Trump teases 'big news' for U.S. auto workers, report of car tariffs

 Trump teases big news for U.S. auto workers, report of car tariffs

By James Oliphant

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly pledged to revive American manufacturing, said on Wednesday that "big news" was coming that would be welcomed by U.S. auto workers, and he suggested it was somehow linked to NAFTA trade talks.

"There will be big news coming soon for our great American Autoworkers. After many decades of losing your jobs to other countries, you have waited long enough!" Trump said in a tweet.

The Wall Street Journal reported, after Trump had tweeted and mentioned the issue again to journalists without elaborating, that the administration was considering launching a so-called "Section 232" investigation into auto imports that could see tariffs of up to 25 percent imposed on imports.

The report caused U.S. automaker shares to jump and hit those of overseas companies like Toyota Motor Corp <7203.T> .

It was unclear how the administration would be able to use a measure aimed at ensuring national security in the car sector. The White House had no immediate comment.

Automakers had scrambled after the tweet to get details, with some speculating that Trump could be referring to trade with the European Union. In a meeting earlier this month with major automakers, Trump threatened to impose big tariffs on EU-built vehicles, according to three people briefed on the talks.

(Reporting by James Oliphant; Additional reporting by Makini Brice, David Shepardson and David Lawder; Writing by Lisa Lambert; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Jeffrey Benkoe)

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Updated Date: May 24, 2018 03:05:26 IST