US Commerce Department
The White House had faced a Saturday deadline to make a decision on US Commerce Department
  • Delaying the decision avoids what was shaping up to be a new dramatic escalation in the Trump administrations.
  • Trump will then decide “whether and what further action needs to be taken”.
  • Important innovations are occurring in the areas of engine and powertrain technology.  

United States President Donald Trump has decided to wait up to six months before determining whether to impose a 25 per cent tariff on imported cars and parts from the European Union and Japan. This gives trade talks more time for the US to make a deal.

The White House had faced a Saturday deadline to make a decision on US Commerce Department recommendations to protect the domestic auto industry from foreign imports on national security grounds.

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In addition to averting domestic pain, delaying the decision avoids what was shaping up to be a new dramatic escalation in the Trump administration’s trade disputes around the world – including its trade war with China.

But now Trump is directing US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to pursue further negotiations and report back within 180 days.

If those discussions are unsuccessful, Trump will then decide “whether and what further action needs to be taken”.

In a proclamation released on Friday, Trump said he agreed with a Commerce Department Study that found some imported cars and trucks are “weakening our internal economy” and threatening to harm national security.

“Important innovations are occurring in the areas of engine and powertrain technology, electrification, lightweight, advanced connectivity, and autonomous driving,” said the proclamation.

“The United States defence industrial base depends on the American-owned automotive sector for the development of technologies that are essential to maintaining our military superiority.”

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