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The U.S. Would Share in the Pain of Auto Tariffs

Sep 11, 2018 | 09:30 GMT
A Fiat Chrysler plant in Michigan displays auto body parts.

Automakers around the world are worried about the fallout of prospective U.S. tariffs on imported vehicles, but the United States would feel some of the strongest effects of the measures.

(Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

The prospect of U.S. tariffs on automotive imports is looming large in the minds of carmakers around the globe, but the United States itself would feel some of their biggest effects. If the U.S. Department of Commerce determines that auto imports harm national security, then the White House can erect additional trade barriers -- tariffs on finished vehicles and perhaps their components -- that would raise prices for U.S. consumers. Depending on their severity, the fees could put hundreds of thousands of U.S. workers out of work, largely in automobile retail. But the fallout could be short-lived. The approach of the 2020 presidential vote would force President Donald Trump's administration to find a balance between its trade goals and the economic pain facing consumers and workers. By then, the administration may have gotten enough concessions from its partners in trade deals to opt for lighter tariffs -- or forgo them...

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