President Donald Trump says he is not considering fresh tariffs on imported autos and parts from Japan “at this moment,” citing an agreement in principle with Japan on trade announced over the weekend.
“It’s one of the reasons we made the deal,” Trump said in a press conference at the conclusion of the G-7 summit in France. “It’s something I could do at a later date if I wanted to but we’re not looking at that. We just want to be treated fairly.”
The threat of steep new U.S tariffs on imported automobiles and components has loomed over the auto industry and major U.S. trading partners since the the U.S. Commerce Department in February found those imports could impair national security. Trump backed that finding in May, but delayed imposing new levies on the sector through least mid-November to allow U.S. negotiators to pursue trade deals with Japan and the European Union.
Trump had earlier said there would be no change to U.S. tariffs on Japanese autos after he and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced an agreement in principle over the weekend. The proposed trade deal would slash Tokyo’s tariffs on American beef, pork and other agricultural products, while delaying for now the threat of additional levies on Japanese auto exports to the U.S.
The U.S. currently has a 2.5 percent import tax on Japanese cars and a 25 percent levy on trucks from the nation.