Trump has legal justification to implement auto tariffs: Report

The Commerce Department has turned in a report to President Trump, which contains – among other things – legal justification for the imposition of auto tariffs on vehicle imports, Politico reported on Wednesday.

The report determined Trump could impose auto tariffs based on national security concerns, while also offering other potential remedies – leaving the ultimate decision up to the president, four people familiar with the matter told the publication.

Trump has reportedly not yet made a decision.

The proposed tariffs could be up to 25 percent on imported cars.

The report was expected to be submitted to the president by Feb. 17. After its submission, Trump has 90 days to make a determination – resulting in a May deadline.

The document was not expected to be immediately made public, The New York Times reported. However, it represents a rare instance where details are being held very close to the chest – even from lawmakers.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has ignored requests from Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to hand over a copy of the report, Politico reported.

One government official declined to tell FOX Business whether he had seen the report, refusing to even talk about it.


Trump asked the Commerce Department to investigate whether auto imports pose a threat to U.S. national security last year.

General Motors, along with others in the U.S. auto industry, has urged against the implementation of tariffs, which could raise costs for domestic consumers. The automaker announced a restructuring effort last year, which resulted in the closure of several plants in North America. After GM announced that plan, Trump tweeted it was the rationale for “studying” potential tariffs.

FOX Business’ Blake Burman contributed to this report.