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Howes: Auto industry tells Trump ‘we don’t work for you’

Auto Manufacturers
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Experts estimate the auto-industry will lose just under 200,000 jobs, Howes said.


Earlier this month, President Trump announced new tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from the European Union, Canada, and Mexico. 

American automakers have indicated that these tariffs could be detrimental to the industry, estimating that just under 200,000 jobs will be lost in the first one to three years. 

Daniel Howes is a business columnist with the Detroit News. He sat down with Stateside’s Lester Graham to discuss how automakers are confronting the Trump administration. 

According to Howes, the Trump administration is failing to explain how the auto industry would or would not be harmed by these tariffs.

“The president, from what I can tell, is not putting forth any kind of argument that says, ‘If we do this, this is what's going to happen and this is how long it's going to take.’ And I think the reason is because they don’t know,” Howes said. 

Auto manufacturing organizations are pushing for the administration to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement and secure better trade deals with the European Union. 

Howes believes the conflict between automakers and the administration will only continue as auto and motorcycle manufacturers continue to make decisions based on what's best for business. 

“What you see, at least in the auto industry and in the Harley-Davidson case, is essentially the management is saying: ‘We don’t work for you, we work for shareholders, and we have to make investment decisions based on what's best for our business. And if that means we have to find a low-cost production site, we will,'” Howes explained. 

Listen above for more on the auto industry's response to Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs. 

This post was written by Stateside production assistant Sophie Sherry. 

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