Auto industry would need $7.6B in aid to offset tariffs, U.S. Chamber says

© Reuters

By Sven Gustafson, Autoblog

A new study finds that the Trump administration would need to offer the auto industry $7.6 billion in taxpayer-funded aid if it wanted to follow the lead of its proposed compensation to farmers hit hard by the president's escalating trade conflict with China, the European Union and other countries.

The figures come from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which looked at how much it would cost American taxpayers to extend the same level of financial aid proposed for farmers and ranchers to other industries that have been negatively affected by retaliatory tariffs.

President Trump last week proposed spending up to $12 billion to help farmers weather the trade tensions, as China, the EU, Mexico and Canada enact retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural products like soybeans, dairy, meat and produce. The Chamber says extending that same level of aid to other affected sectors including the aid proposed for farmers would total $39 billion.

The auto industry, which also includes suppliers and motorcycle manufacturers, was the largest category outside of agriculture. Iron and steel makers came next, at $4.6 billion, followed by manufacturers of aluminum and aluminum products, at $2.4 billion.

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President Trump last week agreed to hold off on his threat to impose 25 percent tariffs on imported vehicles and auto parts during a meeting with Jean-Claude Juncker, the EU's chief executive. The auto industry has roundly opposed the proposed tariffs as job-killers. Trump has already levied tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum, a move automakers say will drive up the costs of new cars. According to The New York Times, the trade tit-for-tat now involves about 10,000 products traded around the world, once retaliatory tariffs are factored in.

Normally a staunch ally of any Republican White House, the U.S. Chamber has been lobbying hard against the Trump tariffs, arguing that they are hurting everyone from farmers to brewers and fishermen. "The administration's focus should be expanding free trade and removing these harmful tariffs, not allocating taxpayer's money to only marginally ease the suffering for some of the industries feeling the pain of the trade war," Neil Bradley, the chamber's executive vice president and chief policy officer, wrote in a post about the study.


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Automotive Magazine: Auto industry would need $7.6B in aid to offset tariffs, U.S. Chamber says
Auto industry would need $7.6B in aid to offset tariffs, U.S. Chamber says
Automotive Magazine
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