President Donald Trump says he wants to save the U.S. auto industry by slapping tariffs as high as 25 percent on foreign-made cars, but there’s a problem: Automakers don’t want his help.
The White House thinks the penalties would encourage domestic investment and automotive production and support U.S. workers — and Trump is pressing his staff to speed up the move so he can claim credit for it before the midterm elections.
But America’s carmakers, including Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler, are wary as they watch what’s happening to other companies caught in Trump’s trade war, such as Harley-Davidson. The motorcycle-maker suddenly found the European Union imposing tariffs on its U.S.-manufactured products after Trump instituted penalties on steel and aluminum from Europe. And Trump began attacking the company on Twitter this week after it announced it would move some jobs abroad to avoid the fallout.