Is the BMW 750i a Threat to National Security?

BMW of North America

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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?

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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