Conservative group sues Trump administration over auto tariffs report

Conservative group sues Trump administration over auto tariffs report
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Cause of Action, a conservative economic group, has sued the Commerce Department over its failure to release its report on auto tariffs.
 
The Commerce Department was tasked with writing a report to justify President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? MORE's proposed taxes on imported vehicles, an idea he has repeatedly brought up as a potential stick in his multilateral trade war.
 
Cause of Action says the department failed to respond to its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to release the document, which provides the legal justification for Trump to impose the tariffs following a 90-day warning period. 
 
“The public should not have to take the government’s word that the report supports tariffs when the administration withholds the document it claims support its position," said Cause of Action senior policy adviser James Valvo.
 
"The tariffs will harm American consumers and businesses, and the public has a right to see the information contained in the report," he added.
 
The tariffs would fall under Section 232 of the trade law, which allows the president to impose tariffs on national security grounds. 
 
Trump touted his tariff strategy at a manufacturing plant in Lima, Ohio, on Tuesday, lauding the "big, fat beautiful tariff" he imposed on steel and a slew of tariffs imposed on Chinese imports. The Trump administration is furiously working to seal a trade deal with China that would remove the tariffs, though a meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping was recently postponed from March until April. 
 
Industry groups worry that tariffs will make American manufacturing less competitive, and raise prices on their products.
 
A report commissioned by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), an industry group, argued that tariffs would eat an average of $29 billion off of the economy every year over a decade. 
 
"Tariffs on steel, aluminum, and Chinese imports, as well as the potential for additional tariffs, are driving up the cost of production, delaying capital investments, and impeding job creation for our more than 1,000 member companies,” said AEM President Dennis Slater.