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Trump's Idea For 25% Tariffs On Auto Imports Met With Shock, Disbelief

Trump directs government to investigate whether tariffs are needed on imports of autos, trucks

Trump has already imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum after a Commerce Department investigation determined that current imports of both metals were large enough to threaten the long-term viability of both domestic industries, thereby putting US national security at risk.

The Trump administration said on Wednesday it had launched a national security investigation into vehicle and truck imports that could lead to new us tariffs similar to those imposed on imported steel and aluminum recently.

As for Trump's comments, Easter said he would not comment on a "one off" statement by the president. "If these tariffs are imposed, consumers are going to take a big hit", said John Bozella, President of Global Automakers, a trade group representing foreign manufacturers doing business in the U.S.

German carmakers exported 494,000 vehicles to the USA past year, the VDA said, while the Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) calculated autos and parts accounted for €28.6 billion ($33.6 billion) of Germany's €111.5 billion in exports to the US.

The governments of Japan, China and South Korea said they would monitor the situation, while Beijing, which is increasingly eyeing the United States as a potential market for its cars, added that it would defend its interests.

"We have to hold on and understand that beyond the agreement there are WTO [World Trade Organization] rules that set reasonable tariffs so that Mexico can continue exporting to the United States", continued the candidate, who holds second place in opinion polls. That could lead to tariffs of up to 25 percent on the same "national security" grounds used to impose USA steel and aluminum duties in March. Trump has regularly complained that other countries impose higher tariffs on imported vehicles than the US does. The EU executive said it would be against the rules of global trade. Thirteen, soon to be 14 companies, produced almost 12 million cars and trucks in America past year. "What they asked for is not fair", said Trump to reporters at the WHite House.

"If the European Union wants to further increase their already massive tariffs and barriers on U.S. companies doing business there, we will simply apply a Tax on their Cars which freely pour into the U.S.", Trump wrote on Twitter in March. If the Commerce Department concludes that Trump can use the "national security" rationale to slap tariffs on automotive imports, the definition of that phrase will have been stretched so far that it is effectively meaningless.

President Trump is weighing new protections for domestic automakers, saying American auto workers have "waited long enough".

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday the auto sector is "critical" to national strength.

Daniel Ujczo, a trade lawyer with Dickinson Wright PLLC, said the tariff threat is likely meant to pressure Mexico into accepting USA demands for NAFTA changes that would shift more auto production to the US from Mexico.

With German carmakers set to be among those hit hardest the possible vehicle tariffs, the German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) said the U.S. move "should nearly be seen as a provocation".

Trump wrote in a tweet addressed to "our great American autoworkers".

"They have been taking advantage of the United States for a long time". If investors were taking the president seriously, one would expect a much larger reaction, given that Toyota, for instance, sells more cars in North America than even its than even its home base of Japan, as its projected to sell roughly 2.4 million cars in the US this year alone.

Trudeau reiterated his government's commitment to ensure a hotly contested Kinder Morgan Canada pipeline expansion project would be built, but said little about how that could be achieved if the firm walked away as it is threatening to do unless Ottawa deals with opposition to the plan. "Canada has been very hard to deal with", Trump said Wednesday.

Commerce said the probe would determine whether lost domestic production had weakened the U.S.