Via Classic & Sports Car – Trump’s proposed tariffs threaten classic car market

Legal experts in America have warned that the classic car world may be hit by the introduction of tariffs on vehicles entering the US.

The United States currently imposes a 2.5% levy on imported cars, but proposed legislation by President Donald Trump would raise that figure tenfold while also including spare parts – regardless of the age of the vehicle.

While this in itself would adversely affect many US-based enthusiasts, some fear that America’s trading partners may retaliate and have called for used cars and components to be exempted.


Trump's proposed tariffs threaten classic car market
Cars like this Ferrari 365 GTB/4, up for auction at Artcurial next month, could be hit if the proposals are passed


“President Trump has proposed this as a matter of national security, but it’s difficult for me to understand why,” said Mark Hyman, founder of Missouri-based Hyman Classic Cars.

“If this were to be put in place, it would be catastrophic to the hobby and the industry. At Hyman as much as 50% of our business involves import and export activity, so it would be devastating to us.”

Sandra Button, the Chairman of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, was similarly concerned about the proposals and sent a letter to email subscribers urging them to fight back.

In part, it read, “I want to ask you to join me in thoughtfully reviewing and then perhaps commenting on a new US government proposal that I fear might have very negative repercussions on our ability to share and celebrate and enjoy great cars.

“I cannot imagine what might happen if imported collector cars and car parts are designated as national security risks and taxed at 25%. I cannot imagine how we will be able to maintain and share even the collector cars we already have in the United States – whether first made here or abroad. How will we be able to continue to use them?”


Trump's proposed tariffs threaten classic car market
The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance


She continued, “I have a hundred additional questions too. And at present, the proposal before us has no answers for me. So I intend to raise my many questions and concerns directly with the US Department of Commerce online and by testifying on this matter in Washington, DC. I hope you, too, will read through the government’s proposal and offer your own thoughts if you have concerns.”

Comments on the issue closed last week – you can view them here – with a public hearing due to take place on 19 and 20 July. We’ll update you with the latest on the subject as soon as we have it.

Marc McLaren

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