President Donald Trump has directed the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) to investigate whether imported automobiles and auto parts pose a threat to America’s national security. The deadline for submitting public comments was extended to Friday, June 29, according to SEMA Action Network (SAN).
The DOC will issue its findings and recommendations for presidential actions, if any. Such a recommendation could include imposing global tariffs of up to 25 percent on all automobiles and auto parts imported into the U.S. The tariffs could take effect prior to the mid-term elections, according to SAN.
“Tariffs on imported cars and auto parts is a real possibility, given the Trump Administration’s aggressive use of trade laws, including Section 232 covering national security, in an effort to reduce imports affecting strategic industries,” SAN stated in a news release. “The United States has already imposed global tariffs on steel (25 percent) and aluminum (10 percent) from most countries, and 25 percent tariffs are set to take effect as early as July 2 on $50 billion worth of products imported from China.”
The current DOC investigation into automobiles and auto parts applies to all types of cars and parts, including new cars, classic cars, OEM parts and specialty auto parts. The move would directly affect all U.S. automakers and parts suppliers who use imported components, as well as importers of cars, trucks and SUVs, according to SAN.
SEMA currently opposes imposing tariffs on foreign vehicles and auto parts.