Automotive in the firing line as Trump extends tariffs

Author: Steve Garnsey

Tata Steel

Cars and automotive parts are becoming enmeshed in intensifying global trade wars, with the automotive sector facing increased shipping, supply, manufacturing and cost uncertainty for some time to come.

The catalyst has been the US president imposing import tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium, two key input materials for vehicles. These have led to higher prices for the metals worldwide, not just in the US domestic market. Manufacturers of vehicle and components have found their costs rising, a burden particularly felt by smaller vehicle parts-makers.

This month, President Trump extended the so-called Section 232 tariffs to include car-producing allies in Nafta and the EU. Canada and Mexico have said they will impose retaliatory levies; the EU says it will, but has yet to make a formal decision.

Separately, the US and China are threatening $50 billion of tariffs on each other’s goods. Automotive parts feature on the US’ published list of potential ta

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