Automakers Warn Trump’s Tariffs Will Lead to Mass Layoffs

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

It remains to be seen if Trump will go through with his stated plans of imposing additional tariffs on the automobile industry, but if he does it won't be pretty.

Industry groups representing virtually every major automaker, both foreign and domestic, say Trump's tariffs would cost American consumers $45 billion per year in higher costs.

A coalition representing major foreign automakers including Toyota Motor Corp, Volkswagen AG, BMW AG, and Hyundai Motor Co, said the tariffs would harm automakers and U.S. consumers. [...]

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, representing General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co, Daimler AG, Toyota and others, urged the administration in separate comments filed Wednesday not to go forward.

The Alliance said its analysis of 2017 auto sales data showed a 25 percent tariff on imported vehicles would result in an average price increase of $5,800, which would boost costs to American consumers by nearly $45 billion annually.

The industry groups say Trump's initial tariffs would kill at least 195,000 jobs and after other nations retaliate it could kill over 600,000 jobs.

Speaking plainly, Toyota would like to make it clear that the Americans employed at Toyota's factories right here inside the United States are not a threat to anyone's national security.

Automakers may want to consider joining the lawsuit filed by metal industry groups yesterday. That lawsuit is challenging the constitutionality of the authority granted to the office of the president by the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.

That law was passed with the intention of allowing the American president to restrict imports from Cuba among other nations, but Trump is using it because he just hates Angela Merkel.

Before Trump started invoking section 232 of the law to impose tariffs on the grounds of national security, the last time it was used for that purpose was in 1982. That's why the law has never been challenged. Using it is simply not normal.

  • muselet

    There is, as I keep saying, no national-security justification for tariffs on imported cars. Donald Trump is threatening tariffs because he has a wild hair up his arse about the rest of the world—especially the EU—not falling into line behind him (and, not incidentally, about seeing Mercedes on 5th Avenue); every other explanation is just waffle and flannel.

    Given the current Supremes’ bland disinterest in doing their job, I doubt the Trade Expansion Act of 1962—or Trump’s deliberate misuse of it—will be declared unconstitutional.

    We’re screwed.


  • Draxiar

    Looks like the dipshit trumpers, abstainers, and protest voters are going to find out the hard way that elections have consequences. The owner of a nail factory was publicly asking trump to reconsider his tarrifs because they could possibly deep-six his whole business (I’d love to know who he voted for). I’m at the point that if a trumper loses his/her job directly because of trumps ignorant decisions then, good. Fuck ’em.

    • Aynwrong

      When asked about all of this somsome Trump voters actually acknowledge it’s happening (PROGRESS!!) but then immediately follow it up with some bumper sticker slogan along the lines of “He’s shaking things up, breaking the mold or challenging the status quo.”

      • Badgerite

        Well, the “status quo” was actually in their favor. So why they would want to ‘break’ it is beyond me.
        The people who want to ‘break’ it don’t give a flying crap about them.

    • ninjaf

      I read that story, too. He is a Trump voter. So, sorry…he gets no tears from me over the loss of his business. His workers, on the other hand…

      • Draxiar

        He is? Well okay then. While he may not have explicitly voted for tarrifs he voted for a 6-time bankrupt business man with no government experience who has only ever manufactured horseshit. So while the man may manufacture nails it’ll be trump and to some degree this man who, ironically, puts the final nail in the coffin of his own business. I wonder how his “economic anxiety” will be if he does go under. Better than under President Obama? The smart money says it won’t be…and I hope he personally thanks trump.