Doug Jones

United States Senator for Alabama

Senators Jones and Alexander Urge Commerce Secretary to Reconsider Proposed Auto Tariffs

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Jones and Alexander warn that tariffs will threaten jobs and businesses in auto-producing states across the country

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Doug Jones (D-Ala.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today sent a letter to U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross urging his agency to reconsider a 25-percent tariff on imported cars, trucks, and auto parts recently proposed by President Trump. The letter argues that rather than helping the United States economy or improving national security, the tariffs will cost jobs and threaten the growth of the automotive manufacturing sector in the Southeast.

“Auto manufacturers and suppliers employ nearly 200,000 of our constituents and that number is growing. These are good jobs employing American workers. Over the past several years the automotive industry, including foreign manufacturers, has invested billions in our states and created thousands of jobs,” the Senators wrote. “We share with you and President Trump the goal of bolstering our nation’s security and making sure that our trade policy is balanced and works for American workers and businesses. We are worried though that tariffs on the automotive industry will serve neither of these purposes, and instead put hundreds of thousands of American jobs at risk including many in our home states.”

Below is the complete text of the letter:

 

The Honorable Wilbur Ross
Secretary
United States Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20230

 

Dear Secretary Ross:

We are writing in response to the Commerce Department’s investigation under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 into whether imports of automobiles, including SUVs, vans and light trucks, and automotive parts into the United States threaten our national security.

We share with you and President Trump the goal of bolstering our nation’s security and making sure that our trade policy is balanced and works for American workers and businesses. We are worried though that tariffs on the automotive industry will serve neither of these purposes, and instead put hundreds of thousands of American jobs at risk including many in our home states.

Auto manufacturers and suppliers employ nearly 200,000 of our constituents and that number is growing. These are good jobs employing American workers. Over the past several years the automotive industry, including foreign manufacturers, has invested billions in our states and created thousands of jobs.

However, as a result of the Department’s investigation, automotive companies are currently facing the threat of direct and retaliatory tariffs, which could mean hundreds of millions of dollars of additional costs. To absorb these costs, automotive companies in our state could be forced to either raise prices or cut costs. Either scenario directly translates into lost jobs for our constituents.  

The Administration’s 232 investigation centers on the national security impact of the automotive industry in the United States. We can assure you that reducing the size of our state’s automotive manufacturing base will not bolster our nation’s security.

In closing, we hope you will take into consideration the vital role the automotive industry plays in our states and the well-being of the tens of thousands of American workers who rely on this sector to make ends meet.

 

                                                            Sincerely,

 

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Issues: 

Washington, D.C. Office

326 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-4124
 

State Offices

Birmingham
Vance Federal Building
1800 5th Avenue North
Birmingham, AL  35203
Phone: (205) 731-1500
Fax: (205) 731-0221

Dothan
100 West Troy Street
Suite 302
Dothan, AL 36303
Phone: (334) 792-4924
Fax: (334) 792-4928

Huntsville
200 Clinton Avenue, NW
Huntsville, AL  35801
Phone: (256) 533-0979
Fax: (256) 533-0745
 

State Offices

Mobile
41 West I-65 Service Road, North
Suite 2300-A
Mobile, AL  36608
Phone: (251) 414-3083
Fax: (251) 414-5845
 

Montgomery
Federal Courthouse
1 Church Street, Suite 500-B
Montgomery, AL  36014
Phone: (334) 230-0698
Fax: (334) 293-9349