Walorski Leads Bipartisan Letter Signed by 159 Members of Congress Warning Against Auto Tariffs

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Walorski Leads Bipartisan Letter Signed by 159 Members of Congress Warning Against Auto Tariffs

Bipartisan Group Urges Trump Administration Not to Implement Section 232 Tariffs on Cars and Auto Parts

WASHINGTON – U.S. Reps. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) and Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) today led a bipartisan group of 159 members of Congress in urging Director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow and President Trump not to impose costly tariffs that could harm the auto industry.

“We are convinced that the products hard-working Americans in the auto sector design, build, sell, and service are not a threat to our national security. We strongly urge you to advise the President against imposing trade restrictions that could harm the auto sector and the American economy,” wrote the bipartisan coalition of lawmakers. “American auto manufacturers, parts suppliers and retailers, dealers, and vehicle service providers have not asked for and do not need protection. Tariffs on autos will raise prices for American consumers and lower demand, ultimately leading to decreased U.S. production, investment and employment.”

“We urge you to do everything you can to avoid trade restrictions that would negatively impact the U.S. auto sector and undermine our economic security,” the members concluded.

Walorski has repeatedly urged the Trump administration not to put American jobs and economic growth at risk by imposing costly auto tariffs. In July 2018, Walorski led a bipartisan letter signed by 149 members of Congress warning Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross against the negative impact of section 232 tariffs on automobiles and automotive parts.

The text of the letter is below, and a signed copy is available here.

May 7, 2019

The Honorable Lawrence Kudlow
Director, National Economic Council
1650 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. Kudlow:

We understand that the Commerce Department’s Section 232 investigation on the national security implications of imports of automobiles and auto parts has been completed and delivered to the President. We support efforts to increase manufacturing jobs and our manufacturing base here in America. However, we are convinced that the products hard-working Americans in the auto sector design, build, sell, and service are not a threat to our national security. We strongly urge you to advise the President against imposing trade restrictions that could harm the auto sector and the American economy.

American auto workers, parts suppliers and retailers, dealers, vehicle service providers, and millions of consumers depend on a healthy and competitive U.S. auto industry. As you know, this vital sector employs nearly four percent of our total private sector workforce and is a key engine that powers our economy. However, if tariffs were to be implemented, new vehicle prices will likely increase, threatening hundreds of thousands of jobs.

We are also concerned that vehicles outside of the intended scope of the investigation will be subject to tariffs. Parts used in passenger vehicles may overlap with motorcycles, recreational vehicles, construction equipment, heavy-duty trucks, farming equipment, powersports vehicles, and others. Additionally, inevitable retaliatory tariffs from countries around the world, including our close allies, will cause further harm to American farmers, manufacturers, and consumers.

Again, we support policies that benefit our manufacturing sector. However, American auto manufacturers, parts suppliers and retailers, dealers, and vehicle service providers have not asked for and do not need protection. Tariffs on autos will raise prices for American consumers and lower demand, ultimately leading to decreased U.S. production, investment and employment. We urge you to do everything you can to avoid trade restrictions that would negatively impact the U.S. auto sector and undermine our economic security.

Sincerely,

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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