Allentown, Pa. - U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) issued the following statement on the administration's finding that imported automobiles are a national security risk:
"The American economy has dodged a bullet with the president's proclamation that tariffs on imported cars will not go into effect immediately. However, the danger remains that these tariffs, pursuant to a Cold War-era trade law known as section 232, will be levied in six months.
"The president's proclamation relies on a Commerce Department report - which has yet to be made available for public scrutiny despite federal law requiring it - that finds foreign cars are threatening the national security of the United States.
"Toyota Corollas and Volkswagen Beetles do not pose a national security threat.
"In reaching its conclusion, the Commerce Department began with a flawed premise that reducing automobile imports will increase the amount of money spent by automakers on domestic research and development (R&D). This idea ignores the reality that the U.S. automakers maintain global supply chains, and that these companies are recording record sales and making record investments in R&D all without government intervention. In 2017 alone, $21 billion was spent in the U.S. on automotive R&D - more than NASA spent.
"During these next six months, the administration intends to find a way to reduce the volume of imported cars or use taxes to raise vehicle prices and car repair costs for Americans. Such protectionism would damage our economy and the pocketbooks of Pennsylvania families even more than the current steel and aluminum tariffs. The threat of the further misuse of section 232 tariffs makes it clear that Congress must act now and pass my bipartisan legislation reasserting the legislature's constitutional responsibility on trade and national security tariffs."
Read about Senator Toomey's Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act here.