President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs on car, truck and auto parts imports are getting little public support.
Trump is scheduled to speak at a White House event dedicated to workers at 3 p.m. ET. Watch live in the player above.
Jennifer Thomas, vice president of federal government affairs at the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, testified against the levies on Thursday and noted that “our view is shared by over 2,200 comments that were filed before this hearing. In fact, we were only able to find three organizations” that support the idea.
Auto dealers are also coming out against the proposed tariffs.
One of the dealerships that Jeff Crippen owns in Lansing, Michigan, sells only Mazdas, all of which are manufactured in other countries and shipped to the U.S., mainly from Japan. A 25 percent tariff on imported vehicles likely would jack up the cost of those vehicles, some of which are hot-selling SUVs, pricing them out of the market.
But Crippen, partly as a defense mechanism, said he’s not worrying just yet, largely because Trump said a lot of things that don’t become reality. “I don’t know if I believe it’s actually going to happen. Or maybe I don’t want it to happen,” Crippen said. “I’m not too concerned about it yet. I don’t know if I’d be doing anything different anyway.”
John Hall, a maintenance worker at the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing plant in Montgomery, Alabama, testified that auto imports pose no threat to U.S. national security. “In fact, it’s just the opposite,” he said. Hyundai imports parts that go into its Alabama-built cars.
“New tariffs on automotive imports would have a devastating effect,” Hall said. “I am one of thousands of American workers whose livelihoods would be put at risk by a substantial tariff on automotive goods. It would not be possible to change our supply chain overnight, and a 25 percent tariff on parts would raise production costs at our Alabama factory by about 10 percent annually. This would force us to raise prices and cut production. A lot of Alabamians, my friends and neighbors, could lose their jobs.”