The worldwide automotive market new outlets were set ablaze with an announcement from the White House. President Trump said that the United States of America intends to slap a stiff 25% tariff on cars and trucks coming to our shores that originated in the European Union. Worldwide automotive stocks nosedived as a result of the surprise move by the President. Gildshire sought out help in unraveling the latest development. Both the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times helped with the research.
The statement from President Trump came after reports were made public that Wilbur Ross (U.S. Secretary of Commerce) said that a decision on auto tariffs had been postponed from August to a date later this year or early next year.
Apparently, Secretary Ross and his boss weren’t on the same page, as evidenced by the following from President Trump, speaking at yet another campaign rally in West Virginia.
“We’re going to put a 25 percent tax on every car that comes into the United States from the European Union,” Trump said.
Secretary Ross attempted to downplay mixed signals between the president and his cabinetry. However, the Commerce secretary also declined to set any new timelines. He said his office’s report was delayed due to ongoing negotiations between the United States, Canada, Mexico and the E.U.
Automakers are well known to be largely against vehicle tariffs of any kind. They say, with evidence supporting their claims, that tariffs would drive up costs to consumers and to their own supply chain. Resistance against tariffs is industry-wide, even including domestic makes that would otherwise be expected to support punitive measures leveled against their competition.
The president previously said he could possibly impose tariffs of between 20 and 25 percent on automobile imports. This last May, he requested a Commerce Department report whether such imports are a threat to our national security. He also used that same argument when he slapped tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from around the world.
The remarks at the West Virginia campaign rally are new enough that the ramifications of them are not known, as yet. Gildshire will watch for further developments as they break.