China and Japan are criticizing U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to launch an investigation into the effect of vehicle imports on national security. Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng told reporters Thursday that abusing national security clauses undermines the multilateral trade system and disrupts normal international trade. Japan’s trade minister, Hiroshige Seko, said if the U.S. probe results in new tariffs that would bring turmoil to the global market. Trump has already cited national security in levying tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports. “I instructed Secretary Ross to consider initiating a Section 232 investigation into imports of automobiles, including trucks, and automotive parts to determine their effects on America’s national security,” Trump said in a statement Wednesday after meeting with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Trump is seeking to levy tariffs as much as 25 percent on automobile imports. Trump, who has pledged to revive...
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