Trump asks to consider national security investigation into automobile imports

Xinhua
"Core industries such as automobiles and automotive parts are critical to our strength as a nation." 
Xinhua

US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he has instructed Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to consider initiating a national security investigation into automobile imports, a protectionist move that's likely to spark widespread opposition from American trading partners.

"Core industries such as automobiles and automotive parts are critical to our strength as a nation," Trump said in a statement released by the White House.

Following a conversation with Trump on Wednesday, Ross has initiated a so-called Section 232 investigation into the national security implications of automobile imports, according to the Commerce Department.

"There is evidence suggesting that, for decades, imports from abroad have eroded our domestic auto industry," Ross said in a statement.

The investigation was based on a rarely-used Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act from 1962, which would allow the US administration to impose tariffs on the grounds of national security.

The Trump administration had used the same domestic law to impose additional tariffs on steel and aluminum imports in March amid mounting dissent from business groups and trading partners around the world.


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