Automakers: New Tariffs Could Force Job Cuts

GM, others say proposed tax would come at a steep cost
By Janet Cromley,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2018 6:10 PM CDT
Automakers: New Tariffs Could Force Job Cuts

General Motors joined a growing list of automakers and manufacturers warning against the White House’s proposal to place tariffs of up to 25% on imported cars, trucks, and auto parts, report PBS and the New York Times. In a filing with the Commerce Department, GM said that the tax would invite retaliation from other countries and drive up the cost of imported components, increase the cost of vehicles, and stifle demand. “Increased import tariffs could lead to a smaller GM, a reduced presence at home and abroad for this iconic American company, and risk less—not more—U.S. jobs,” it wrote. The National Association of Manufacturers also expressed concern that the tariff plan would put US manufacturing at a global disadvantage, “undermining growth and job creation throughout the United States.”

The rationale behind the new tariff proposal is the belief that imported cars and components may pose a security risk to the US. The president cited similar security concerns to justify imposing tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. Those tariffs led to retaliatory tariffs from Mexico, Canada, the European Union, India, and Turkey. Toyota filed a separate comment on the proposal, suggesting that the new tariffs would “threaten U.S. manufacturing, jobs, exports, and economic prosperity,” notes Reuters. The company added that international automakers assembling vehicles in the US are based in countries that are US allies, including Japan, Germany, and South Korea. “It is difficult to foresee a situation in which any of them would engage in an armed conflict with the U.S., or cut off supplies of defense materials, and if they did, the United States would have an easy recourse of simply seizing their U.S. plants,” it said. (More General Motors stories.)

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