariffs on car imports would damage the US economy and disrupt the global auto industry.

A car trade war would strike General Motors' automakers and Toyota Motor Corp. who has built their supply chains to use low-cost countries. The National Automobile Dealers Association estimates that the tariffs would increase the cost of US-built cars by $ 2,270 and the cost of imported cars and trucks by $ 6,875.

Restrict imports

90 days after the official receipt of the report, Trump has decided whether action should be taken if the department believes that auto imports pose a security threat. Trade could recommend a number of import restriction options, including the imposition of duties and quotas. The President then has 15 days to act after announcing action.

Trump has agreed not to impose car fares for Europe while both sides are working on a trade agreement, and Canada and Mexico negotiated accompanying letters to the new agreement between the US, Mexico and Canada, which keeps them from new US tariffs on cars that are capped ,

White House officials present on Tuesday included Ross, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Director of National Economic Council Larry Kudlow, and Senior Adviser Jared Kushner.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said on Tuesday that Europe expects to be released, at least temporarily, from new US car tariffs.

"We assume that is still valid," Malmstrom said, pointing to a promise by the United States and the EU in July not to impose new tariffs on each other. She's in Washington this week to meet Lighthizer.

Malmstrom said there is enough in common for a "limited" US-EU trade agreement on industrial goods that excludes vehicles, agriculture and liquefied natural gas. The Trump administration said in September that it wanted to reach a formal trade agreement with the EU.

The US imported about $ 350 billion in cars and car parts last year.

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