Several of the world’s major automakers, along with other special interest groups close to the automotive industry, have banded together to form the Tariff Reform Coalition in an effort to roll back Turmp-era import tariffs on steel and aluminum.
According to Automotive News, the group is urging policymakers to remove Section 232 tariffs on imported steel and aluminum and reassess Section 301 tariffs on imports from China.
Rufus Yerxa is the president of the National Foreign Trade Council, one of the coalition’s 37 members. Speaking to AN, Yerxa said the Trump-era import tariffs are “unwarranted, ineffective and self-defeating” and called on the Biden administration to “reconsider the Section 232 and Section 301 tariffs that are causing serious damage to those already struggling.”
“All sectors of our economy are being affected by these tariffs – manufacturers are faced with long lead times and high prices for inputs, farmers and ranchers are having a hard time exporting their goods to countries that have imposed retaliatory tariffs, consumers are paying higher prices for everyday goods and investments in new facilities are being reconsidered,” he added.
Trump’s trade war with China began back in 2018, when the former president’s administration slapped tariffs on more than $350 billion worth of Chinese-made goods. These included a 25% tariff on steel and a 10% tariff on aluminum imports. The Tariff Reform Coalition claims the tariffs are inflicting a significant cost on U.S. companies, like General Motors for example, and making it harder to do business with China and other countries.
Auto industry backers of the Tariff Reform Coalition include the American Automotive Policy Council, which represents Ford, Stellantis and General Motors, along with the American International Automobile Dealers Association, the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) and the Truck & Engine Manufacturers Association. The group was initially formed in 2019 to help address future U.S. trade policy, but re-launched this week in a bid to convince the Biden Administration to roll back the Trump tariffs.
Several non-auto industry groups are also represented by the Coalition, including the Beer Institute, Farmers for Free Trade and the United States Fashion Industry Association.