Some fear steel tariff could hurt auto industry in the South


ATLANTA (AP) – German business leaders are expressing concerns that President Donald Trump’s 25 percent tariff on imported steel could affect the auto industry in the South.

WABE Radio reports Mercedes-Benz USA this month opened its new North American headquarters in Sandy Springs, Georgia, for 1,000 employees.

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The luxury car manufacturer is owned by Germany-based Daimler, but Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Dietmar Exler used the grand opening to remind the crowd of the brand’s U.S. presence. That includes operations in South Carolina and Alabama.

A subsidiary of Germany-based Volkswagen also builds vehicles in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Stefan Mair of the Federation of German Industries in Berlin says tariffs on steel could hurt companies like Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and Porsche, all of which have significant operations in the South.

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