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Tariffs on European Vehicles Could Impact U.S. Auto Jobs

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June 27, 2018—Tariffs on European OEMs could hurt companies responsible for thousands of American jobs, CNN noted in a recent report.

The U.S. Commerce Department is currently investigating whether there should be tariffs on all imported cars and car parts, but President Donald Trump indicated late last week that he’s aiming specifically at car imports from Europe.

In a Tweet, Trump indicated that, if the European Union’s tariffs and “barriers” aren’t removed soon, he intends to place a 20 percent tariff on all of their vehicles entering the U.S. “Build them here!” Trump Tweeted, in regard to vehicles.

Yet, the automakers who would be most affected by the tariffs already build a significant amount of their cars in the U.S. Mercedes, BMW, and Volkswagen, for example, all have plants in southern U.S. states, and directly employ more than 20,000 U.S. workers between them.

Presumably, vehicles built at U.S. plants wouldn’t be affected by tariffs. But the aforementioned European automakers also ship some of the cars they sell in the U.S. from Europe. And the sales of those models could be hurt by tariffs, because a 20 percent tax would likely raise the price of the car by that amount, cnn.com suggested. Lower sales will cost jobs at dealerships, which employ even more people than the automakers’ assembly plants.

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