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What Trump’s 100 Percent Auto Tariff Would Mean For The US Economy

Qin Plus DM-i sedan, rolls off the assembly line at BYD’s new manufacturing base on June 30, 2022. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)VCG via Getty Images

In a recent campaign speech, former president Trump vowed “We’re going to put a 100 percent tariff on every single car that comes across the line, and you’re not going to be able to sell those guys if I get elected.”

Trump was not clear in that March 17 speech about the target of his tariffs, but what would the consequences be of a 100 percent tax on imported autos?

Conflicting Plans

It could be catastrophic. At a time when so many worry about inflation, past experience with other goods suggests a tariff likely would drive up the cost of motor vehicles, domestic as well as imports, used cars as well as new. And rather than add jobs, as Trump insists, these tariffs likely would send thousands of US workers to the…

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