“The purpose of the comment period,” the commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, said in a statement, was “to make sure that all stakeholders’ views are heard, both pro and con.”
“That will enable us to make our best informed recommendation to the president,” he added.
In a highly intertwined, global car industry, a trade war can play out in unexpected and costly ways. American automakers, which export an estimated two million vehicles, increasingly rely on global sales as a buffer in tough times. Retaliatory tariffs from Europe or China could weaken their overseas business.
They also depend heavily on parts from foreign suppliers. G.M. has said that its supply chain sprawls across 20,000 businesses worldwide and is an operation of “great breadth, scope and complexity.”
European and Japanese automakers are major employers in the United States, supplying hundreds of thousands of jobs. Daimler, the maker of Mercedes-Benz cars, recently issued a profit warning, in part blaming tit-for-tat measures for weakness in its sales of S.U.V.s, which are built in Alabama.
The German automaker BMW, which has a large factory in South Carolina, said in a comment about tariffs that the protectionist approach would make American companies less incentivized to improve their productivity.
“The deeper the economic ties from trade and integrated value chains, the more costly conflict would be, and therefore the more unlikely it is to occur,” BMW said.
Toyota wrote in its submission to the Commerce Department that the cost of its popular Camry sedan would rise $1,800 if subject to new tariffs. The car is built in Kentucky while sourcing 30 percent of its materials from abroad.