Trump proclaims talks not tariffs on autos
President Donald Trump on Friday issued a proclamation that he has ordered officials to engage in talks on automobile and automobile part imports over the next 180 days rather than using Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, to impose tariffs on them.
The issue is particularly important in trade relations with the European Union and Japan.
“I’m glad President Trump decided to delay these tariffs,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said in a news release. “As the president knows, I’m not a fan of tariffs. And I have serious questions about the legitimacy of using national security as a basis to impose tariffs on cars and car parts.”
“I’ll continue to strongly support the Trump administration’s pursuit of trade negotiations with the European Union and Japan.
Senate Finance Committee ranking member Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said “Today, Donald Trump says that foreign-manufactured cars and car parts somehow threaten America’s national security, which flies in the face of common sense. Many of these foreign-branded cars are actually manufactured in the United States by skilled American workers.”
“I am in the corner of autoworkers and made-in-America cars, but this is not a strategy to help U.S. workers,” Wyden said. “It will invite even more retaliation that will hurt our farmers, our ranchers, our manufacturers, while further isolating the United States. These petulant threats will only make it less likely our allies will work with us to confront our collective challenges with China and to fix real trade problems.”
Bruce Stokes, former National Journal international economics writer and now a nonresident transatlantic fellow for economics with the German Marshall Fund, wrote in a blog, “Europe may be sighing with relief, but there is little cause for encouragement.”
“Trump’s tactic is unchanged: the threat of a devastating commercial conflict is meant to extract concessions from America’s trading partners. As talks continue, Brussels must not lose its nerve. Appeasing Donald Trump will not work.”