GM, Toyota among manufacturers who oppose Trump’s call for auto tariffs

General Motors may have to slash its American workforce to compete in Europe as a result of Trump's tariffs, the New York Times reports.

The Trump administration launched an investigation into whether imported vehicles posed a national security threat in May, and Trump has repeatedly threatened to quickly impose a 20% import tariff on vehicles.

General Motors warned in a filing Friday with the U.S. Commerce Department that the threat of auto tariffs "risks undermining GM's competitiveness against foreign auto producers" by driving up the cost of imported components and raises the risk that GM will face retaliation in other countries. GM (GM) imports parts for cars that it makes in the United States.

A 20 percent tariff on European Union auto imports may cost 100,000 in 2019 alone, economists at Oxford Economics forecast in a June 28 note. Similarly, a third of Honda vehicles delivered in the USA throughout 2017 were built overseas.

The exemption, however, was revoked in May when Trump levied a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports, provoking those allies to respond with retaliatory trade measures.

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"The correlation between a decline in vehicle sales in the United States and the negative impact on our workforce here, which, in turn threatens jobs in the supply base and surrounding communities, can not be ignored", the company said in the statement.

About 7.9 million of the 17.2 million vehicles sold in the US a year ago were imported, according to LMC.

The deadline to submit comments was Friday.

"That standard is simply not met here, as imports of vehicles and parts from countries like Canada, which has been defined by law as part of the USA defense industrial base and which has been closely integrated with US automotive production since the U.S".

Mazda, which now does not have a USA factory, said 32,000 families working for Mazda and Mazda dealerships in the US would be affected.

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President Donald Trump has repeatedly pressed both USA and foreign auto makers to build more vehicles in the US, which would create jobs in rust-belt states that helped elect him.

"The overbroad and steep application of import tariffs on our trading partners risks isolating USA businesses like GM from the global market that helps to preserve and grow our strength here at home", GM said.

U.S. auto production has doubled over the past decade, and the sector employs almost 8 million Americans - almost 50 percent more than it employed in 2011, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

In a filing with the Commerce Department, the auto giant said the trade actions pursued by President Donald Trump will add risks, including higher costs that could spiral into more expensive car prices and a subsequent decline in vehicle sales.

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