A Thought on Auto Tariffs

The Wall Street Journal‘s Editorial Board is worried about auto tariffs.  They do make a fair case concerning the national security aspect of our automobile industry (while eliding the fact that industry includes many more car companies than just GM, Ford, and Chrysler—and that none of them manufacture cars in the US, while all of them assemble cars in the US from imported parts).

They weaken, fatally IMNSHO, their argument, though, when they present only one aspect of the case for/against auto tariffs or the threat of significant increases in already extant auto tariffs.  In particular, the Editorial Board has carefully elided the fact that the Trump administration and German auto manufacturers have agreed in principle to a no-auto-tariff-at-all regime.

Now it’s on the German government and Brussels to agree.  It’s likely, although not certain, that plans to impose a 20% tariff on auto imports from the EU had an impact in moving the German companies toward eliminating tariffs altogether.

A no-auto-tariff regime also would render the security beef moot, but some folks on the Left don’t want that.

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