China and Japan has come together to condemned the Trump administration’s decision to look into the situation whether tariffs are needed on imports of vehicles and automotive parts into the United States.
China’s Commerce Ministry said Beijing would defend” its rights and interests against what it called the abuse of national security provisions in trade.
The Trade minister in Tokyo, Hiroshige Seko, said Japan, which accounts for about 40 percent of U.S. vehicle imports, will continue to remind the U.S. officials that any trade measures must agree to the rules of the World Trade Organization. If such a measure is taken, “it would be an extremely far-reaching trade sanction that would put the global market into confusion, Seko said. And We are extremely concerned about this.
President Donald Trump call on a provision authorizing the president to restrict imports and impose unlimited tariffs on national security grounds, known as Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.
The move comes as talks with Canada and Mexico over the North American Free Trade Agreement have stop.
China will pay close attention to the progress of the U.S. investigation, carry out a comprehensive assessment of the possible impact and strongly defend our justified rights and interests,” Gao told reporters at a news conference.
Japanese car makers did not issue any individual comments but referred to Global Automakers, based in Washington, an industry group of international car makers that includes the Japanese. Global Automakers Chief Executive John Bozzella said the move would merely hurt American consumers.
“The U.S. auto industry is developing and growing”. Thirteen, soon to be 14 companies, produced almost 12 million cars and trucks in America last year. to our knowledge, no one is asking for this protection. This path leads unavoidably to fewer choices and higher prices for cars and trucks in America,
Last week Japan went to the World Trade Organization to warn of possible retaliation for tariffs on steel and aluminum, which Trump imposed in March. Japan is the only major U.S. ally that was not granted a temporary exemption from the tariffs. Japan estimates they will cost it about 50 billion yen ($450 million) a year.
China is a relatively minor player in the U.S. auto import market, ranked 10th in dollar terms, but its large car industry is eager to expand abroad. In auto parts exports to the U.S., China was ranked second last year.
Mexico is the top exporter of passenger vehicles and light trucks to the U.S followed by Japan, Canada, Germany and South Korea, according to the Department of Commerce.
A source with said the president has suggested seeking new tariffs of 20 to 25 percent on automobile imports.
Critics fear other countries will retaliate with trade sanctions of their own and question whether the move would ever be effective given the lengthy review required and legal challenges ahead.