Akio Toyoda, the President of Toyota Motor Corporation, has warned President Trump that higher U.S. tariffs and retaliatory actions on car imports to the U.S. could jeopardize about $500 billion of trade flows which would account for 2.8 percent of 2017 global imports.
Toyoda isn’t alone on his sentiments as companies and governments from Europe to Asia have also warned Trump that tariffs would hurt the U.S. economy and disrupt the global auto industry.
Toyoda disagrees with Trump that imported vehicles are a threat and went on to caution the President that import restrictions would affect manufacturers, dealerships and customers.
So far, Trump is proposing that car imports are a national security threat, but Toyoda has responded to these claims by saying that negative effects on the U.S. economy and local jobs “should be avoided.”
While Trump threatens a tax of 25 percent, a probe on whether imported vehicles actually pose a national security is underway. The President has 90 days to decide if he will act on the unpublished findings.
The investigation which covers imports of vehicles that includes sport utility vehicles, vans and light trucks, as well as auto parts has been lead by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in May under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act.
We will see how President Trump plans to respond in the coming months.