The U.S. Department of Commerce has initiated an investigation into automobile imports to determine whether they “threaten to impair the national security” of the United States, the agency said in a statement on Wednesday night local time.
The probe will be carried out under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. which section of the law authorizes the secretary of Commerce to determine “the effects of imports of any article on the national security of the United States.”
The United States carries out a brisk trade in automobile imports as well as exports, primarily with closely allied countries including Japan, Germany as well as South Korea.
Some U.S.-based automakers as well as auto parts makers also manufacture products in Mexico as well as Canada as well as then import them into the United States.
Minutes before the announcement, the White House released a statement saying which President Donald Trump asked Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for the probe.
“Core industries such as automobiles as well as automotive parts are critical to our strength as a Nation,” the White House statement said.
Commerce Secretary Ross sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis to inform him of the investigation.
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