Auto tariffs are hurting our margins: Subaru of America CEO

Auto executives and representatives met with key U.S. lawmakers Tuesday as the auto industry continues to deal with the fallout from the Commerce Department's report on the national security threat of steel imports.

The industry is also concerned about the potential to release big tariffs on imported cars and auto parts.

Subaru of America CEO Tom Doll, who participated in those meetings, told FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto that the current tariffs have had the biggest impact on the company's suppliers.

“We buy all of our steel locally in the United States, but the ripple effect that is coming in from the suppliers is really starting to have an impact, particularly on our margins,” Doll said on Tuesday.

Doll also warned of the impact tariffs would have on the broader economy.

"If these tariffs push their way through to the system, you're looking at potentially some significant increases in cost," he said.

Consumers could see prices jump anywhere from $5,000-$7,000 per vehicle as a result of tariffs, Doll warned, while stressing the importance of keeping prices competitive in order to keep the economy going.

“Tariffs are a tax, and somebody's paying for it. Either the manufacturers are paying for it, the customers are paying for it, or the suppliers are paying for it. So this issue has to be resolved.”

Last month, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross submitted the Section 232 national security report to President Trump, kicking off a 90-day timeline for when to impose a 25 percent tariffs on millions of imports.


Trump told FOX Business' Maria Bartiromo last week that he does not think car imports pose a national security risk. The president also said eliminating tariffs on all auto trade wouldn’t necessarily help U.S. automakers and rejected proposals from the European Union that would bring auto tariffs on both sides to zero.

“They have BMW, they have Mercedes, they have a lot of very good cars that come in,” he said. “I want them to make them here…If you’re going to sell them to the Americans, make them here.”