US broadcasts six-month reprieve on automotive tariffs

The US is giving the EU, Japan and different international locations a six-month window to cut back automotive imports as a substitute for automotive tariffs, President Donald Trump stated in a press release on Friday.

Mr Trump stated he was directed Robert Lighthizer, the US commerce consultant, to launch negotiations with Tokyo, Brussels, and different buying and selling companions to “alter” auto imports into the US.

Mr Trump’s transfer got here as he stated that automotive imports posed a threat to US nationwide safety, publicly describing the outcomes of a prolonged commerce division investigation on the problem that was delivered to the White Home in February.

Mr Trump was going through a deadline of Saturday to behave on the report, however his resolution to open negotiations with the EU, Japan, and others on the nationwide safety issues surrounding autos successfully units a brand new deadline six months from now.

Though this marks a reprieve for officers in Tokyo and Brussels — in addition to the worldwide automotive trade — from the specter of sweeping tariffs, the request for negotiations over restrictions to automotive imports will elevate the strain on each Japan and the EU to make concessions. Mr Trump didn’t say what sort of measures he was searching for to rein in automotive imports, however quotas could possibly be one possibility, in addition to voluntary export restraints.

Each the EU and Japan are nonetheless reluctant to simply accept both possibility, setting the stage for a brand new showdown within the coming months. Such measures would additionally threat violating WTO guidelines.

“I concur within the Secretary’s discovering that cars and sure car elements are being imported into the US in such portions and beneath such circumstances as to threaten to impair the nationwide safety of the US, “ Mr Trump stated within the assertion.

In line with the US president’s description of the commerce division investigation, a particular focus was positioned on the hazard of the US shedding its aggressive edge in superior applied sciences within the auto sector.

“Within the Secretary’s judgment, profitable negotiations might permit American-owned car producers to attain long-term financial viability and improve R&D spending to develop cutting-edge applied sciences which might be essential to the defence trade,” he stated.

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