Trump plans a 25-percent tariff on all auto imports

Despite opposition from GOP leaders and business advisors

Editor's note: Events have overtaken this post. Here are the latest developments.

President Donald Trump is reportedly ready to push forward with a 25-percent tariff on imported cars ahead of a scheduled meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker today. But according to The Washington Post, citing "three people briefed on the status of negotiations who spoke on the condition of anonymity," top Republican leaders and business executives who are advisors to Trump are warning against increased tariffs.

Trump seems unmoved by his advisors. In a tweet early Wednesday morning, President Trump said, "Every time I see a weak politician asking to stop Trade talks or the use of Tariffs to counter unfair Tariffs, I wonder, what can they be thinking?" WaPo reports that Trump wants GPO leaders to "trust his business acumen." In another tweet, Trump claimed that "Negotiations are going really well, be cool. The end result will be worth it!"

Juncker is expected to suggest either lowering current tariffs across all countries that import and export automobiles, or to negotiate a new deal that's unique to Europe and the United States to eliminate tariffs entirely. Currently, the E.U. imposes a 10-percent tariff on imports of U.S. automobiles, while the U.S. charges a 2.5-percent tariff on European cars and a 25-percent tariff on all light truck and SUV imports, regardless of their country of manufacture.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Trump said, "I have an idea for them. Both the U.S. and the E.U. drop all Tariffs, Barriers and Subsidies! That would finally be called Free Market and Fair Trade! Hope they do it, we are ready - but they won't!" Before President Trump can impose any sort of tariffs, the Commerce Department must conclude that auto imports pose a national security threat to the United States. No final decision from the Commerce Department has been made.

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