Proposed tariffs would add $4,400 to car prices


SANTA ROSA, CA – DECEMBER 12: American flags are seen on cars for sale at Santa Rosa Chevrolet December 12, 2008 in Santa Rosa, California. Auto dealerships continue to see a sharp decline in sales as the Big Three U.S. automakers face possible bankruptcy following a federal bailout that failed to pass through the U.S. […]

WASHINGTON (AP) — Imposing a 25 percent tariff on auto imports would raise the price of the typical new car sold in the United States (now about $35,000) by $4,400 — $2,270 for U.S.-built cars and $6,875 for imported cars and trucks, according to a study released Thursday by the Center for Automotive Research.

Auto dealers are coming out against the proposed tariffs.

“New tariffs or quotas would also reduce competition and consumer choice; increase the cost of used vehicles; and raise the cost of getting vehicles serviced and repaired,” says Peter Welch, president of the National Automobile Dealers Association, which commissioned the study.

Welch says the tariffs would push the average new-car payment to $611 a month from $533 a month (over 69 months on average).

President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs on car, truck and auto parts imports are getting little public support. Jennifer Thomas, vice president of federal government affairs at the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, is testifying against the levies and notes that “our view is shared by over 2,200 comments that were filed before this hearing. In fact, we were only able to find three organizations” that support the idea.

One of the dealerships that Jeff Crippen owns in Lansing, Michigan, sells only Mazdas, all of which are manufactured in other countries and shipped to the U.S., mainly from Japan. A 25 percent tariff on imported vehicles likely would jack up the cost of those vehicles, some of which are hot-selling SUVs, pricing them out of the market.

But Crippen, partly as a defense mechanism, says he’s not worrying just yet, largely because President Donald Trump says a lot of things that don’t become reality. “I don’t know if I believe it’s actually going to happen. Or maybe I don’t want it to happen,” says Crippen. “I’m not too concerned about it yet. I don’t know if I’d be doing anything different anyway.”

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