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GM warns Trump import tariffs could shrink company, cost U.S. jobs

Jun 30, 2018

General Motors is warning that President Trump’s threatened tariffs on car imports could shrink the company and cost U.S. jobs.

GM issued the warning in comments filed with the U.S. Commerce Department Friday. President Trump has ordered that department to investigate imported cars and car parts as a national security threat, which could lead to new tariffs.

GM says such “broad brush trade barriers” could “increase our global costs, remove a key means of competing with manufacturers in lower-wage countries, and promote a trade environment in which we could be retaliated against in other markets.”

The automaker suggests the costs of such import tariffs will be passed on to U.S. consumers, depressing demand for cars and the car market in general. That “could lead to a smaller GM, a reduced presence at home and abroad for this iconic American company, and risk less—not more—U.S. jobs.”

“U.S. auto companies need U.S. trade deals that recognize the strength that comes from global operations and a global supply chain,” the filing reads. “The overbroad and steep application of import tariffs on our trading partners risks isolating U.S. businesses like GM from the global market that helps to preserve and grow our strength here at home.”

A GM spokesman declined to comment further, saying the company’s filing speaks for itself.