Trump to delay tariffs on foreign autos: reports

Trump to delay tariffs on foreign autos: reports
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE will likely hold off on imposing tariffs on imported automobiles for at least six months as trade talks continue with the European Union and Japan, according to multiple media reports.

Trump is expected to delay a May 18 deadline to decide whether to apply tariffs of up to 25 percent on foreign autos, Bloomberg and CNBC reported Wednesday, easing concerns about potential retaliation from crucial U.S. trading partners.

Spokesmen for Trump and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative declined to comment.

Trump has long threatened to impose import taxes on foreign autos and last year asked the Commerce Department to investigate whether vehicle imports pose a threat to national security.

The Commerce Department's report has not been released, but reportedly argues that auto imports contribute to a rising U.S. trade deficit that jeopardizes national security.

The president has frequently advocated for tariffs on foreign autos and has used the threat of import taxes as leverage in trade talks with the EU and Japan.

Auto exports are a significant portion of both economies, and the EU and Japan have prepared to retaliate with tariffs on U.S. goods if Trump goes through with the import taxes.

If Trump imposes tariffs on foreign autos, it would be considered a major escalation of his protectionist trade policy. Economists have warned that import taxes on foreign cars could severely hinder the U.S. and global economies.

The reports of Trump’s delay helped reassure financial markets already rattled by rising trade tensions between the U.S. and China. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rebounded from a nearly 200 point drop to a 120-point gain on the news, while shares of U.S. auto companies also rose.