The Latest: Trump orders probe of tariffs for cars, trucks

May 24, 2018
President Donald Trump's hair is ruffled by a breeze as he speaks to the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 23, 2018, en route to a day trip to New York. Trump will hold a roundtable discussion on Long Island on illegal immigration and gang violence that the White House is calling a "national call to action for legislative policy changes." (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and the auto industry (all times local):

9 p.m.

President Donald Trump is directing the Commerce Department to begin an investigation into whether tariffs are needed on the import of automobiles into the United States.

The White House says Trump has asked Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to consider whether imports of cars and trucks and automotive parts threaten U.S. national security. The president says in a statement that “core industries such as automobiles and automotive parts are critical to our strength as a Nation.”

Trump is making the announcement as negotiations with Canada and Mexico over the North American Free Trade Agreement have stalled. Nearly half of the vehicles sold in the U.S. are imported, with many of the vehicles coming from assembly plants in Mexico and Canada.


1 p.m.

President Donald Trump is predicting that U.S. automakers and auto workers will be “very happy” with the outcome of talks over the North American Free Trade Agreement.

He tells reporters on the South Lawn at the White House that “you’ll be seeing very soon what I’m talking about.”

The president was asked about the status of the NAFTA talks. It came after he tweeted earlier in the day that there will be “big news coming soon” for auto workers.

Trump says both Mexico and Canada have been “very difficult to deal with” and he’s “not happy with their requests.” But he says, “we will win and will win big.”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said that efforts to renegotiate the trade agreement could spill into next year.