An international-nameplate dealer group and import automaker trade group have spoken out against President Trump’s proposed 25 percent tariff on imported steel and 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports. Neither NADA nor individual automakers have issued a reaction to the tariff proposal.
Steel and aluminum are both crucial to the production of cars and trucks sold in America today and would raise the sale prices of those vehicles substantially, the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA) said in a statement. In addition to paying more for their vehicles, American consumers and workers can also expect to bear the brunt of the retaliatory tariffs other countries will almost certainly place on goods manufactured and exported from the United States.
“These proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports couldn’t come at a worse time,” said AIADA President Cody Lusk. “Auto sales have flattened in recent months, and manufacturers are not prepared to absorb a sharp increase in the cost to build cars and trucks in America,” Lusk said. “The burden of these tariffs, as always, will be passed on to the American consumer. Car shoppers looking for a deal will instead find that they are paying a new tax to transport themselves and their families.”
Steel and aluminum tariffs could directly counteract any benefits American manufacturers have seen from tax and regulatory reform, AIADA said. An analysis of tariffs on steel imposed in 2002 found that the Bush steel tariffs cost 200,000 jobs.
The Association of Global Automakers, the trade group that represents international-nameplate auto manufacturers, also strongly opposes the tariffs. “The renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) pose major risks to the U.S. auto industry,” the group’s statement said. The “uncertainty and risk” of the proposed tariffs only compound the problem.
“These tariffs will, without question, inflict damage on the U.S. auto industry,” said the Global Automakers. “It should surprise no one that car makers consume huge amounts of steel and aluminum. It also shouldn’t surprise anyone who can remember 2002 just how bad this idea really is.”Download Bulletin PDF