With 2 Hours to Spare, 25% Auto Tariff Report Heads to Trump's Desk

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The Commerce Department sent its tariff report to Trump's desk. It did not disclose the recommendation.

Reuters reports U.S. Agency Submits Auto Tariff Probe Report to White House.

The U.S. Commerce Department sent a report on Sunday to U.S. President Donald Trump that could unleash steep tariffs on imported cars and auto parts, provoking a sharp backlash from the industry even before it is unveiled, the agency confirmed.

Late on Sunday, a department spokeswoman said it would not disclose any details of the “Section 232” national security report submitted to Trump by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. The disclosure of the submission came less than two hours before the end of a 270-day deadline.

Trump has 90 days to decide whether to act upon the recommendations, which auto industry officials expect to include at least some tariffs on fully assembled vehicles or on technologies and components related to electric, automated, connected and shared vehicles.

The industry has warned that feared tariffs of up to 25 percent on millions of imported cars and parts would add thousands of dollars to vehicle costs and potentially lead to hundreds of thousands of job losses throughout the U.S. economy.

“These tariffs, if applied, could move the development and implementation of new automotive technologies offshore, leaving America behind,” it said in a statement. “Not a single company in the domestic auto industry requested this investigation.”

Trump said on Friday that tariffs protect industry and also help win trade agreements.

“I love tariffs, but I also love them to negotiate,” he said.

I wonder how much money was wasted on a study that nobody wanted but President Trump.

Flat Out Lie (or Economic Ignorance)

Tariffs are a tax. US consumers and businesses pay that tax. And Trump ignores the billions of dollars that US farmers lost when China retaliated.

The US steel industry raised prices after the tariffs. Hooray? No! Every manufacturing company that uses steel has a loss or it passes the cost on to consumers.

Those who pass on the cost face loss of business to importers who get alternative products from some other country not subject to the tax.

Eventually, every importer finds alternative suppliers not subject to the tax. If Trump puts a tariff on everybody, prices rise and demand drops. Sales tax collection by cities and states turns negative.

The fundamental point is China did not pay the US tariffs as Trump stated.

Trump's tariffs have been a net loss on US consumers and businesses.

Hooray! We raised billions in taxes! The cost was in the tens of billions on US consumers and businesses.

Trump is an economic illiterate.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (4)
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Webej
Webej

Trump doesn't even get that exports are a cost and imports a benefit. He thinks winning (!) is the other way around, and that the Chinese are looting the US treasury when they send imports, because they are paid with $US. It's like giving someone a car for $2000 only to have him moan about the fact that you are stealing $2000 from him instead of paying him for the privilege.