Both of the companies in Alabama's newest auto manufacturing plant project have voiced their opposition to possible tariffs on imported vehicles and auto parts being investigated by the Trump Administration.
In comments submitted to the Commerce Department, automobile manufacturer General Motors warned of the potentially disastrous effects President Donald Trump's newest, impending tariffs could have on the economy, the New York Times reports.
General Motors Co. warned the Trump administration Friday that tariffs on vehicle imports would hurt its competitiveness, cost U.S.jobs and result in "a smaller GM".
"The penalties we could incur from tariffs and increased costs will be detrimental to the future industrial strength and readiness of manufacturing operations in the United States, and could lead to negative consequences for our company and USA economic security", GM said in the Friday filing.
"As the top USA exporter of vehicles, we believe lower tariffs in every market will support growth and jobs", Ford said in a statement to The Hill.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross intends to complete its investigation into the vehicle import tariff under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act by late July or August.
"Engaging in trade wars with our allies would diminish, not enhance, US national security, jobs, and prosperity".
The U.S. automaker warned that an escalating trade war could backfire and lead to "less investment, fewer jobs and lower wages". "It is hard to foresee a situation in which any of them would engage in an armed conflict with the US, or cut off supplies of defense materials, and if they did, the United States would have an easy recourse of simply seizing their USA plants", it said.
The probe has raised alarm among manufacturers, parts suppliers and auto retailers because all major carmakers - including GM and Ford Motor - import a substantial share of the vehicles they sell in the United States from other countries.
"A tariff is a tax and it will be paid by American consumers", Mazda said.
"New tariffs on autos and parts, especially on top of the already-damaging steel and aluminum tariffs, will drastically raise production costs for our auto companies, who will have to pass those costs on to consumers", he continued.
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro earlier addressed Friday's stern warning by GM to the Trump administration on Friday, that it could shrink U.S. operations and cut jobs if tariffs are broadly applied to imported vehicles and auto parts.
If GM were to try to absorb the additional costs, it would have less money to invest in popular vehicles that sustain manufacturing jobs, or towards pivotal technologies including electric and self-driving cars. The EU, for example, has a 10% tariff on vehicles imported from the U.S. China's imposes a 25% duty on U.S. cars.
GM's Chevrolet Silverado pickup was the top-selling model imported from Mexico a year ago, while the Chevrolet Equinox crossover was the leading vehicle sourced from Canada, according to LMC Automotive.
GM operates 47 USA manufacturing facilities and employs about 110,000 people in the country.
Friday was the deadline for comments on the proposed tariffs. "Harley is an American bike" and "they should build them in this country", he said.
Trump threatened last week to impose a 20 percent tariff on auto imports in an attempt to leverage European Union leaders to seek trade talks with the U.S.