Get ready for another shitshow.
Under direction from Trump, the Commerce Department announced yesterday that they've launched an investigation to determine if they can impose tariffs on cars for national security reasons.
The national security probe under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 would investigate whether vehicle and parts imports were threatening the industry’s health and ability to research and develop new, advanced technologies, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday.
“There is evidence suggesting that, for decades, imports from abroad have eroded our domestic auto industry,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement, promising a “thorough, fair and transparent investigation.”
How could importing cars possibly harm national security, you might ask.
Well, it can't, but this is same process the Trump regime went through to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. They claimed cheap metal harms our national security and imposed tariffs under Section 232.
And there's another similarity here.
Trump's tariffs on foreign metals have not exactly lit the American metal industry on fire and they've actually cost jobs in associated industries. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says there's evidence that importing cars harms the domestic auto industry, but tariffs could harm them the most.
Foreign auto makers such as Toyota actually produce a majority of their cars right here inside the United States. American auto makers such as Ford, on the other hand, import some vehicles from Mexico.
Imposing tariffs on cars imported from Mexico would be a violation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) so Trump might exempt Mexico from tariffs just as he did with steel and aluminum, but then you have to ask what's the point?
If Trump goes through with this, he will invite even more retaliation and he'll have nothing to show for it except higher prices.