Lawmakers are concerned President Trump’s proposed tariffs on foreign cars under Section 232 could instigate retaliatory trade actions aimed at farmers.
According to Pro Farmer’s policy analyst Jim Wiesemeyer, Senate Maority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told Fox News he is “particularly worried” about the possible negative impact on agriculture that could come from accusing our trading partners of being a threat to national security.
On Thursday Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said the Commerce Department's national security review of imported automobiles was “deeply misguided” and that he shared McConnell’s concerns.
“Any time you start raising taxes and tariffs, I’m not very happy about it,” he said.
Wiesemeyer says Trump's national security review of auto imports is designed to pressure allies Canada, the European Union, Japan, Mexico and South Korea to make trade concessions. This comes as negotiators are still not through discussing difficult issues in NAFT like autos.
The regional automotive sector is one of the “great NAFTA success stories” Mexico’s chief NAFTA negotiator Kenneth Smith Ramos wrote on Twitter. He noted the intertwined U.S. and Mexico supply chain — the two countries are each other’s No. 1 auto parts supplier. The U.S. auto industry’s GDP and exports have grown significantly in recent years, while Mexico has also become the fourth-largest auto exporter in the world, he says.