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Trump Threatened New Auto Tarriffs, Then The Entire Industry Told Him No

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President Donald Trump espouses a dangerous brand of nationalist and protectionist economics. He thinks that America First has to mean harmful tariffs which benefit no one. He has recently threatened to issue crippling tariffs on the auto industry in the US, so the industry giants came out one by one to explain why he is completely wrong on this issue. A group of industry experts called Moody’s Investors Service said in a report:

“The economic fallout would be significant, with auto tariffs hurting the global economy by distorting prices and creating inefficiencies, and the impact would reverberate across global supply chains. The already weakening pace of global expansion would magnify global growth pressures, causing a broader hit to business and consumer confidence amid tightening financial conditions.”

Similarly, Toyota released a statement along the same lines:

“The 137,000 people who work for Toyota across America deserve to know whether they are considered a national security threat. And the American consumer needs to know whether the cost of every vehicle sold in the U.S. may increase.”

Some other organizations minced their words even less. The American International Automobile Dealers Association came out to call the entire Commerce Department investigation “bogus”. Their CEO, by the name of Cody Lusk, said in a statement:

“Now, dealerships must continue to operate under a cloud of uncertainty, not knowing if at any moment their products will be slapped with 25 percent tariffs, raising vehicle and repair costs by thousands of dollars and slashing sales.”

However, if you are looking for strongly worded statements against Trump policy, the best port of call is always his former employees and officals, of whom there are plenty. William Reinsch is a former US trade official who now works as a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He said:

“[The Commerce Department recommendations] will certainly be tariffs because, hey, he’s a Tariff Man. [President Trump is] pursuing something that, as near as I can tell, the domestic (auto) industry doesn’t want. Once he pursues it, he is going to be under pressure to give up the one thing the auto industry really does want, the US tariff on imported light trucks.”

It is rare that we see shows of public unity on policy issues within the current hostile and polarized climate of American politics. But if there is one thing we can be sure entire sectors of society will agree on, it is that President Donald Trump is doing a bad job. Hopefully he will get the message, but I won’t be holding my breath.


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