Published: Sat, December 01, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Trump auto tariff threats may hit U.S. consumers' pockets

Trump auto tariff threats may hit U.S. consumers' pockets

U.S. President Donald Trump touted the use of U.S. tariffs on foreign small trucks Wednesday, saying their placement on other foreign vehicles would have prevented the closure of several General Motors plants and the loss of thousands of coveted manufacturing jobs.

"If we did that with cars coming in, many more cars would be built here", Mr Trump said, adding "and GM would not be closing their plants in Ohio, Michigan & Maryland".

The United States now has a 2.5 percent tariff on imported cars and sport utility vehicles from markets outside North America and South Korea.

The US President tweeted that tariffs were "being studied" and that duties could have stopped the GM closures. The US has agreed with Japan and the European Union to hold off on additional tariffs on auto imports while trade negotiations are underway. The United States imposed a 25 percent tariff on Chinese vehicles on top of the 2.5 percent it normally charges.

President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are scheduled to meet at the upcoming G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to discuss tariffs and other topics. "We are continuing to raise these issues with China".

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American International Automobile Dealers Association CEO Cody Lusk told FOX Business' Susan Li that GM failed to include in their restructuring announcement whether China's unfair trade practices affected GM's decision to cut 14,000 jobs over the next two years.

The survey released yesterday by IHS Markit, a London-based economics research firm, reveals that more than 4 in 10 companies plan to raise prices to offset the higher cost of production caused by Trump's trade war.

Trump tweeted: "Billions of Dollars are pouring into the coffers of the United States of America because of the Tariffs being charged to China, and there is a long way to go". Trump has also threatened to impose duties on $267 billion worth of goods if China does not surrender to his demands. China countered by imposing taxes on $60 billion worth of US goods.

Volvo recently announced a reduction to its hiring plans and scaling back on the auto company's new assembly plant near Charleston, South Carolina, as a result of the impending higher auto tariffs.

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