Automakers and manufacturers are warning that President TrumpDonald John TrumpCanadian prime minister commemorates victims of Maryland newspaper shooting Trump suggested to Macron that France should leave the European Union: report Maryland newspaper writer in emotional interview: "We need more than prayers" MORE's push for steep tariffs on imported cars could cost jobs in the USA and damage the economy.
In commenting on the Commerce Department's Section 232 national security investigation of motor vehicles and parts, Toyota Motor North America stressed that it was commenting not on behalf of its Japanese parent, but on behalf of its 37,000 USA employees, and the 367,000 workers employed at its suppliers and dealerships in the U.S.
In a filing with the Department of Commerce on Friday, GM warned that higher tariffs on imported vehicles under consideration by the Trump administration could cost jobs and lead to "a smaller GM" while "isolating usa businesses from the global market". 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.
Several of the worlds leading automakers, including GM and Toyota Motor Corp., filed comments this week detailing concerns about the proposed 25 per cent tariffs on USA imports of vehicles and automotive parts.
It plans two days of public hearings on July 19-20 and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said last week he aimed to wrap up the probe into whether imported vehicles represent a national security threat by late July or August.
General Motors warned Friday that new auto tariffs would undermine its ability to compete.
The Trump administration has said the confrontational posture is needed to address trade agreements that have harmed the United States and cost jobs. However, with its brand presence steadily increasing, Mazda is also looking to increase its American-based operations and has begun construction of a new auto factory in Huntsville, Alabama (something Trump would probably like to take credit for, as he did when another automaker announced a new investment in USA operations).
The Japanese automaker also said the tariffs would harm some of the U.S.'s closest allies, including Canada, when such Commerce investigations traditionally inspect whether imports come from unsafe sources.
"So this came as a little bit of a shock to us, as we thought they were working more along the lines of making sure the administration knows the severity of the impact tariffs would have", he said.
GM, the biggest United States automaker, said it employs about 110,000 people across 47 manufacturing facilities and 25 part facilities in the U.S. and the company remains "committed to our home market".
"New tariffs on autos and parts, especially on top of the already-damaging steel and aluminum tariffs, will drastically raise production costs for our auto companies, who will have to pass those costs on to consumers", he continued.
The probe has raised alarm among manufacturers, parts suppliers and auto retailers because all major carmakers - including GM and Ford Motor - import a substantial share of the vehicles they sell in the USA from other countries. GM imports parts for cars that it makes in the United States. The EU has a 10% tariff on vehicles imported from the U.S. China imposes a 25% duty on U.S. cars.
The carmaker now imports all vehicles it sells in the USA, mostly from Japan and Mexico, and is building a new auto factory in Huntsville, Alabama, with Toyota Motor Corp.
GM operates 47 US manufacturing facilities and employs about 110,000 people in the country.
"The very basis of the Section 232 investigation is wrong", JAMA said in comments filed Friday. In its response, the UAW said that GM sells 80 per cent of its Mexican-made vehicles in the U.S.