Trump hints at new car tariffs after GM closures, job cuts, Latest Business News - The New Paper

Trump hints at new car tariffs after GM closures, job cuts

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WASHINGTON : US President Donald Trump on Wednesday said new auto tariffs are "being studied now", asserting they could prevent job cuts such as the US layoffs and plant closures General Motors (GM) announced this week.

Mr Trump said on Twitter that the 25 per cent tariff placed on imported pickup trucks and commercial vans from markets outside North America in the 1960s has long boosted US vehicle production.

"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 US currently has a 2.5 percent tariff on imported cars and sport utility vehicles from markets outside North America and South Korea.

GM did not directly comment on Mr Trump's tweets, but reiterated it was committed to investing in the US.

On Monday, it said it will shut five North American plants, stop building six low-selling passenger cars in North America and cut up to 15,000 jobs.

The company has no plans to shift production of those vehicles to other markets.

The administration is considering imposing dramatic new tariffs on imported vehicles.

"The President has great power on this issue - Because of the GM event, it is being studied now," Mr Trump said.

The prospect of tariffs of 25 percent on imported autos and parts has sent shock waves through the auto industry, with both US and foreign-brand producers lobbying against it.

The White House in recent weeks has reached out to the chief executives of German automakers including Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen about meeting to discuss the status of the auto trade. - REUTERS