US tariff threat hits European automakers' stocks

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Sure, investors in major Japanese and South Korean vehicle makers were rattled Thursday: The likes of Toyota and Hyundai tumbled around 3% after the Commerce Department said overnight it is considering the new tariffs on national-security concerns.

The president said in the statement that "core industries such as automobiles and automotive parts are critical to our strength as a nation".

A new tariff on cars, trucks and SUVs could face opposition from some industry groups, with foreign automakers and their dealers likely to be concerned about a price disadvantage against domestic rivals.

"The prime minister also raised strong concerns about the U.S.'s section 232 investigation on automobile imports, given the mutually beneficial integration of the Canadian and American auto industries", the readout said.

"There is evidence suggesting that, for decades, imports from overseas have eroded our domestic auto industry", the secretary wrote.

Officials confirmed overnight that an inquiry had been opened into whether imported vehicles and parts "threaten to impair the national security" of the United States.

Germany's association of industry groups said auto tariffs would be a "provocation" and "another nasty blow to our economic relations" with the United States.

This was the process undertaken last month when Trump raised tariffs for steel and aluminium imports.

"I will tell you in the end, we win".

Trump, who is reportedly considering steep tariffs of 25 percent on imported vehicles, promised auto workers the new deal would make them "extremely happy". Around half of the imports came from Canada and Mexico.

President Trump delivers commencement speech at US Naval Academy
He told graduates that "we have begun the great rebuilding of the USA military". We are not going to apologize for America. We are going to stand up for our values.


Overall, the US imported 8.3 million vehicles previous year valued at $192 billion and exported about 2 million vehicles worth $57 billion.

The impact may be muted for USA automakers, which today export cars from the U.S.to China in limited volumes.

Trump's move is seen as an effort to gain a bargaining chip in stalled talks with Canada and Mexico over the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Some have speculated that the potential tariffs are a way for Trump to get Canada and Mexico to the negotiating table regarding NAFTA.

Although a large portion of the US's most popular auto models, including those from foreign brands (such as the upcoming BMW X7), are already manufactured within its borders, many are imported from other countries.

BMW's 10,000-employee plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, is its biggest worldwide.

"It's never done until the whole thing is done, but we have been making steady, consistent progress on rules of origin on cars", she said. Global Automakers Chief Executive John Bozzella said the move would merely hurt American consumers.

Not so welcome: More than 27,000 asylum seekers have walked across the Canada-U.S. border since Trump took office, but Trudeau warned: 'Crossing the border irregularly isn't a short cut into Canada'. Now the U.S. imposes a tariff of just 2.5 percent on foreign cars, while the European Union levies a 10 percent duty on United States cars.

The value of trade imports into the European Union from the United States amounted to 6.157 billion euros while exports of EU-built cars to the United States amounted to 37.4 billion past year, representing nearly 30 percent of the total EU export value.

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