Trump wants to keep car tariffs in his back pocket

Behind the scenes: Most of Trump’s senior economic advisers — with the notable exception of Peter Navarro — think imposing car tariffs is a terrible idea. But Trump tells everyone who’ll listen that the threat of car tariffs is his best source of leverage in negotiations with foreign leaders.

Trump says privately he used them against Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and he believes that by hanging the threat of car tariffs over the ongoing trade negotiations with the Europeans, the Trump administration will get a better deal.

Sources familiar with the White House’s auto tariffs strategy tell me they plan to keep the contents of the Commerce report a secret, at least for the time being, as is their prerogative under the law.