The US automaker General Motors (GM) warned the government of President Donald Trump that the tariffs imposed on vehicles imported to the United States would reduce the size of the company and the number of people employed in this country.
In a statement sent to the Department of Commerce, the automaker stressed that there would be “serious negative impacts” if the tariff plan is applied in the United States, which could be up to 25%, according to Trump.
GM’s warning came just days after motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson announced it would move part of its production overseas to avoid Trump government fees.
The largest automaker in the United States noted that too high rates could “lead to a smaller GM, a reduced presence in the country and abroad for this iconic American company and the risk of having less, no more, jobs in the United States. ”
GM stated that rates could raise vehicle prices and reduce sales. Even if automakers choose not to transfer higher costs, “this could still generate less investment, less jobs and lower wages for our employees.”
The effect of lower investment and a smaller workforce could also delay advances in innovative technologies, according to GM.
The White House asked the Department of Commerce last month to investigate whether tariffs on imported vehicles could be used for reasons of national security, citing a 1962 law that allows for emergency commercial sanctions in case of a threat.
The administration used the same legal justification to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports this spring.
For its part, the Japanese automaker Toyota presented similar comments, arguing that higher tariffs “threaten the manufacture, employment, exports and economic prosperity of the United States.”
The company highlighted that its investment in a car plant in the state of Alabama, at a cost of US $ 1.3 billion, pointed to its confidence in the United States.
Toyota said that international carmakers that assemble vehicles in the United States are based in countries such as Japan, Germany and South Korea, “which are the closest allies of the United States.”