Will tariffs on Chinese products protect US jobs?

EU is possibly as bad as China’ Trump attacks partners in new ‘unfair trade’ rant

Francois Lenoir Reuters

On Sunday, Canada started imposing tariffs on billions of dollars of USA goods in response to the Trump administration's duties on Canadian steel and aluminum.

But the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says those increased costs get passed on to customers, and ultimately bog down economic activity.

Trump then appeared to segue to Sunday's presidential election in Mexico, and he issued a veiled threat at enacting more punitive tariffs on the country.

Meanwhile, about 6.2 billion dollars of exports from the state of Washington could be targeted by retaliatory tariffs, with steel, aluminum products and coffee among hardest-hit exports.

European auto manufacturers in the United States export 60% of their cars, which helps the USA trade balance - a number Trump has been focused on. "We cant send our cars and if we do they charge many, many times the tax that we stupidly don't charge".

"In 2017, US-based European Union companies produced close to 2.9 million automobiles, which accounted for 26% of total U.S. production", it said, adding that they supported 120,000 USA jobs.

The EU sent comments to the U.S. on whether motor imports pose enough of a threat to United States national security to justify tariffs and estimating the economic impact.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which represents General Motors, Ford, Daimler, Toyota and others, are imploring Trump to not pursue this plan of attack, noting that if he continues it could ultimately cost consumers $45 billion annually.

That came on top of the tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum that went into effect in late March - measures that prompted Beijing to slap punitive duties on 128 USA goods, including pork, wine and certain pipes.

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The EU has a 10 per cent tariff on cars compared to 2.5 per cent for cars entering the US.

The European Commission said the United States investigation into auto imports "lacks legitimacy, factual basis and violates global trade rules", according to CNN Money.

The EU's letter reportedly said that it has not yet decided on countermeasures to possible vehicle tariffs, but said it is "likely" to apply them to "a significant volume of trade" in the event Trump imposes such tariffs.

The documents submitted to the Commerce Department also said that tariffs on cars and vehicle parts could undermine auto production in the United States by creating higher costs for USA manufacturers.

The ISM said that demand remained strong but supply chains continued to "struggle" because of import tariffs and the robust economy.

She said the European Union can not lift its auto tariffs for the U.S. or it would have to do so for the rest of the world, and "there's no way" European Union member countries would agree to that.

"We'll spare no effort, be it at the technical or political level, to prevent this from happening", a spokesman for the Commission told reporters, adding that Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's trip to Washington later this month would seek to stop any new United States tariffs.

Trump took the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based company to task for several days over twitter over the move, including threatening them with a new "huge" tax, which he didn't clarify.

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