WASHINGTON — Not many issues galvanize every segment of the auto industry, from domestic producers and import brands to suppliers, unions, shippers and dealers.
But give President Donald Trump credit for achieving things others wouldn't even try. In his zeal to upend U.S. trade policy, he hasn't just brought all of those disparate sectors together. He has also managed to bring members of Congress from both parties and chambers together in opposition to his threat to impose tariffs on imported vehicles and auto parts.
With a report expected within days from the Commerce Department declaring auto imports a national security threat, two new sets of bipartisan bills in the Senate and House seek to curb Trump's authority to use national security as a pretext for such trade actions.
Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 empowers the Commerce Department to investigate national security implications of trade imbalances and allows the president to act unilaterally on the department's recommendations.