Dear Madam Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
On February 17, 2019, the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) transmitted to me a report on his investigation into the effects of imports of automobiles and certain automobile parts on the national security of the United States under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1862).
On May 17, 2019, I concurred with the Secretary’s finding that automobiles and certain automobile parts are being imported into the United States in such quantities and under such circumstances as to threaten to impair the national security of the United States. I took action under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended, to direct the United States Trade Representative (Trade Representative) to pursue negotiation of agreements contemplated in 19 U.S.C. 1862(c)(3)(A)(i) to address the threatened impairment of the national security with respect to imported automobiles and certain automobile parts from the European Union, Japan, and any other country the Trade Representative deems appropriate. I directed the Trade Representative to update me on the progress of such negotiations within 180 days. In my judgment, these negotiations are necessary and appropriate in light of the many factors I have considered, including the Secretary’s report, decreases in American-owned
producers’ share of the global automobile market over the past three decades, a reduction in American-owned producers’ ability to fund necessary research and development (R&D), the criticality of American-owned automotive R&D and manufacturing to national security, and the expected effect of the recently negotiated United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
I also directed the Secretary to continue to monitor imports of automobiles and certain automobile parts and, from time to time, in consultation with any senior executive branch officials the Secretary deems appropriate, to review the status of such imports with respect to the national security. The Secretary will inform me of any circumstances that in his opinion might indicate the need for me to take further action under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended.