Sunday 3 November 2019 8:26 pm

US may pull automotive tariffs after 'good conversations' with manufacturers

The United States may decide not to slap trade tariffs on car imports later this month, after “good conversations” with manufacturers in the EU, Japan and Korea, US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross said.

Officials must decide whether to impose tariffs of as much as 25 per cent on vehicles and parts by 14 November. They have already been delayed by six months.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Ross said the Trump administration hoped to sidestep imposing the tariffs after discussing investment plans with car makers.

“We have had very good conversations with our European friends, with our Japanese friends, with our Korean friends, and those are the major auto producing sectors,” Ross said.

“Our hope is that the negotiations we have been having with individual companies about their capital investment plans will bear enough fruit that it may not be necessary to put the 232 (tariffs) fully into effect, may not even be necessary to put it partly in effect,” he added.

Ross also said licenses for US companies to see components to Huawei will come “very shortly, and that the government had already had 206 requests for them.

On US-China trade developments, Ross said there was no reason the deal could not be on track to be signed this month.

“We are in good shape, we are making good progress, and there is no natural reason why it could not be,” he said.