Is the BMW 750i a Threat to National Security?

BMW of North America

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

So Donald Trump is now publicly threatening to slap a 20 percent tariff on European cars in retaliation for Europe’s retaliation over Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum. I’m not going to bother writing yet again about how dumb this is. I just want to ask what the alleged justification will be. National security?

It’s obviously nonsense that American national security is endangered in any way by importing a million BMWs and Mercedes each year for rich people to tool around in. Nevertheless, that’s all Trump has, so that’s what he’s forced to use. But here’s the thing: Trump has this power because of a congressional statute. It’s not carved into the Constitution or the Ten Commandments. That means Congress can remove or restrain the power easily.

They won’t, of course. But why not?

And a question for whatever kind of lawyer specializes in this kind of thing: Is there any chance of a court putting a stop to this? I know that courts are traditionally very deferential to claims of national security, but where’s the limit? This obviously has nothing to do with national security, and Trump himself has said so on occasion. If it went into effect, could a car company sue to stop it?

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate