GM warns Trump tariffs could lead to 'smaller GM'

June 30, 2018
GM, the biggest US automaker, said it employs about 110,000 people across 47 manufacturing facilities and 25 part facilities in the US and the company remains "committed to our home market"

General Motors warned Friday that it could be forced to cut jobs and raise prices on its cars if the President Donald Trump's confrontational approach on trade spirals into a trade war.

In comments expressing concern over Trump's proposed 25 percent tariffs on imported cars, GM was joined by numerous and auto parts industry representatives worried about the direct and spillover effects.

"Overly broad" tariffs could "lead to a smaller GM, a reduced presence at home and abroad for this iconic American company, and risk less—not more-—US jobs," the automaker said in written comments to the US Commerce Department.

GM, the biggest US automaker, said it employs about 110,000 people across 47 manufacturing facilities and 25 part facilities in the US and the company remains "committed to our home market."

But "broad brush trade barriers" could "promote a trade environment in which we could be retaliated against in other markets," which could force the company to raise prices or see lower profits, and that in turn would reduce investment and hiring.

The Commerce Department is soliciting public comment as part of a trade investigation launched in May on whether imports of auto and auto parts threaten US , which this administration defines broadly to include economic security as well.

The move was the latest in a series of aggressive trade actions, including Trump's decision to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, and 25 percent punitive duties on tens of billions of dollars in Chinese products.

The Trump administration has said the confrontational posture is needed to address trade agreements that have harmed the US and cost jobs.

Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer also objected to the tariffs, saying the auto industry brings $1 billion in tax revenue to his state, and pointing to a recent GM investment of $265 million in a Kansas plant to build a new Cadillac sport utility vehicle.

"While I understand the Administration's desire to achieve a level playing field when it comes to international , I remain concerned about the continued growth of the automobile industry," Colyer said.

The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, which emphasized that the US has imported fewer vehicles from from the country in the wake of nearly $50 billion in Japanese investment in US plants and research centers.

"Imported vehicles do not threaten the United States national security," JAMA said. "Rather the increase the options for users' diversified needs with regard to vehicle supply while creating new demand in the market."

The United Steelworkers union, however, was one of the few who backed the tariffs.

"The auto and auto parts sector will be critical to our nation's continued defense," the union said.

Explore further: US tariffs on car imports are a double-edged sword

Related Stories

US tariffs on car imports are a double-edged sword

June 11, 2018

US President Donald Trump's threat to tax imported cars in the name of national security risks weakening domestic manufacturers, but could accelerate the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

GM: Trump tariffs driving up costs

June 12, 2018

US President Donald Trump's harsh tariffs on steel and aluminum are increasing costs for US auto giant General Motors but the company is examining the fallout, GM's chief executive said Tuesday.

US tariffs threat a headache for foreign automakers

June 10, 2018

US President Donald Trump's renewed threat to impose tariffs on auto imports will hit foreign automakers that export a large number of vehicles to the US market, but many also manufacture cars domestically.

US, China near deal to save ZTE: report

May 22, 2018

The United States and China have a tentative deal to save embattled Chinese telecom company ZTE, days after the two nations announced a truce in their trade standoff, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Recommended for you

EPA adviser is promoting harmful ideas, scientists say

March 22, 2019

The Trump administration's reliance on industry-funded environmental specialists is again coming under fire, this time by researchers who say that Louis Anthony "Tony" Cox Jr., who leads a key Environmental Protection Agency ...

Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption

March 22, 2019

Solar energy is one of the most promising resources to help reduce fossil fuel consumption and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to power a sustainable future. Devices presently in use to convert solar energy into thermal ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.