Steel and Aluminum Tariffs Under Section 232
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On January 11, 2018, the Secretary of Commerce transmitted to me a report on his investigation into the effect of imports of steel mill articles and aluminum on the national security of the United States under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1862). In light of this conclusion, the Secretary recommended actions to adjust the imports of aluminum and steel articles so that such imports will not threaten to impair the national security. Among those recommendations was a global tariff of 24 percent on imports of steel articles and 7.7 percent on aluminum in order to reduce imports to a level that the Secretary assessed would enable domestic steel and aluminum producers to use approximately 80 percent of existing domestic production capacity and thereby achieve long-term economic viability through increased production. I concur in the Secretary’s findings.
German automakers have proposed scrapping the EU’s 10% tax on auto imports from the U.S. and other countries and the 2.5% duty on auto imports in the U.S. As a prerequisite, we want Mr. Trump’s threat of imposing a 25% border tax on European auto imports off the table. We also want a 25% U.S. tax on imports of light trucks—pickup trucks, sport-utility vehicles, and big vans—scrapped.
BMW is convinced that free trade, with minimal or no barriers, benefits all concerned and is an important element in promoting national and international prosperity and well-being. Clearly this also applies to trans-Atlantic trade.
We need a free and fair trade for sure. A commercial war opposing allies is not consistent with our mission, with our history, with our current commitments for the global security. At the end of the day, it will destroy jobs, increase prices and the middle class will have to pay for it.
I believe we can build the right answers to legitimate concerns regarding trade imbalances, excesses and overcapacities by negotiating through the World Trade Organization and building cooperative solutions. We wrote these rules. We should follow them.
I'm convinced that if we decide to open our eyes wider, we will be stronger, we will overcome the dangers, we will not let the rampaging work of extreme nationalism shake a world full of hopes for greater prosperity.
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