May 24, 2018 / 3:40 PM / a year ago

U.S. Senate finance committee chairman blasts possible auto tariffs

FILE PHOTO: Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee Orrin Hatch (R-UT) listens as Alex Azar II testifies on his nomination to be Health and Human Services secretary in Washington, U.S., January 9, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The chairman of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee on Thursday criticized the Commerce Department’s decision to potentially levy tariffs on imports of automobiles, trucks and automotive parts, calling it “deeply misguided.”

Republican Senator Orrin Hatch urged the Trump administration to instead focus on addressing China’s trade practices and working constructively with U.S. trading partners.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Wednesday announced an investigation under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 into whether the imports are threatening the domestic auto industry, which could ultimately lead to new tariffs from the United States.

Reporting by Makini Brice; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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