WASHINGTON — An army of automotive industry representatives advanced on the nation’s capital this week, united in opposition to the threats of new tariffs on imported vehicles and auto parts leveled by a White House locked in protracted trade talks with China, Japan, and the European Union, according to a Bloomberg report.
Executives and lobbyists have warned President Donald Trump and members of Congress that new levies could derail the automotive industry, which finds itself in a precarious position after a decade of booming new-vehicle sales. Those sales have slowed, interest rates and transaction prices are climbing, and production costs are already enhanced by new tariffs on steel and aluminum.
Former Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt, now president of the American Automotive Policy Council, says the steel and aluminum tariffs, put in place last year, have raised the average cost to build a vehicle by $400 for General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler.
“That $400 in an extremely competitive global industry has an impact on our ability to compete in export markets,” Blunt said.
Also visiting Washington this week were Subaru of North America President Tom Doll, the heads of federal affairs for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (GM, Toyota, Volkswagen, others) and the Auto Care Association, and the president of the Association of Global Automakers, John Bozzella.
Bozzella’s group represents Honda, Hyundai, and Kia. He told Bloomberg’s Ryan Beene that if a threatened 25% tariff is enacted, Center for Automotive Research estimates of an average $6,875 price hike on foreign-made cars would be just the beginning.
“Our trading partners will not stand idly by and accept this,” Bozzella said. “There will be retaliation.”
To read the Bloomberg article, click here.