WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Friday delayed by six months a series of tariffs on foreign cars from Europe and Japan, pushing back the aggressive move to give negotiators more time to reach broad trade agreements.
Trump administration officials have determined that auto imports "threaten to impair the national security of the United States," according to the order, a finding that the White House used to gain leverage in ongoing trade talks with Europe and Japan. The president faced a Saturday deadline to decide whether to put those tariffs into place.
Trump was threatening to raise foreign auto tariffs as high as 25% under the same national security provisions he used to raise barriers on foreign steel and aluminum. Under the president's order, the decision would be put off 180 days.
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"President Trump today issued a proclamation directing the United States Trade Representative to negotiate agreements to address the national security threat, which is causing harm to the American automobile industry," the White House said in a statement.
Trump has been relying on an obscure provision of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 that empowers him to impose tariffs based on Commerce Department findings that imports of certain goods threaten security.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump delays tariffs on auto imports, gives negotiators six months to find deal with EU, Japan