The Detroit Big Three and at least four dozen Democratic lawmakers have joined together to beg President Obama not to ease the tariffs on imported Japanese autos and trucks when he talks about free trade as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Making the case that car buyers in America do not deserve lower prices and that American automakers cannot compete on a level playing field, the lawmakers, led by Representative Sander Levin, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, wrote in a letter to Obama, “In an industry with razor-thin profit margins, the elimination of the 2.5 percent car tariff (as well as the 25 percent truck tariff) would be a major benefit to Japan without any gain for a vital American industry, leading to more Japanese imports, less American production and fewer American jobs.”
Believing that the talks could bear some healthy fruit, Abe said at a press conference:
“We are watching the birth of an economic zone that will account for about a third of the world’s economy. Our nation has become increasingly inward-looking, with long-term deflation, as well as the problem of an aging society. In the meantime other countries have sought to incorporate growth from overseas by developing open economies.”