BETHESDA, Md. — The Trump administration's proposed 25-percent tariffs on imported auto parts could result in the loss of more than 100,000 jobs in U.S. automotive-related manufacturing, distribution and service sectors, according to the Auto Care Association (ACA).
The majority of the job losses, more than 85,000, would be in the auto care wholesale and retail segments and mostly affect small family-owned businesses, the ACA said in comments submitted recently to the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the Section 232 National Security investigation of imports of automobiles and automotive parts.
The submission was signed by Aaron Lowe, senior vice president, regulatory and government affairs, for the ACA.
The association went on to say the auto care industry's "ability to source parts and components globally supports U.S. auto exports, provides U.S. consumers with a wider selection of vehicles and parts, and keeps vehicle repair and maintenance costs affordable for working families."
The association's comments further explained that "the availability of affordable high-quality parts from foreign sources creates thousands of jobs that might be threatened should the Trump administration move forward with a tariff on vehicles and vehicle parts."
Because the auto industry operates on a global platform, the ACA said goods are rarely designed, manufactured and consumed in one country. Technological efficiencies, lower trade costs and improved logistics have allowed companies to optimize supply chains. Imports help companies lower costs and improve product quality, allowing them to remain competitive domestically and export globally.
The study also found that imposing additional tariffs on auto parts and components would increase their price substantially and thus also impact the cost of buying a new car or repairing currently licensed vehicles. The study estimates imposing the tariffs would increase the cost of car ownership by more than $700 per year per household.