NEW YORK — Toyota Motor Corp. warned Wednesday that a move by President Donald Trump that may lead the United States to raise tariffs on auto imports would increase the cost of every vehicle sold in the country.
In May, Trump launched an investigation into whether auto imports have posed a threat to national security, with U.S. media reporting that he is seeking new tariffs of as much as 25 percent on automobile imports, up from the 2.5 percent duty on imported passenger cars.
“A 25 percent tariff on automotive imports, which is just a tax on consumers, would increase the cost of every vehicle sold in the country,” Toyota said in a statement. “Even the Toyota Camry, the best-selling car in America, made in Georgetown, Kentucky, would face $1,800 in increased costs.”
“We believe the only plausible outcome of this investigation is to reject the notion that automotive imports threaten national security,” it added.
Japanese carmakers exported around 1.77 million units to the United States in the business year ended March, according to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.
Although Japanese auto exports to the world’s largest economy have been declining due to increasing production at local plants, the figure still means nearly 40 percent of car exports from Japan were bound for the U.S. market.