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Friday, June 15, 2018

Public Hearing on Section 232 National Security Investigation of Imports of Automobiles, Including Cars, SUV's, Vans, and Light Trucks, and Automotive Parts

The deadline for submitting public comments was extended to Friday, June 29. 

This is a pretty big one. What is being proposed is a 25% tariff, up from 2.5% on cars, suvs, vans, light trucks, and automotive parts. Trucks currently suffer under the 25% tariff (aka the Chicken Tax) when imported, but cars pay the 2.5% rate. Since this can include parts, and most foreign made vehicle parts are made overseas, the cost of owning and maintaining a foreign made vehicle could increase more than 20%.

Excerpts from the posting in the Federal Register


On May 23, 2018, the Secretary of Commerce initiated an investigation to determine the effects on the national security of imports of automobiles, including cars, SUVs, vans and light trucks, and automotive parts.  If the Secretary finds that automobiles and/or automotive parts are being imported into the United States in such quantities or under such circumstances as to threaten to impair the national security, the Secretary shall recommend actions and steps that should be taken to adjust automobile and/or automotive parts imports so that they will not threaten to impair the national security.  


The due date for filing comments, for requests to appear at the public hearing, and for submissions of a summary of expected testimony at the public hearing is June 22, 2018. The due date is July 6, 2018 for rebuttal comments submitted in response to any comments filed on or before June 22, 2018. The public hearings will be held on July 19 and 20, 2018. The hearings will begin at 8:30 a.m. local time and conclude at 5:00 p.m. local time, each day.


 All written submissions must be in English and must be addressed to Section 232 Automobile and Automotive Parts Imports Investigation, and filed through the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. To submit comments via www.regulations.gov, enter docket number DOC–2018–0002 on the home page and click ‘‘search.’’ The site will provide a search results page listing all documents associated with this docket. 


The Department is particularly interested in comments and information directed to the criteria listed in § 705.4 of the NSIBR as they affect national security, including the following:
• The quantity and nature of imports of automobiles, including cars, SUVs, vans and light trucks, and automotive parts and other circumstances related to the importation of automobiles and automotive parts;
• Domestic production needed for projected national defense requirements;
• Domestic production and productive capacity needed for automobiles and automotive parts to meet projected national defense requirements;
• The existing and anticipated availability of human resources, products, raw materials, production equipment, and facilities to produce automobiles and automotive parts;
• The growth requirements of the automobiles and automotive parts industry to meet national defense requirements and/or requirements to assure such growth, particularly with respect to investment and research and development;
 • The impact of foreign competition on the economic welfare of the U.S. automobiles and automotive parts industry;
• The displacement of any domestic automobiles and automotive parts
causing substantial unemployment, decrease in the revenues of government, loss of investment or specialized skills and productive capacity, or other serious effects;
• Relevant factors that are causing or will cause a weakening of our national economy;
• The extent to which innovation in new automotive technologies is necessary to meet projected national defense requirements;
• Whether and, if so, how the analysis of the above factors changes when U.S. production by majority U.S.- owned firms is considered separately from U.S. production by majority foreign-owned firms; and
• Any other relevant factors.  

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